Food cravings, especially for unhealthy foods, are usually our body’s way of alerting us to an imbalance or deficiency of some kind. In some cases these cravings can be emotional or hormonal in origin; in others they can be physical, as is the case with deficiencies.
Listen to your body
Ultimately, your body is communicating with you. Learn to listen to your body and provide it with what it is truly asking for, be it a hug, a day off, a course of supplements or a change in diet. Being mindful of our own needs, emotional and otherwise, can result in a life free from “cravings’ of any kind.
Understand your cravings
When you are craving something sweet, It’s most likely that you are experiencing a “brain mediated” craving. Your body responds to low serotonin or blood sugar levels by sending your body a “sugar craving signal”.
We need to learn to differentiate between hunger, addiction and cravings.
Hunger – driven by the stomach
Addiction – driven by habit
Craving – often associated with a stressful situation (controlled by the brain)
These include chocolate, sugary foods, and salty foods.
Associated with magnesium deficiency – Try eating foods rich in magnesium such as raw cacao nibs, raw almond nuts, seeds, greens and fruit.
Salty & savoury foods:
Can be an indication of stress hormone fluctuations or a deficiency in chloride or Essential Fatty Acids – Try incorporating some meditation or breathing exercises and light exercise such as walking into your day and eat more leafy greens and ‘oily’ foods such as flaxseeds, nuts, olives.
Often relates to rewarding oneself, generally more ‘learned’ – replace with unprocessed fats and healthy proteins.
Also indicative of a deficiency in a number of different minerals – try to include more fruit in your diet such as grapes and apples, as well as pumpkin and sunflower seeds; sweet potatoes, lettuce and cruciferous vegetables and nuts.
Possible deficiency in Essential Fatty Acids such as omega 3’s found in flax oil, walnuts and oily fish
Possible calcium deficiency- eat more leafy greens, as well as sesame seeds and legumes such as chickpeas and lentils.
Deficiency in chromium or nitrogen – try a crunchy salad with onions, lettuce, apples and some seeds. Apples, grapes, sweet potato and cinnamon are also good options.
Conquer the cravings
- Variety is key. Avoid the monotony of eating the same foods every day.
- Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar and ultimately you crave unhealthy food to fill the void.
- Aim to eat a protein, a carb and a fat at every meal/snack time to keep you fuller for longer.
Have you joined my Facebook group – Healthy Habits? Join now –https://www.facebook.com/groups/482726648747242/ and get great tips for a healthier lifestyle.
Yours in good health
Fiona/ Into Nutrition