Cravings will always come as a surprise, they are never planned. Definition: “a consuming desire; different from hunger.” Cravings are triggered by the areas of the brain that are responsible for memory and pleasure, creating an addictive cycle of eating to make us feel good. For instance, grains have a chemical in them that can react to receptors in the brain; in some people, that makes them crave more of the same foods. This explains why it’s so hard to stop at just one biscuit or one piece of bread! And when grains are consumed in great amounts, it will lead to inflammation. Furthermore, when eating high-calorie foods that are devoid of nutrients like pastries, cookies and pies, these foods have a stimulating effect on the body to seek further nutrients. When were overweight or obese, we can assume we are over-nourished, but the truth is, we are actually malnourished. Bottom line, we don’t crave junk food because our body needs it; our body needs nutrients! I challenge you to listen to your body, to give your body the needed nutrition it’s REALLY craving for, and watch what happens!  

Salty Cravings:  Potato chips or cheese puffs, pizza or salty pretzels, French fries, are all high in sodium. Don’t fight the craving for salt. Salt is a necessary mineral that we should not restrict in our diets. Just like too much sodium will imbalance potassium absorption, too little sodium is just as hurtful, making us grope till we find satisfaction, leading us to overeat! That’s why bacon is so satisfying, it has everything our body craves for with salt, fat and protein. What nutrient is our body REALLY missing when we’re craving salt? Potassium and Vitamin C. Be sensitive to salt cravings and eat plenty of:

  • Fatty fish like salmon
  • Cashews, nuts and seeds (raw)
  • Celery, olives, seaweed, lettuce
  • Strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and tomatoes
  • Figs, dates and plums
  • Himalayan salt: slightly lower in sodium than table salt, with 84 trace minerals including potassium, iron, iodine and magnesium      

Sweet Cravings: Pasta and bread or candy and jelly are considered a carbohydrate or sugar. What we’re REALLY missing is sulfur, chromium, Vitamin B, phosphorous and tryptophan. Chocolate and sugar cravings, especially for women during certain times, is really showing a need for or deficiency in zinc and magnesium. Eat instead:

  • Raisins, bananas, raw sunflower seeds and pistachio nuts, sweet potatoes, legumes (beans), broccoli  
  • Dark green veggies like spinach (cooked) and kale
  • High protein foods: fatty fish, chicken, eggs (pastured), full-fat cottage cheese (4% milk fat is full-fat), chia seeds
  • For Zinc and Magnesium deficiencies eat: raw pumpkin seeds, raw nuts, dark green veggies (cooked), root veggies, tahini and red meat/oysters. Supplement with Vitamin D and Magnesium to further utilize calcium  

Oily and Fatty Cravings: Some cravings have a combination of fat and sugar like ice cream, butter, hamburgers and French fries. Nutrients our body is REALLY missing are Omega3 fatty acids and calcium. Eat plenty of:

  • Omega3 fish oil, flaxseed oil (organic) and fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel (avoid King mackerel because they can live up to 17 years in the ocean and are highly toxic with mercury)
  • Tahini, cheese
  • Almonds (raw), walnuts (raw)
  • Mustard green, broccoli and asparagus for calcium

This is the thing…The main concern I’m talking about here is WHY you are having these cravings. Examine your need; it might not actually be food that you’re craving. You could very well be craving more sleep or water or having an emotional stress overload that needs to be resolved. Studies show that: Cravings for fried foods and for sweets seem to have a feedback effect in the brain that inhibits or blocks stress and related emotions. When we have stress overload, we also get too little water and too little sleep. Of course, this is a vicious circle. But thankfully, our hormones send us chemical messages (cravings) that tell us when we’re out of whack. Listen to your body! Write down in a notepad the kinds of food that youre craving and at the specific time (morning, afternoon, midday or in the evening). This can give a good indication to what your body needs. For instance, our need in the morning is to wake-up the brain; that’s why coffee and donuts are such a popular breakfast. However, both put our body in a state of stress and disease!

                            ~~ Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude ~~