What Your Craving Means

What Your Craving Means

Dying for peanut-butter? Needing that sugar fix? Mouth-watering for something salty? When we are craving a food, our body is communicating with us that it is deficient in a certain vitamin. Instead of fighting our cravings, as we’ve been taught, we should listen to them, as they are a window into our body’s needs. Find out what your craving is telling you.

Salty cravings
This could mean you have a mineral deficiency, particularly calcium. Sodium temporarily increases calcium levels in the blood, tricking our bodies into believing you have consumed some of this bone-building vitamin. However, only cheese, yogurt and other dairy products can do the real trick. Your body could also be lacking in potassium (found in bananas) and iron (found in spinach, seeds and shellfish.)

Salt cravings could mean you’re stressed, as our body craves the minerals in salt when we’re leading hectic lives. However, table salt and the salt in processed foods is stripped from these essential minerals, which is why we keep wanting to eat more and more. Ever finished a bag of chips and wonder where they all went? Instead try unsalted nuts, fruits and vegetables, all naturally high in the minerals your body is begging for.

Sweet craving
This could be due to a lack of energy, making our body crave that sugar rush. Try sleeping an uninterrupted 8 hours a night. Instead of that cupcake, have some complex carbs like oatmeal that will keep you energized throughout the day. Also check iron levels, as anemia can make one lethargic. An extra-strong sweet tooth could also be due to a deficiency in Vitamin C, so try an orange or grape-fruit and see if the craving subsides. You also may lack chromium, which is found in broccoli, grapes, cheese and beans.

Chocolate craving
You may have a lack of seratonin, the feel-good chemical in our brain. It also could mean a lack of magnesium, found in nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits. If you really need that piece of chocolate, get the anti-oxidant benefits from it by making it dark.

Fast food craving
Chug that water! Ever notice why you crave a burger, pizza, anything greasy after a night of heavy drinking? Your body is ultra-dehydrated and since takeout has an enormously high salt content, your body needs salt so that your cells can hold onto the lost liquids. Stay hydrated so you never feel that crash.

Bread craving
Your brain may be telling you it needs selenium, which is essential in your immune and reproductive system. Try having fish, brazil nuts or chicken instead.

Here is a comprehensive list of cravings and what it means

If you crave this… What you really need is… And here are healthy foods that have it:
Chocolate Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Sweets Chromium Broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, calves liver, chicken
Carbon Fresh fruits
Phosphorus Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, grains
Sulfur Cranberries, horseradish, cruciferous vegetables, kale, cabbage
Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Bread, toast Nitrogen High protein foods: fish, meat, nuts, beans
Oily snacks, fatty foods Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Coffee or tea Phosphorous Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes
Sulfur Egg yolks, red peppers, muscle protein, garlic, onion, cruciferous vegetables
NaCl (salt) Sea salt, apple cider vinegar (on salad)
Iron Meat, fish and poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Alcohol, recreational drugs Protein Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, nuts
Avenin Granola, oatmeal
Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Glutamine Supplement glutamine powder for withdrawal, raw cabbage juice
Potassium Sun-dried black olives, potato peel broth, seaweed, bitter greens
Chewing ice Iron Meat, fish, poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Burned food Carbon Fresh fruits
Soda and other carbonated drinks Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Salty foods Chloride Raw goat milk, fish, unrefined sea salt
Acid foods Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Preference for liquids rather than solids Water Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Preference for solids rather than liquids Water You have been so dehydrated for so long that you have lost your thirst. Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Cool drinks Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
Pre-menstrual cravings Zinc Red meats (especially organ meats), seafood, leafy vegetables, root vegetables
General overeating Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green, red fruits and vegetables
Lack of appetite Vitamin B1 Nuts, seeds, beans, liver and other organ meats
Vitamin B3 Tuna, halibut, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, seeds and legumes
Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
Chloride Raw goat milk, unrefined sea salt
Tobacco Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green and red fruits and vegetables

Source: http://www.naturopathyworks.com/pages/cravings.php

13 Responses to “What Your Craving Means”

  1. January 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Lately I’ve been craving lots of spicy foods. Any idea what this means?

    • January 26, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

      According to Women’s Health Magazine, “When You Crave Spicy Food

      What it says about your body
      If you’re having trouble cooling down, your body may crave a fiery taste to make you perspire. That may seem counterintuitive, but it helps explain why Mexican food would be popular even when temps are scorching. Some research also suggests that people become addicted to the rush of spicy food—the spiked blood pressure, accelerated heart rate, and rapid breathing, says Tammy Lakatos Shames, R. D., a coauthor of The Secret to Skinny.

      What it says about you
      The Perfectionista: You love order, dislike wasting time, and sweat the details.”

  2. January 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    I rarely crave anything, but a week before I get my “visit”… I always crave chocolate :/

    • January 26, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      Haha oh yes I know how you feel! Try indulging on Dark Chocolate instead– I love Tazo Mexican 70% chocolate because it’s a little bit crunchy but very pure!

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    January 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

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  4. February 14, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    Would multivitamins help with cravings? I try really hard to not give in but end up binging anyway….

    • February 17, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

      You should definitely be taking a multi-vitamin if you’re not already just to make sure you’re getting all your vitamins in. You should also ask your doctor to check your vitamin levels with a blood test to see if you’re lacking in any. Many of us with a vegetarian diet lack Iron, which can lead to many cravings, but can be prevented with an iron vitamin.

  5. alexis
    March 2, 2013 at 5:41 am #

    what if you’re craving for sour food? I was never a huge orange eater, but then I started craving for iced tea with lemons, then I moved over to oranges, eating almost 4 naval oranges while at work. my whole diet for a while was mostly oranges and ALOT of iced tea.

    • May 27, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

      I crave sour, acidic foods as well! Honestly it’s a good thing because citruses are full of vitamin C. I have read that lemon cravings could be a sign of low lithium so if you’ve gotten a recent blood test I would check that out. Try having dark leafy greens with lemon or making spicy citrus juice with oranges, grapefruit, lemon and cayenne to boost that metabolism!

  6. May 22, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    I am obese and pre-diabetic. I have an appt with a diabetic nurse/educator and have been trying to eat right this week. Adding veggies to each meal. My biggest addiction is soda. I want to stop drinking it all together. Wean myself off or stop cold turkey. I enjoy iced tea but don’t like juices. I also drink tap water daily. What can I drink that is healthy and will help me with my soda cravings? I do drink more diet sodas than regular but I’m also addicted to the caffeine. I seems to ease my headaches. I need help with soda addiction and caffeine addiction. Thanks!

    • May 27, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

      Hi Michelle! I think iced green tea would be a great way of getting a cold drink and also easing away your caffeine addiction because there’s still caffeine in it, just not as much. You can also try iced herbal teas like the Tazo Passion Tea at Starbucks, or making your own! I also recommend drinking my One Week Detox Drink, which helps get rid of cravings! It’s just water with lemon and ginger, great for burning fat and detoxifying the system! You can add cayenne pepper and maple syrup to it so it’s like the “Master Cleanse”. Here is my One Week Detox Plan if you are interested- it will definitely help reboot your system and get you on track and it’s great you already are! Hope that helps!


  7. June 12, 2013 at 1:24 am #

    Thank you! I don’t like warm or hot tea, only iced teas. I will try the green teas, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.

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