The Food Cravings Fight
Food cravings can be related to a few different things mainly nutrient deficiencies in the body, hormone imbalances, psychological reasons as well as our automatic habits. However of all those things nutrient deficiencies in the body are the main cause of strong food cravings.
Nutrient deficiencies can be caused by numerous things some include leaky gut or gut bacteria imbalances, overgrowth of bad bacteria, chronic stress, eating foods that have no nutritional value and under-eating.
The main things we often crave are sugar, bread, dairy, salt and alcohol. Here are some things you can do to help beat these cravings.
Sugar cravings are related to low phosphorous, sulphur, chromium and tryptophan levels. Often we crave sugar when we have a long break between meals and our blood sugar level drops. Also we crave it if we are feeling down as it temporarily increases serotonin in the body (our feel good hormone). Chocolate cravings are specifically related to magnesium with raw cacao being extremely high in magnesium.
Include more: garlic, onions, nuts and seeds, broccoli, cabbage, meats and sweet potato.
Dairy cravings especially cheese are related to essential fatty acid and calcium deficiencies.
Include more: fish oil, nuts and seeds, salmon, sardines or other oily fish, leafy greens.
Salt cravings are related to our sodium balance, low in chloride and electrolytes. Often comes hand in hand with bouts of dizziness, dehydration and cramping.
Include more: himalayan pink salt, olives, celery, anchovies, seaweed or kelp.
Alcohol cravings are related to glutamine, protein and potassium deficiencies. These play an important role within our central nervous system and our ability to wind down and relax. So if you find yourself reaching for a bottle straight after work then these deficiencies might have something to do with it.
Include more: slow cooked meats with the bones still in, black olives, bone broths.
Of course everyone is different and food cravings may come from different root causes such as hormone imbalances/changes, psychological reasons as well as automatic habits, however addressing nutrient deficiencies is a great start.
By Steph Harris, Personal Trainer at Chadstone