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What Your Cravings Mean

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What Your Cravings Mean

Who hasn’t experienced the overwhelming desire to eat some­thing specific, whether it be chocolate, potato chips, a burger, or some other food? We’ve all experienced cravings, but we should be careful about the way in which we satisfy them. By understanding what your body is actually deficient in (assuming it is a physical, not an emotional food craving) you can get to the root cause of the crav­ings, and eventually kick them all together.

There are numerous possible meanings of cravings, depending on the type of craving and your eating habits. Before you satisfy cravings, drink a tall glass of pure water. Quite often we misinterpret our body’s signal for thirst as a signal of hunger. By drinking a tall glass of water first, you may be giving your body exactly what it wants and alleviate craving. Some experts estimate that up to 80 percent of the population is chronically dehydrated, so start with water before you try to decipher your cravings.

Chocolate.
If you crave chocolate, it doesn’t mean your body has a chocolate deficiency, although I think most people would prefer that. Chocolate is high in magnesium. Cravings for it often indicate that your body is deficient in magnesium, which is a common deficiency. If you’re going to eat chocolate, choose organic cocoa and mix it into a healthy smoothie, or eat a small amount of dark chocolate. Because that is unlikely enough to deal with a magnesium deficiency, it’s also important to eat other foods high in magnesium, such as nuts, seeds, fish, and leafy greens.

Sweets
If you crave sweets you may be experiencing blood sugar fluctuations. When your blood sugar drops, your body may be try­ing to get you to give it more fuel to keep your blood sugar levels stable. If this is a chronic occurrence you may have hypoglycemia, which simply means low blood sugar. Whether your sugar cravings are sporadic or chronic, it is important to choose the right type of food to bring your body back into balance. Giving in to cookies, cakes, candies, or other refined sweets will only make the problem worse and cause a blood sugar roller coaster that leads to more crav­ings. Instead, choose a piece of fruit when you’re craving sweets. In the interim, add more high-fiber foods like beans and legumes, and complex carbohydrates like whole grains to give you the fuel you need without the blood sugar spikes. If you’re really struggling with sugar cravings, you may also wish to supplement with the mineral chromium since it helps to regulate blood sugar levels and ward off cravings.

Salty Foods
Cravings for salty foods like popcorn or chips often indicate stress hormone fluctuations in the body. Getting on top of the stress in your life is step one. The adrenal glands help your body cope with stress and, in our fast-paced, hectic lives, tend to become worn out, especially from stress-hormone production. Try medita­tion, breathing exercises, or other stress management techniques. Research at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City showed that people who take a break to breathe deeply or meditate before reach­ing for salty snacks reduced their stress hormones by 25 percent and cut the bingeing in half.

If your adrenal glands are worn out, you can also support them with a high-quality B-complex vitamin, with extra pantothenic acid (that’s vitamin B-5) and vitamin C. Eating more leafy greens helps to supply your body with minerals that support the adrenal glands, especially potassium.

Next: Learn about cravings for cheese, red meat, and the general desire to snack

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Read more: Desserts, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Natural Remedies, Women's Health, , , , , , ,

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Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

267 comments

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9:49AM PDT on Jul 1, 2014

I'm hanging my head as I've just finished eating a bag of chocolates.

10:35AM PDT on Oct 19, 2013

I had a major surgery on my C-spine a few years ago. This rendered me unable to swallow solid food for about three months. The thing I craved the most during that time wasn't chocolate or junk, but salad! I was overjoyed when my swallowing issues resolved enough for me to manage eating a salad, and it was the best treat ever! Still love fresh salads, but unfortunately also have gone back to indulging in sweets and other things that are not quite as healthy too. Good article, thanks!

2:44AM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Thank you :)

3:54AM PDT on Aug 20, 2013

Very informative article. The point made about mistaking thirst for hunger is also very true.

11:36PM PDT on Aug 15, 2013

Thank you. Useful information. Just having been released from the hospital, I came home with cravings for certain things like fish, beets. Knowing my lab results and what I was low in, this article matched exactly what the results indicated I was lacking.

11:46PM PDT on Aug 14, 2013

Interesting, thank you.

11:41PM PDT on Aug 14, 2013

Interesting, thank you.

10:19AM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

Thanks---nice to know the meaning to our carvings!

9:35AM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

My cravings for everything sweet have been taken care of by a system I use by innoveat. I don't have anywhere near the same level of cravings i had in the past and it is amazing what this has done for my self confidence. My boyfriend bought me this so you can imagine i was furious but he meant well as he knows i always battle with cravings and weight issues. I am glad he got this for me because i fell at last i will be able to lose the weight i want (i have already lost seven pounds).

10:53PM PST on Jan 16, 2012

Thank you.

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