Cravings, we all have them! Most of us deal with them every day, chocolate, potato chips, cookies, alcohol. It’s so hard not to give into them, but we always do. So is it right or wrong? Obviously our bodies are telling us it needs some thing. Cravings are triggered by emotional and physical factors. And reaching for the things you want usually leaves a feeling of pleasure at first, but can then lead to over eating and bingeing. And what about when you eat high salty foods why do you always want something sweet afterward and vice a versa. I know after eating Old Bay smothered steamed crabs, (as a Marylander, it’s a must!) I always want ice cream and usually we run for the nearest Dumser’s Dairyland (our local ice cream parlours) for whatever we can get our hands on! So, what’s it all mean and how do we deal with them?
Usually our bodies are deficient in minerals and nutrients, and that’s why we get cravings. But it could also be seasonal cravings, like fruit and ice cream in the summers. And heavier foods, soups, meats in the winters. Sometimes if you eat a lot of meat, you end up craving sugar and alcohol or if you eat a lot of cooked foods you tend to crave raw foods. Women tend to get more cravings than men, due to pregnancies and menstruation. And a lot of us crave foods from our ancestry or backgrounds.
Cravings can also be misinterpreted as a sign of hunger when it’s actually water that our bodies need. “80% off the population is chronically dehydrated.” http://www.care2go.com/greenliving/ So, start off with a glass of water if you are craving some thing in particular and see if that doesn’t curb it first.
Understanding your cravings:
Sugar/Sweets- You may be deficient in minerals and you could be experiencing blood sugar fluctuations. It’s important to choose the right foods to get your body back in balance, eat more vegetables, chose fruit, whole grains, and beans to curb a sweet tooth.
Red Meat- You could be iron deficient. More women again are iron deficient and will crave red meat. Choose beans and dried fruits. Iron is hard for the body to absorb so include foods with Vitamin C to help absorption, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits.
Snacks- When you crave snacky foods, it tends to mean you’re not eating a balanced diet and missing nutrients. Focus on proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy dairy foods. Try to avoid the junk foods, giving into the junk cravings is only a temporary fix. Changing your lifestyle and chosing better food choices will help eliminate cravings all together.
Cheese- Most people tend to crave cheese and the high fatty foods, like pizza. It usually means you have a fatty acid deficiency. Chose raw walnuts and wild salmon, foods high in Omega 3′s.
Salty- Cravings for salt like popcorn and potato chips usually mean an increase in stress hormones. First thing is to take control or reduce the stress in your life. Try yoga, Pilates, meditation, even exercising. It often means your body is lacking iodine or potassium. Focus on eating more green leafy vegetables to curb salt cravings.
Focusing and narrowing down your cravings can help you understand what your body is lacking for minerals and nutrients. Drinking more water may curb a lot of your cravings so make sure to stay hydrated. Evaluate what’s going on in your life at the time of your cravings, are you highly stressed, not eating well, or not eating enough and causing your body to have chronic blood sugar changes. Getting a hold of your cravings can help your over all lifestyle and health. It will also manage your weight and wellness. Here’s to understanding your cravings and conquering them!