Learn to listen to your body: What food cravings are telling you

I’ve learned that different food cravings pop up when your body is trying to signal to you that there is something that it needs.

The other day, I had a serious craving for ice-cream and I was curious to investigate a bit what cravings really meant as I am not the type of person with a big appetite. What I discovered was that there is a pretty surprising list of cravings and their real meanings. It’s sort of fascinating! It is also very helpful to see what your body really needs.

So here are some cravings below and what your body is really trying to tell you… (by the way, this is not a raw vegan point of view – I looked at it from a meat eater perspective too)

If you’re craving sweets…
It means your body really needs chromium, carbon phosphorous, sulfur, and tryptophan. Get these by filling up on, fresh fruit, cheese and sweet potatoes when you have a sweet tooth. This craving may also mean you’re tired. Evaluate how much you’re sleeping lately if you find yourself wanting sweets. Instead of heading for the chocolate cake, take a nap if you can. Or, go for a walk to boost your energy levels.

If you’re craving carbs…
It means your body needs nitrogen, which is found in high-protein foods like fish, meat, nuts, and beans. Eat a turkey burger, a handful of almonds, or a black beans (or corn, pico de gallo, guacamole, brown rice). You might also be craving carbs because you’re trying to cut them out of you diet completely. If this is the reason, make sure you’re eating every food group in moderation to prevent a big, unplanned carb-fest that will leave you feeling way worse than, say, a real sandwich.

If you’re craving French fries, soda, cheese and pizza…
And other junk food, it means your body needs calcium and also fatty acids. Instead, make a salad with steamed broccoli, chicken, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. It might not sound quite as good as those French fries at first, but it will leave you feeling way better, not to mention guilt-free. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and other joint problems. Reach also for raw walnuts, wild salmon, and flaxseed oil, and add ground flaxseeds to your diet.

If you’re craving caffeine or red meat…
It means your body needs salt and iron. To get these nutrients the healthy way, eat lean meats like chicken or turkey, eggs, or black cherries, surprisingly. If you can, a great option here would be to make an omelette with turkey and veggies, with a handful of black cherries on the side. Craving caffeine can also mean you’re actually just really thirsty or dehydrated. Drink an entire glass of water before you reach for that second (or third) cup of coffee—you might realize you don’t even need it.

If you’re craving salty foods…
It means your body needs chloride, which is essential in order for your body to maintain healthy digestion and keep your electrolyte levels in check. Avoid super salty junk food like potato chips and eat goat’s milk yogurt or fish instead. I would recommend making a tuna fish sandwich or salmon salad for lunch with goat’s yogurt as a snack the next time you have a salt craving.

I hope you also learned something new and interesting from these food facts. I certainly did. I’m definitely going to keep some almonds on hand for those guilty carb cravings…

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