What your food cravings mean:
Chocolate – may indicate the need for magnesium, chromium, B-vitamins and/or essential fatty acids. Chocolate is high in magnesium so it is best to reach for the 100% cocoa in smoothies or snack on nibs or eat the darkest chocolate you can find. Chocolate is also metabolized to serotonin, a mood boosting hormone so cravings can also be related to an emotional need. Besides healthy cocoa or dark chocolate, reach for a loved one, friend, pet or any activity that makes you feel good.
Carbohydrates (white flour based food cravings) – this may indicate insulin resistance, hypoglycaemia (blood sugar fluctuations), chromium deficiency or fatigue. This is separate to sweet cravings, often it can go unnoticed, people often crave crackers, savoury biscuits, noodles, white breads, chips, etc. Including more fiber in your diet for better blood sugar control and eating more chromium and magnesium rich fruits and vegetables such as bananas, apples, apricots, capsicum, spinach, beetroot, avocado, broccoli, celery, chard (silverbeet), carrot and parsnip will help overcome this craving.
Sugar – may indicate blood sugar imbalances and mineral deficiencies such as chromium and magnesium. Giving into biscuits, cakes, lollies, soft drinks or other refined sweets will only make the problem worse and cause a blood sugar roller coaster that leads to more cravings. Instead, choose a piece of fruit when you’re craving sweets. Sugar cravings are also more common when you are dehydrated and may signal a need for more water.
Salt – this can be aggravated from stress hormone fluctuations and low levels of electrolytes.B-vitamin rich foods are important during periods of stress. Consume foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Similar to sugar cravings, salt cravings can result from under hydration.
Fat –craving fried foods and other oily foods can indicated a simple essential fatty acid deficiency, simply eating more good quality fats will solve this in a flash.
Cheese – this can also indicate an essential fatty acid deficiency as above.
Pica –cravings for non-food items such as ice, clay, dirt and chalk. This can often mean an iron deficiency or mineral deficiency in general. Consume plenty of dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds for the prevention of pica. This is more frequently seen in children and during periods of greater nutritional need such as pregnancy.