Caving to the Craving
It starts slowly but turns strong enough to pick you up and carry you straight to the fridge or local dairy overriding your will and better judgment.
The majority of people experience cravings in life. Many women, talk about cravings that are especially intense in the week or so before menstruation and during pregnancy. But many men, older women, teens and children can have strong cravings too. Let’s look at what is behind this force.
Naturopathic physician Tori Hudson, ND, talks about repetitive cravings as a state of mild malnutrition.
"Listen to your body" is advice we may hear - mmm that must mean that large coffee and brownie is really needed by my body and right now. I'm pretty sure if you've tried this type of craving fix for long enough you might also know the feeling of "I'm tired" and "I'm bloated" after you eat to satisfy these cravings.
Every craving means something important at its core: a request from your body to balance out a nutritional need. Every nutrient has a direct effect on your body, your mood and your energy.
Let look at some common food cravings and what they mean as well as ideas for foods to consume to promote balance with in the body.
Common Food Cravings (adapted from Julie Morris' Superfood Snacks)
What we think we crave What our body actually craves What we should eat in this crave
state for balance and nourishment
Salty Minerals, calcium Dark leafy greens, sea vegetables,
sesame seeds, spirulina, chlorella
Sugary/Starchy Glucose, sodium, chromium, Dates, bananas, broccoli, quinoa
Caffeine Iron, serotonin Pumpkin seeds, cacao, wheat-grass,
hemp seeds, sea vegetables, kale
Chocolate Magnesium, selenium, Vit B6 Cacao, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkins
and B12, antioxidants seeds, sea vegetables, spirulina,
blueberries, brazil nuts
Creamy/Sweet Chromium, magnesium, chromium, All nuts and seeds, avocado, cacao
carbon, phosphorus, sulfur, hemp seeds, sea vegetables, kale,
serotonin/dopamine, amino acids coconut oil, high quality protein smoothie
When we learn to listen to our bodies and speak the same language addressing it's fluctuating nutrient requirements; we keep our mind and energy levels on a even keel. Learning to interpret your bodies requests enables you to respond with food choices that will satisfy on every level.
It's interesting to note through experience of my own and the clients I work with that a craving that is filled by a processed "non-food" never satisfies but only leaves you wanting more or gives negative side effects.
Next time the craving strikes give a balancing option a go - see how much better you feel.