When going through emotional stress, for instance, many people opt for certain food that has a power, though temporarily, to neutralize the stress. Although craving for certain foods has its psychological reasons, it is more likely that craving is a message from your body. Your body has a unique way to tell you that you are low in certain vitamins, minerals or some specific nutrients.
The problem appears when this message is not understood correctly. In case of emotional stress, your body is telling you that you are missing certain beneficial nutrients, however, we are often confused by the message and tend to eat almost anything that we believe can relieve the stress, or anxiety or dissatisfaction.
In a word, since we cannot read the message completely, we end up eating processed unnatural food and other food that usually do not contain the beneficial nutrient we need.
If you wish to know what nutrients you are missing you need to have a closer look into the reason your organism is asking for certain food. If you know what your cravings mean, you can reduce unhealthy eating habits, and poor food choices and you will learn how to satisfy craving with proper food.
Iron deficiency is probably one of the most common reasons why we make mistakes and eat the food that would not have any benefits regarding iron levels in the body.
Craving for red meat is the result of iron deficiency, for instance. Red meat is beneficial in many ways, but eating it often can bring you extra pounds. If you find yourself craving for red meat, you can maintain your healthy diets and your weight when you restore the levels of iron. If you substitute red meat with other foods rich in iron, you will not have to worry about gaining extra pounds, or triggering certain healthy problems.
Instead of red meat, you can eat beans, legumes, dried fruits, spinach, and cherries, and food rich in vitamin C for iron absorption.
Calcium deficiency can make you crave for cheese, soda and fuzzy drinks, and alcohol. Cheese is very high in calories, and these mentioned drinks are probably the main reasons why anyone can gain weight very quickly.Â Instead of cheese, and these liquids, one can eat legumes, broccoli, kale, turnip greens, and sesame seeds.
Magnesium deficiency is the reason why you crave for sweets (chocolate, acid foods). Substitute chocolate with raw cacao nibs or powder, nuts, seeds, fruit and whole grains and keep your healthy weight. Phosphorus deficiency is another reasons why you want sweets in general, and why you want coffee or black tea.
Due to the many side effects of coffee and sweets in general (additives, artificial colors and sweeteners), one should opt for pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts. You can also eat whole grains, lentils and pinto beans.
Potassium deficiency makes you party all night with different alcohol beverages. Since there is no need to list all of the side effects of excessive alcohol intake, just remember that the best foods to substitute alcohol with, and to neutralize your craving while eating healthy at the same time, are citrus fruits, pineapples, bananas, black olives, bitter green leafy vegetables and seaweeds.
When we are craving for tobacco, it means we are experiencing silicone and tyrosine deficiency. To replace craving for this stimulant, you can eat nuts, and seeds. Other foods include beetroot, whole wheat, whole grains, oats, onions, and legumes.
Chromium deficiency means you want pasta, white bread, and pastries. If you eat too much pasta and pastries, you will see fast weight changes on your body, thus instead, sometimes you should eat grapes, apples, cinnamon, romaine lettuce and sweet potatoes.
If you cannot stop eating bread and toast you are experiencing nitrogen deficiency, thus you should eat the food that contains proteins such as nuts, grains, legumes and green leafy vegetables. Chloride and essential fatty acids deficiency means you want crisps. Instead eat olives, kelp, tomatoes or celery. To satisfy fatty acids deficiency eat ground flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts. If you crave for popcorns you are going through stress hormone fluctuations. Eat food rich in vitamin B and C.
If you wish to know why you are prone to overeating, you need to understand what your body needs. Firstly, it means you are lacking tryptophan, and to stop overeating you need to eat pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds. If you like sweets more, eat raw cacao.
Overeating can also be the result of tyrosine deficiency. To satisfy the level of tyrosine and to stop overeating, think about including avocado and bananas in your nutrition. Nuts, whole grains and food rich in vitamin C can also satisfy tyrosine level. If your body misses nutrients and if your diet is not balanced, you will often crave for snacks.
To stop that snacks obsession, substitute junk food for healthy meals, and consider detoxification as well.
Healthy nutrition needs to address the question of lack of appetite as well. Although many people are fighting to maintain healthy weight, some are fighting how to overcome lack of appetite.
Lack of appetite is also a result of the deficiency of certain nutrients. The first reason why someone cannot eat is chloride deficiency. To satisfy the level of chloride in the body you need olives, tomatoes, celery and Himalayan sea salt. Thiamin and Niacin deficiency can also cause lack of appetite. To satisfy the levels of these B vitamins you should eat peanuts, sunflower seeds, whole grains and beans. Finally, manganese deficiency, as a cause for lack of appetite, can be satisfied with almonds, green leafy vegetables, blueberries and pineapple.
Albers, S. (2009). 50 ways to Soothe Yourself without Food. New Harbinger Publications.
Barnard, N.D. & Stepaniak, J. (2004). Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons behind Food Cravings and 7 Steps to End Them Naturally. St. Martinâ€™s Griffin.
Virtue, D. (2011). Constant Craving: What Your Food Cravings Mean and How to Overcome Them. Hay House.
Image credit: 123RF Stock Photo