The body doesn’t make a mistake. The lungs never forget to breath, the heart doesn’t miss a beat, and our eyes don’t forget to blink. So it is doubtful that our body makes a mistake about cravings. Cravings are a wake-up call that something is out of balance, whether it may be your diet or your lifestyle.
As much as we try to curb our cravings, they are actually ok to have – they show us what we need to focus on. It is a signal from the body about what is lacking in our diet and how we can improve our body or lifestyle.
What kinds of foods do you crave?
Salty? Spicy? Texture? Is it cold? Crunchy? Moist? This will give you a clue as to what is going on and what your body needs. When are you having the cravings? Is it after lunch? In the evening? Now think about why you want it.
If you find that you are craving food all the time, it could be that you are craving nutrients, not food. If your diet is big in processed, sugary foods, you might never feel satisfied and what your body is looking for is nutrients.
Your body is smart – it tells you when you are not feeding it properly.
Lack of Water
One reason for cravings can be lack of water throughout the day. Our body is mostly water and people tend to forget to drink plain water. It is quite common for people to mistake food cravings for being thirsty. The next time you feel you are craving food, try having a glass of water to see if that satisfies the craving.
Sometimes you will find that you crave foods based on the season. During the summer, you might crave more fruit or ice cream. In the winter, you might crave more meat and warming foods. It is very natural and cyclical to crave foods based on the temperature and climate that you are in.
A sugar craving is simply the body asking for energy. For as long as humans were in existence, we have been programmed to desire sweet-tasting foods. Long before candy bars, the only source of sweet taste was plant foods such as squash, roots, grains and vegetables.
In order to get the sweet taste our bodies craved, people had to eat plants. It is no coincidence these sweet foods are also great sources of nutrients, energy and fiber. The best way to curb sugar cravings is to provide the body with the sweetness that it needs by eating naturally sweet foods.
Try a rice cake with rice syrup. Agave nectar is a good natural sweetener as the sweetness comes from a natural fructose that is absorbed slowly by the body so there is no sugar rush. If you must have a sweet food, choose the best quality that you can.
A salt craving usually means you are not getting enough minerals. All salt originates in the sea, and natural sea salt contains 60 different trace minerals.
Most Americans use table salt, which has been refined and stripped of many of the minerals. Try changing to sea salt. In addition, eating a lot of processed foods generally makes our diet lack minerals and our bodies will begin to crave these nutrients. In addition, if someone is on a lot of medications, they will crave salt.
Craving for Spicy Foods
A craving for spicy food can be due to a diet high in processed foods as blood is not flowing as well due to all the chemicals in the food. Many foods lack flavor from being made to sit on the shelf for so long and they are stale and bland. Shelf food lacks vitality and energy and your body might be craving that exact energy that you are missing.
Craving for Creamy or Crunchy Foods
A craving for creamy foods might mean that you are looking for something relaxing. This is also an emotional food. What to be aware of with this craving is that most creamy foods are a high mucous food or a high fat food. A craving for dry/crunchy foods can be due to anger and built up feelings. The crunching drowns out the anger with the noise and can actually make someone feel better by crunching away on some harder foods.
What about those who have nutritious cravings? This is good news! Your body is getting used to having nutrients, and if you have a day where you don’t eat as healthy as normal, this is your body letting you know that it misses those nutrients and craves it!
Lack of sleep can cause craving as your body is looking for energy!
Cravings are usually connected to other areas of life. If your relationships, exercise, career and spirituality are all in line, there will be less cravings. Binge eating and intense cravings can be directly linked to a deficit in other emotional areas of our life.
What foods don’t cause cravings?
Fish, leafy greens, nuts, and vegetables. They are complete on their own and don’t create a reason for the body to want anything afterwards.
The key is to trust your crazy cravings! Whenever your body is craving something, pause for a moment and ask yourself what your body is looking for and why.