There was a point in my life where my sweet cravings were so strong that I got out of bed, changed back into real clothes, drove to a grocery store, and picked up one of those single-serving pieces of cheesecake (I knew better in my state of mind than to pick up a whole one). When you’re stressed or sad or angry, you can sometimes turn to food.
Then there are times when your body is trying to tell you something.
In our modern world, access to garbage on every corner makes it hard to eat healthy but I think if you’re reading this article, you make a serious effort to love yourself with the good stuff. You do what you can to get the foods that fuel your body right.Access to garbage on every corner makes it hard to eat healthy but you have to commit to fueling your body properly!Click To Tweet
If you’re a person who understands “fuel in” equates to “performance out,” then craving sweets or salts or fats can come out of nowhere and make you feel out of control.
Out-of-nowhere desire for things you don’t normally eat or for foods you’re not even all that excited about usually could be your body signaling that you need something specific, a nutrient you don’t have enough of and your internal functions want you to provide it.
Deciphering Your Food Cravings
- Magnesium. When your body sends the “get some chocolate or else” sign, things can get ugly fast. Chances are, your body is low on magnesium and is actually begging you to hand over some pumpkin seeds, cashews, or enjoy some beans on your spinach salad. If you crave highly acidic foods or extremely cold drinks, this could also point to too little magnesium.
- Chloride. If salty snacks are calling your name, your body could be low on chloride. Some roasted veggies sprinkled with sea salt or any sort of wild-caught ocean fish should settle things down a bit.
- Chromium. There are times that everything sweet on the candy aisle could end up in your basket but before you look like you’re stocking up for Halloween in March, pick up some grapes and delicious cheeses to snack on to make sure it isn’t a lack of chromium.
- Protein. If you find yourself craving alcohol (more than usual…I love wine), it might be time to up your intake of protein and nitrogen (which makes up your amino acids). Stock up on beans, nuts, grass-fed beef, organic eggs and dairy, or seafood to slow down the drinking. Cravings for breads can point to the same deficiency.
- Calcium. There are times that nothing sounds better than a greasy burger and fries (and I’m not a fan). Turns out, you might really just need more calcium in your diet. Sardines (not milk) is the best source followed by greens, kale, and yogurt.
- Phosphorous. For normal people (who aren’t me) a sudden need for coffee or tea might seem strange. If you’re low on phosphorus, this can happen (I’d never notice). Load up on grass-fed meats, organic eggs, seafood, and nuts to get back to “normal” coffee consumption (ha ha ha).
- Silica. If you’re struggling to kick a tobacco habit or having issues with overeating, your body could be in need of more silica. This trace mineral hasn’t been recognized as an essential nutrient but it plays a major role in your system functions. You can get what you need from leeks, strawberries, spinach, bananas, and steel-cut oats.
A point you might find interesting. If you tend to prefer mostly solids and few beverages (or vice versa), your body is in desperate need of water.
We recommend half an ounce for every pound of bodyweight. For someone who weighs 150 pounds, try to get 75 ounces of water daily. If you work in the heat or do a physical job, up your intake to an ounce per pound. Squeeze some citrus (oranges, lemons, or limes) into it for great flavor and more fat-burning capability.
So next time you’re craving sweets or salt or fatty foods…before you climb out of bed for a piece of cheesecake, potato chips, or a burger…consider what your body might really be asking you to give it. Then give it that instead.