Cravings. We all have them. And now we have entered the season of INTENSE cravings. The question is; what do you do about them?

Do you try and squash them, shove them back in the corner and turn your back on them? In those moments you may feel that you are really disciplined and strong, but those cravings often only come back stronger.

Do you try and indulge, just a little bit, thinking that you will just have a bite or two? Only to suddenly realize that you have consumed ALL OF IT.

Those cravings are evil, aren’t they? Not fair.

But wait…what if those cravings are telling you something? What if those cravings actually have a purpose?

Turns out, when we are battling cravings, our body is actually looking for nutrients.

In our society and with our current state of food, most of us are pretty depleted. Sugar, in particular, depletes our body of B-vitamins, Magnesium, Zinc, Chromium (incidentally, the mineral that you need to stop those sugar cravings) and Manganese. B-vitamins are not only important for sugar regulation, but also liver function. When you have a shortage, it can impair your energy levels, mood (think depression and anxiety) and skin health.

Magnesium is a mineral none of us get enough of, and it is one that is used in large quantities for sugar handling, detoxification and is a catalyst in many enzyme functions in the body. As you can see, having a deficiency in just one nutrient causes a cascade of effects, but now have a deficiency in many?!

When you notice cravings, it is your body telling you it needs NOURISHMENT. Each craving actually indicates a specific need.

 

CRAVING

NEED

HEALTHY OPTIONS

 

Chocolate

 

Magnesium

Raw nuts and seeds (walnuts), legumes
 

Bread, Toast

 

Nitrogen

Protein: fish, meat, nuts, beans
 

Salty Foods

 

Chloride

Raw goat milk, fish, unrefined sea salt
 

PMS Cravings

 

Zinc

Red meats (organ meats), seafood, leafy veggies, root veggies
 

Prefer solids to liquids

 

WATER!

You are so dehydrated, you have lost your thirst. Flavor water with lemon or lime

*This is an excerpt from a much larger food cravings chart, check it out to see the nutrient needs for sweets!

Cravings aren’t something to squash and turn your back on. All that does is leave you more depleted and your body will come back at you louder and stronger the next time. It does a pretty good job of adapting to low levels of nutrients for as long as it possibly can, but once you start to have symptoms of any kind, it is an indicator that it has been battling nutrient deficiencies for quite some time and it is now asking for help.

Listen.

I know it can be overwhelming on how and what to do first.  But, time and again, the simple steps make a big impact.  Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Drink a tall glass of water first thing in the morning. Yes, before the coffee.
  • Eat a breakfast with protein and fat. (and maybe even some veggies!)
  • Eat greens.

As you begin nourishing your body more, the cravings will slip away. It can be surprising at how much of an impact a few minor changes and just a little time can have. Pick one of the above steps and incorporate it for the next 4 days. Challenge yourself and see what happens!

References:

Huber, C. (2007).  The Food Craving Chart. Retrieved from: http://natureworksbest.com