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What Food Cravings Tells About Your Health
Thursday, 10 June 2021

Food cravings are often associated with pregnancy, but a strong craving for a certain product does not arise only in expectant mothers. When we cut off some food items such as bread or sugar, the body’s starvation mechanism kicks in, making us really want that item. But sometimes, in this way, our body tries to communicate its needs. In this article, we will help you understand what craving for certain foods says about your health.

Food Cravings And Their Meaning

In this section, we will discuss what craving for specific food items mean, and how you should deal with them. Let’s get started.

1. Red Meat

If you have a craving for red meat in the form of hamburgers, steaks, or any other food, this may mean that your body is lacking a key nutrient. Sometimes people with anemia or low iron levels have cravings for this product, says nutritionist Brooke Fredrickson.
There is a lot of heme iron in red meat - this is the one that is part of hemoglobin and is found in animal food. To combat your cravings for red meat, you can add more nuts, peas, lentils, and iron-fortified grains to your diet.

2. Cheese

You may want cheese just because you love it, but sometimes it’s your body’s way of telling you what it’s missing. Cheese contains the amino acid tryptophan, which is involved in the production of melatonin and serotonin.
These hormones help a person feel relaxed and stay positive. Tryptophan is not only found in cheese but also in nuts, salmon, poultry, and grains.

3. Chocolate

According to nutritionist Lisa Richards, cravings for chocolate may indicate a magnesium deficiency. It is especially common for women during menstruation or pregnancy. Magnesium is vital for regulating insulin levels, and a large number of people are deficient in this element.
So, despite the stereotypical jokes about the desire to lie and overeat chocolate during critical days, you should take this body signal seriously. If you want more value, choose chocolate with a high cocoa content or replace it with almonds or leafy greens.

4. Drugs

Craving for drugs and other such substances is not unusual for those having a history of drug abuse. If such people crave drugs, there might be a chance of relapse. Thus, take this signal seriously and get help from experts.
It might be a sign that you need to consult a counselor. It is better not to fall prey to such cravings and avoid abusing prescription drugs, get help from a professional. Maintain your distance from such substances.

5. Sweets

When you crave sweets, not specifically chocolate, but any sweetness, perhaps the reason is that your body does not have enough energy. This happens to those who do not get enough sleep or are experiencing serious stress.
People often use sugar as a way to fight stress. However, do not forget that sweets provide a quick but very short burst of energy, after which fatigue rolls on even more. Try to give your body a comprehensive rest, and do not try to maintain performance with an extra dessert.

6. Chips And Other Salty Snacks

Cravings for salty foods may indicate that your body lacks sodium. It can indicate an excess of salt and dehydration in the same way. Salt retains water. When there is too much sodium in the body, it may require even more salty foods to increase water cravings and compensate for dehydration.
If you feel the urge to eat something salty, try drinking a couple of glasses of water; maybe this craving will go away by itself. And be sure to drink enough fluids when eating sodium-rich foods.

7. Citrus

If you feel a strong urge to drink orange juice, grapefruit, lemon, or something else sour - this is a sign that your body needs vitamin C. These citrus fruits also help to fight infections.
Vitamin C is essential for the growth, development, repair of all tissues in your body, so it is important to have enough of it. It plays a role in:
  • The formation of collagen
  • The absorption of iron
  • Strength of bones
  • Wound healing
  • The functioning of the immune system
This vitamin is found not only in citruses but also fresh green vegetables are rich in them.

8. White Bread

A sudden craving for white bread may indicate a nitrogen deficiency. It plays an important role in the growth and development of the body, as well as in the synthesis of proteins.
To balance the nitrogen content of your body, include enough protein in your diet. Keep in mind that food cravings are not the same as hunger. The signal for craving comes from the brain, while hunger’s signal comes from the stomach.

9. Water

If you are constantly thirsty, consider how much water you drink during the day. When everything is in order in the body with hydration, a person's urine is light yellow, almost transparent.
When no amount of water quenches thirst, even though the person has not eaten anything very salty, this could be a sign of diabetes. Constant thirst and frequent trips to the bathroom are sometimes early signs of high insulin levels.

10. French Fries

Sometimes you crave such foods when you are merely hungry. But when you are full and your body still craves French fries, it may indicate that you are sleep-deprived. In such a case, a person feels lethargic and needs foods that are tasty and provide fuel for energy.
Extreme desire to eat French fries may indicate that you are stressed, and your brain is confusing it with the feeling of hunger. Drink a glass of water and meditate to feel better.

Take Away

Food cravings do not necessarily occur when your body is lacking in certain minerals but may also occur when a person is stressed. Thus, drink water and avoid overeating at any cost. You may also visit a doctor to get yourself checked.
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