January 1520

Cravings

By Mark Eldrett

Acidic Foods

Acid-forming foods come in all different forms, and sometimes just because a food tastes acidic doesn’t mean that it is. Acidic foods include corn, wheat, cranberries, butter, bacon, however lemons and limes are alkalizing when consumed.

When you crave acidic foods what your body wants is Magnesium which is a n important mineral that helps you to sleep, keep calm under stressful situations and generally improves your quality of life.  When your body runs low on magnesium you attempt to rectify the situation by seeking out acidic foods

Eating healthy foods high in magnesium such as flax seeds, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, lentils, spinach, avocado, banana or sweet potato and you will notice your desire for acidic foods wanes.

Alcohol

Alcohol is another addictive substance which your body can crave, what you really crave is minerals.  The main problem with drinking alcohol is the direct effect it has on the liver and the side effects caused through not having a liver than isn’t functioning at its best.

Drinking alcohol saps your body of the minerals you are craving!  If you must have a drink try a non-alcoholic version.

Appetite Gone

Sometimes a loss of appetite can be caused because you aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals, it is important to assess why you’re not in the mood for food.

A shortage of zinc can cause your appetite to wane, zinc is an important mineral that affects your taste buds and is needed daily by your body.  Your ability to taste food diminishes along with your levels of zinc. 

To get your appetite back on track try eating spinach, beef, prawns, kidney beans, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, garlic, peanuts, turkey, salmon, lamb or crab which are all high in zinc but also include a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans to eat healthily and within a few days your appetite should return to normal. 

Craving Bread

Bread is everywhere in our modern eating habits, that bacon sandwich for breakfast, soup and a roll for lunch, the base of pizza that’s your supper. Eating too much bread can lead to weight gain due to the toll it takes on blood sugar levels, and the high carbohydrate count.

When you crave bread your body really wants amino acids, your body cant manufacture the essential amino acids it needs by itself so instead of bread try nuts, fish, eggs, quinoa and buy an amino acid supplement.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate cravings are suffered by those trying to lose weight by watching their carb intake. It’s no surprise you will crave the thing that you’re abstaining from, especially if you used to eat lots of carbohydrates.

When cutting out or reducing carbs it can leave you deficient in important vitamins and minerals found in fruits and other sources of food that can be labelled as carb heavy!  Choose the right source of carbohydrates, all carbs are not the enemy opt for the ones that give you the most nutrition for the amount of carbs you are eating.

Cheese

Craving cheese when you’re trying to lose weight can often be the undoing of well-meaning dieters. But why is it so hard to resist cheese!

When you are craving cheese what your body really wants is calories and a small piece of cheese can give you around 100 calories.   If you have been on a calorie restricted diet your desire for cheese will rise because your body knows it will quickly make up the deficit

Make sure you are getting enough calories to make it through the day without intensely craving cheese.   Eat nutritious food containing healthy levels of calories but which also provide you with vitamins and minerals to help keep those cravings away.

The Chocolate Craving

Chocolate is one of the most common cravings because it works on our endorphins and makes us feel good.  We crave to feel good so we crave chocolate however what our body really needs is Magnesium.  Chocolate contains magnesium and it’s a vital mineral that several of our bodily functions need including providing us with energy.

Nothing satisfies a chocolate craving like chocolate, but grab the better grade of chocolate, have a small serving of dark chocolate providing you with the magnesium you crave without the added sugar found in milk chocolate.

Alternative sources of magnesium are nuts, seeds , legumes and fruit such as bananas and avocados.

Can’t Get Though The Day Without Coffee

Lots of people crave coffee, mainly for the addictive caffeine content it contains, however if you take it with lots of sugar you could be craving sugar too.

When you crave coffee what your body really wants is energy, this is why most people drink coffee first thing in the morning to get them going!  The problem is you are using a stimulant to give you a ‘boost’ which will wear off and can leave you feeling worse than you were before.  What you really crave is real energy from a natural source.

Cold Food

Eating cold food slows down your digestion, you don’t want to do that unless it’s summertime, and your body is trying to keep its cool. Craving cold food means your body is telling you its running too hot and wants to cool down, and of course the best way to cool down quickly is to eat cold foods but you should ensure its not dehydration and you aren’t using food to make up for the lack of water.

Keep cool on the inside and out, and if you’re going out in the sun and or working up a sweat take extra steps to maintain proper hydration levels.

Eating to Excess

Eating to excess is one of the worst things you can do for your health, overeating can become a habit. 

What your body wants is a well-balanced meal when you overeat, turn your attention to the ratio of carbs and protein in your meals, and see how this has a direct effect on how you feel after eating a reasonable portion for your body size.

Avoid situations where the food quantities are endless, stick to what’s on your plate and give your stomach time to tell your brain you’re full.

Fizzy Drinks

Craving a fizzy drink means you associate the fuzzy feeling on your lips with fluid intake and your body is drawn to these drink because it wants hydration.  These drinks are full of sugar, caffeine and chemicals which can have a dehydrating effect.

Opt for mineral water or spring water when your find yourself craving a fizzy drink.  If the craving is still there hours later and it’s not due to dehydration treat yourself once in a while.

Fried Foods

Fried foods tend to smell good when you’re cooking them, and taste good when you’re eating them. They send massive pleasure signals to the brain, which is why it sometimes seems that you can’t go too long between doses fried, fatty foods.

When you crave fried foods what your body is craving is healthy fat,  eat avocados, nuts such as cashews or almonds and if you do have to fry food use coconut oil which has a rich buttery taste and is also a healthy fat.

Junk Food

There are fast food restaurants everywhere, we have turned into a fast food nation and craving junk food just means our bodies are looking for a nutritional satisfying meal. 

Of course it’s better to make your own meals than to eat fast food, and what you’ll want to focus on if you’re trying to kick the fast food habit is the feeling of satiety after a meal. To do this make sure you are eating balanced meals with a lean protein, a non-starchy carb, and healthy fats.

Liquid Foods

When you crave foods such as soup, smoothies  or shakes instead of solid food your body is probably telling you it needs water.  Increase your water intake and see if the craving for smoothies etc disappears.

Our body can only signal your brain what it needs and craving food you can drink is one way to ask for more water.  Getting enough water can be a hard habit to start but you should generally drink around 2 litres of water  every day not including tea or coffee.

Pizza

The combination of a carbohydrate-laden crust, melted cheese, and toppings customized to your personal tastes makes it hard to pass up. But what your body is really craving is fatty acids.  Craving fatty foods could mean you are running low on important fatty acids and your body wants you to make amends.

Ensure you get enough fatty acids from healthy foods such as salmon, walnuts, flax seeds and see if that pizza craving disappears.  The occasional pizza wont set you back but keep your portion size in check. 

Protein

Protein is one of  the building blocks needed for your body to carry out basic functions within its various systems, if you find yourself craving protein you should take notice, depriving yourself of protein can cause negative side effects such as muscle or joint pain, sleeplessness, low energy, moodiness to name a few.

If your body is craving protein  - give it protein, eat high quality lean protein, although you might crave fried chicken , you will be serving your body better by eating a grilled chicken breast..

Salty Snacks

Snacks predominantly contain salt, when you crave crisps or  snacks your body needs sodium but getting you should get your sodium from the right source not from salty snacks or table salt.  This type of salt can lead to fluid retention which can increase your weight and your blood pressure.

If you crave sodium use a natural sea salt or Himalayan pink salt which can help your body to regulate your fluids rather than hinder it the way excessive table salt can. 

Sugar Monster

Sugar is one of the most widely craved substances perhaps because there are so many sugar laden temptations everywhere.  Many of these temptations offer nothing in the way of nutrition, and are merely a way to satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you feeling regretful after you eat them.

What your body really wants is glucose, glucose keeps your blood sugar levels where they should be. Abstaining from all forms of sugar is not a sustainable goal however go for the natural option, eat fruit which contain fructose as well as glucose to satisfy your sugar cravings.

 

 


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