How odd are cravings….. I always find when I’m seriously craving something it’s usually really bizarre, like totally left field OR it’s something I have denied myself from having for a while… For the last 6 weeks I have had a relentless craving for peanuts. I gave in pretty soon after they started because I legitimately couldn’t stop thinking about it for a large portion of my day.. So I went to town on a bag of salted roasted peanuts. I had tablespoons of peanut butter. I made satay sauce for my chicken salad. I tried EVERYTHING. It’s now been 4 weeks.. at least.. and I still have a lingering craving.. Quite frankly it’s really starting to piss me off.. I can’t spend much longer with my hand in the peanut jar!!!
Curiosity got the better of me so I did a little research into what certain food cravings mean. Our bodies are exceptionally smart & to a certain extent I believe that when we lack a vitamin or mineral it’s sure to be expressed somehow our food choices or food cravings.
What an entertaining exercise, so interesting in fact that I googled a few of my other weirdest & wackiest cravings…
PEANUTS: The top two answers I found (from the most respected sites I could find) were that peanut cravings often indicate a lack of protein and / or a lack of fats in one’s diet. Eating a relatively low carb diet can often result in too few calories being consumed and may leave you with cravings for things like peanuts due to high fat content. Peanuts are a great source of the ‘good fats’. By no means does that allow you to polish off a jar every day. 25-30% of our daily calories should come from fats.
SEAWEED CHIPS / STRIPS: I think this has a lot to do with salt, particularly potassium, magnesium and calcium. I always always crave sushi when I’ve had a few drinks the nights before which is most likely due to higher levels of sugar in your bloodstream so we tend to crave salty foods. These three essential minerals are removed from your average table salt so even though you load your dinner plate with salt & pepper all it’s really doing is momentarily satisfying your taste buds. Seaweed is full of good vitamins & minerals and its far from an unhealthy snack so I would tend to embrace this craving happily.
GHERKINS: Also commonly associated with the need more salt and is a common craving felt by pregnant women. Rule that out & then incorporate some proper sea salt in your diet to ensure you are getting enough of the good stuff.
** On a side note…Craving salty foods can be indicative of stress and hormonal fluctuations in the body. When coping or dealing with a lot of stress the adrenal glands can become worn out and this is sometimes reflected in the desire for salt rich foods
ICE: Some of my friends have a constant craving for ice cubes. Apparently this can be due to a lack of iron in one’s diet. Do you get enough? In my opinion most females don’t eat nearly enough red meat which is one of the richest sources of iron. Girls when was the last time you had a big juicy steak! Leafy greens, chicken and fish are also good sources of iron.
SODA WATER: does your diet lack calcium? Craving soda water or ‘fizzy’ drinks can indicate this. Not being able to eat dairy means mine most certainly does. I have a calcium supplement which I take every other day BUT it’s important to look for calcium in proper food options. Good choices are broccoli, kale, legumes & turnip greens.
BACON: Probably because bacon is probably the most delicious thing EVER. Seriously often people crave bacon for its fat content. If you are on a restricted diet your body may be craving greasy foods that are slightly higher in fat.
COFFEE: For me often this craving is usually purely for the taste, I love my daily coffees…. Some other reasons are lack of sulphur, phosphorus & salt. Generally people crave coffee for its mental ‘pick me up’
CHOCOLATE: if you say you have never suffered severe chocolate cravings you are a liar. If I flew around the world and asked 1 million people if they had ever craved chocolate I think I would have a 90% yes response. How can you not… chocolate in most shapes and forms is sooooooooo damn good. Why the cravings? Lack of magnesium. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. I’ve spoken about its importance before, it’s essential to so many of our daily life processes. The cocoa bean is one of foods with the highest amount of magnesium. Slow down boys & girls that’s only in its purest form. You need to consume chocolate at least 70% cocoa to get any sort of benefit & even then sometimes the calorie / fat consumption may not be worth it. Magnesium can be sourced from other foods such as leafy greens, nuts & seeds. If you are going to indulge… Coconut infused lindt dark chocolate may change your life a little.
CHEESE ON TOAST: Cheese generally is due to a lack of calcium & essential fats. Craving bread or toast is related to lack of nitrogen. Load up on nitrogen via foods such as fish, meat, nuts & beans.
THE TASTE OF BURNT FOOD: this one is a little odd, but I’ve had days where I really want that charcoal taste you get from the grissle on the bbq. This can indicate a lack of carbon & you should reach for some fresh fruits such as berries, apples and pineapple.
Cravings are usually our bodies way of letting us know we need something & its usually pretty spot on. If you eat a well balanced diet you should get enough of the right stuff to keep the naughtiest of cravings in check. Remember though sometimes we just need to let go and indulge in our favourite sweet treat. For me that’s an almond magnum…. and I just might have one of those this evening!
Happy Friday 🙂