We all have cravings, like a cold beverage on a hot day or a salty snack while you’re watching a movie. While cravings are normal, they can indicate that your body’s nutrient levels are out of balance.
Read on to learn the potential hidden meanings behind common cravings.
Common Food Cravings
- Salty Snacks
Salt is a very common craving, but it can distract from the real reason behind your discomfort: dehydration. If you’re craving potato chips, pretzels, or a similar salty treat, try drinking water first. In many cases, this will curb the craving.
Individuals taking certain diuretics may actually need sodium when they crave salt, as diuretics can flush salt from the body. Your doctor can tell you if a diuretic is the culprit for your salty cravings.
A chocolate craving doesn’t always point to a nutrient imbalance. You might just want the pleasurable taste of a sweet treat! But, it’s worth noting that cocoa is rich in iron, magnesium, and fiber. Since the iron in chocolate is highly bioavailable, some individuals who eat a plant-based diet crave chocolate if their iron levels are low.
Many people crave simple carbs like bread, pasta, and baked goods when they’re low on energy. Simple carbs can provide a fast but short-lived energy boost and may help produce hormones that assist in sleep regulation. But, simple carbs aren’t the best way to resolve this issue. For sustained energy, reach for whole grains, fruits, and veggies instead, and work on getting a full night’s sleep.
Are Your Cravings Stress-Related?
Stress, anxiety, and other emotional factors can contribute to cravings. Some people crave a pint of ice cream when they’re upset, or want to eat a bag of chips when they’re feeling stressed out. If you experience a craving that could be rooted in emotion, first try deep breathing, journaling, taking a mindful walk, or talking to a friend. This can often make the craving go away.
The experienced team at The Center for Natural & Integrative Medicine can help you better understand your cravings and provide lifestyle recommendations to curb them. Schedule an appointment with us today!