We are all unique and our food needs are equally as unique.
What we crave is a message to us of what we may be lacking and how our metabolism is working.
Anyone who knows me knows I crave PEANUT BUTTER!
I will literally just dig into a jar and eat it off of the spoon, especially if I am stressed or tired.
What does it mean?
It means my blood sugar is off balance and I have forgotten to eat regular snacks to keep my blood sugar balanced and probably did strength training or yoga class that day and got distracted and forgot to eat a protein rich snack post workout. ( I am not perfect either!)
Now, if your cravings aren’t as specific as peanut butter, here are a few more common cravings and what they mean.
#1.You Crave ~ Sweets!
You Need: Chromium
Chromium is a mineral that helps to balance blood sugar. When your blood sugar is unstable our bodies scream for us to balance it. A quick shot of sweets does bring the blood sugar up, fast….but what goes up must come down and when your blood sugar crashes yet again, we want another sweet!
Increase: Foods naturally high in chromium like carrots, sweet potatoes, whole grains and eggs
#2.You Crave~ Chocolate!
You Need: Magnesium
80% of us are deficient in magnesium. Stress can be a cause of magnesium deficiency, and a lack of magnesium tends to magnify the stress reaction, worsening the problem. In studies, adrenaline and cortisol, byproducts of the “fight or flight” reaction associated with stress and anxiety, were associated with decreased magnesium. (No wonder when you a stressed you want a chocolate bar!)
Increase: Foods naturally high in magnesium dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit and dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
#3.You Crave~ Carbs!!
You need: Tryptophan
When you crave carbohydrates this is a sign you are lacking the amino acid tryptophan. The body to synthesis the chemical serotonin uses tryptophan. Serotonin is that feel good happy chemical that regulates our moods! Many times when we are feeling depressed, that is why we reach for the bread!
Increase: Whole grains, go exercise and fish oil.
You Need: Iron, zinc
Craving meat could be a sign the body is in need of more iron.
Iron and zinc play a vital role in supporting the immune system, as it helps to transport oxygen throughout the body.
Without it, we become fatigued, prone to infection, skin eruptions and tired.
Increase: Foods naturally high in iron and zinc like pumpkin seeds, black strap molasses, dark leafy greens and organic free- range beef.
So, the next time late night or daily cravings hit, take a look at the healthier alternative and give your body what it REALLY needs.
Live Life Delicious!
Kathy Smart, RNC, PTS, RSNA, HTC
With over 19 years in both the health and fitness sectors, I am Registered Nutritionist, Sports Nutritionist, Holistic Chef and Fitness Trainer. Featured world wide as North America’s Gluten-Free Expert I am a small town Canadian gal just wanting to make this world… a little happier and healthier:)