6th Jan

What Are Your Food Cravings Really Telling You?

Why is it that so many women crave chocolate during their period, and men claim they can’t even imagine watching sports without beer and salty nachos?

Don’t even get me started on young children who don’t hesitate to embarrass their poor parents in shopping malls screaming for candy or ice cream. Oh right – I use to be one of those kids.

All joking aside, maybe this sounds all too familiar to you.

It has always amazed me how food cravings manage to play with the rational human mind.

Even those that are seriously invested in making healthier choices often give into their cravings for unhealthy treats.

If you’re tired of feeling at war with your body, it’s time to make peace with it. Listen to your body as it communicates with you.

It may be asking for a vitamin or mineral that you’re deficient in, or it may just be seeking comfort. Either way, let this article help you get your food cravings under control.

Giving into food cravings is just way too easy. Chances are you aren’t craving spinach, apples, or vegan butternut squash soup. Most of the foods that people crave don’t do much more than provide the body with immediate satisfaction, and a distended belly.

Let’s identify 5 simple ways to combat food cravings.

(1)  Do a Candida Detox

Sugary treats tend to be the most common cravings out there. Has it ever occurred to you that yeast may be what is driving your intense desire for sweets?

If you struggle with cravings for carbohydrates, a simple blood test may be your answer.

The IgG food sensitivity test that I offer at my clinic tests for various food allergens along with Candida Albicans – a yeast that can cause unbearable urges for sugar and carbohydrates.

The only solution to dealing with this specific craving is to starve the yeast off and do a Candida Cleanse, such as this one.

(2)  Keep healthy snacks on you at all times

Put them in your car, at your desk, and in your gym bag.

Always leave the house with almonds, apples, or homemade protein bars, and never skip breakfast.

I know you’ve heard this before, but if you struggle with cravings, you’ve got to start making better food choices when it comes to snacking and especially breakfast.

An ideal breakfast that is high in protein and good fats is essential.

My favourite? One hardboiled egg, half an avocado with one tablespoon of olive oil, a handful of walnuts, and a nourishing, delicious cup of green tea.

(3)  Eat at least every 4-6 hours

Always ensure your meals/snacks consist of a quality source of protein. You know that eating clean requires effort on your part – waking up a little bit earlier may be necessary in order to pack the right foods for your day.

Although it may initially seem like a lot of work, it will prevent you from doing the head bob dance at 3 pm. Say bye-bye to your afternoon latte and oatmeal cookie – you don’t need it anymore.

(4)  Stay well hydrated.

Most people don’t drink enough water.

As a result, they feel thirsty, but commonly mistaken being ‘thirsty’ for being ‘hungry’.

Sip plenty of lemon water and yerba mate tea throughout the day.

This powerful South American tea suppresses appetite, helps balance blood glucose levels, and boosts metabolism. A definite plus!

(5)   Listen to your body

Your cravings may be a simple signal from your body letting you know which nutrient, vitamin, or mineral it needs more of.

An iron deficiency may be the reason why you’re craving red meat.

Check out the chart below for more information to help you understand your specific food cravings.

The following chart has been referenced in many different sources and is commonly used by Naturopathic Doctors in practice. I’m sure it will help you understand the complex world of food cravings. Enjoy!

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 vegetable

References:

  1. Lectures, Cheryl M. Deroin, NMD, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Spring 2003 (healthy food recommendations)
  2. Benard Jenson, PhD, The Chemistry of Man B. Jensen Publisher, 1983 (deficiencies linked to specific cravings and some food recommendations)

 

Dr.Sara Celik
Dr. Sara Celik is a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor and is the Spokesperson for Renew Life Canada. She is a leader in the health and wellness industry and is regularly featured as a sought-after expert on television programs and in health publications. Dr. Sara carries over 15 years experience and her clinical practice and work in the community Is focused on digestive health, detoxification and weight loss.
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