Australian nutritionists reveal the meaning behind cravings and how to satisfy them without eating junk
They’re intense, overwhelming, and often uncontrollable, but food cravings try to give you important information about what’s going on in your body.
So say Alisa and Danni, the nutritionists behind Australian food blog 123 Nourish Me, who claim common cravings are caused by essential mineral deficiencies that can lead to serious health problems over time.
Cravings are a great wake-up call to what your body is really asking for. Pay attention to your desires and give your body what it needs, ” reads a recent post on the brand’s Facebook page.
Alisa says chocolate cravings are a sign that you need to get more magnesium, an essential nutrient that helps regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar and blood pressure.
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Australian nutritionists Alisa and Danni, who run food blog 123 Nourish Me
Nutritionists say a craving for chocolate (left) means you should get more magnesium, while cravings for refined carbohydrates like bread (right) and pasta are a sign that you should eat more protein
What food cravings really mean
What your body wants: Magnesium
What to Eat: Nuts, seeds, dark green vegetables and fruits
Desire: Sugary foods and drinks
What your body wants: Chromium, tryptophan and phosphorus
What to Eat: Dark green vegetables, chicken, cheese, grapes, sweet potato, eggs, nuts and grains
Desire: Bread and pasta
What your body wants: Protein and nitrogen
What to Eat: Red meat, beans, chia seeds, fatty fish
Desire: Fatty or fried foods
What your body wants: Calcium
What to Eat: Green leafy vegetables, lentils, organic milk and cheese
Desire: Salty foods
What your body wants: Chloride and Silicon
What to Eat: Cashews, seeds, fatty fish and goat’s milk
Source: 123 Feed me
This can be achieved by eating foods that are high in magnesium, such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and dark green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
Cravings for lollipops, carbonated drinks and other sweet snacks show that experts say you are deficient in trace elements, including chromium, tryptophan and phosphorus, all of which are necessary for energy, cell repair and healthy metabolism.
It is especially important to eat foods rich in chromium, a mineral that breaks down proteins, carbohydrates and fats to provide energy for the muscles and brain, as it does not occur naturally in the human body.
Foods that contain all three minerals include chicken, cheese, grapes, sweet potato, and eggs, as well as most nuts, grains, and dark green vegetables.
If you can’t stop until you’ve polished a whole bag of chips or other salty snacks, the experts say you’re probably deficient in chloride, silicon, or both.
Alisa says that compulsive snacking on refined carbohydrates like bread and pasta means eating more protein and foods rich in nitrogen, which is used to make amino and nucleic acids that make up DNA.
To increase your protein and nitrogen intake, she says you should fill your plate with red meat, beans, and fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel.
Cravings for oily or fried foods can indicate a calcium deficiency, according to nutritionists, which could cause numerous health problems over time, including brain fog and brittle bones.
Rather than giving in to temptation, Alisa says you should chew on calcium-rich foods like lentils, leafy green vegetables, organic milk, and cheese.
The craving for lollipops, carbonated drinks and other sweet snacks shows that it lacks trace elements, including chromium, tryptophan and phosphorus, according to the experts.
And if you can’t stop until you’ve polished a whole bag of chips or other salty snacks, the experts say you’re probably deficient in chloride, silicon, or both.
Chloride is one of the most important electrolytes in the blood, helping to balance blood pressure and the amount of fluid inside and outside cells.
Equally crucial to overall health is silicon, which strengthens bones and promotes the growth of new cells in the skin, hair, and nails, helping to reduce signs of aging.
Large amounts of chloride and silicon can be found in cashews, seeds, oily fish and goat’s milk, which Alisa recommends for the next time you’re about to open a bag of tortilla chips.