What Do Your Food Cravings Really Mean?

When it comes to food cravings, people often think of expectant mothers eating a dish of pickles and ice cream. But pregnant or not, everyone has food cravings from time to time. While it could be a mental or emotional thing, more often than not, food cravings indicate that your body is lacking in some key nutrient. If you’re curious about what you food cravings really mean, read on.

Craving chocolate?

What it means: We all know how satisfying a piece of chocolate is. Those yummy Dove bars or Hershey’s Kisses contain the chemical phenyl ethylamine (PEA), which acts as a feel-good neurotransmitter. In fact, eating chocolate provides the same feeling as being in love. Chocolate is also high in magnesium. So if you want that chocolaty fix, you could either be low on love or magnesium.

Craving salty snacks?

What it means: Can’t get enough of those pretzels and potato chips? If you crave the salty stuff, ask yourself if you’re under any stress. Salt cravings are usually a sign of adrenal weakness. Your adrenals in charge of your “fight or flight” or stress response. To help boost your adrenals increase foods rich in B vitamins like avocados, beans and whole grains.

Craving ice cream or dairy?

What it means:

If that pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream constantly calls your name, you could be stressed and/or depressed. Ice cream and other dairy foods are comforting. Dairy contains L-tryptophan, which triggers the production of serotonin, one of the feel good hormones. Instead of consuming the calories, try exercise or healthy sun exposure to boost your mood.

Craving fatty foods?

What it means:

If your craving fatty foods, chances are your body needs good fats. Fats are essential to many bodily functions and we need fat to survive. Rather than go for unhealthy greasy and fatty foods, boost your Omega 3’s through supplementation or by eating avocados and fish.

Craving coffee?

What it means:

If one cup o’ joe in the morning isn’t cutting it and you need more and more, you might be lacking in iron, phosphorus or sulfur. You may also be lacking adequate sleep. To combat all these deficiencies, add more of the following to your diet: meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, garlic, onion and cruciferous vegetables. And catch some more Zzzz’s too!

Craving alcohol?

What it means:

A glass of wine or beer in moderation is actually good for your health. However if you find yourself imbibing a little too much, you might be suffering from stress or missing out on several nutrients. You could be low in protein, calcium, potassium and glutamine. Make sure your diet includes meat, poultry, fish, nuts, granola, oatmeal, broccoli and plenty of greens.

Craving weird stuff?

What it means:

If you’re craving odd things like dirt, clay, chalk or ice you’re not crazy. This is called pica and means you have an iron or mineral deficiency. Load up on dark green leafy veggies, seeds and nuts to help cure the cravings.