Diet Changes: What Are Your Cravings Telling You?
Why do we have cravings?
We all have cravings at one point or other in our daily lives, for different types of foods and tastes. The most common being sugar cravings.
Even as a health coach, I still get cravings now and again which means I have to take a step back and look at my diet, check in with my emotions and stress levels to see what’s going on.
Cravings are the body’s way of sending us messages of imbalance or nutritional deficiency.
The body is such an intelligent bio-computer that it instinctively knows what it’s lacking and what it needs to function optimally.
The body naturally wants to be balanced
The foods we eat are a major contributing factor to the overall balance of our body. Certain foods such as vegetables and whole grains have mild effects on the body, while other foods such as milk, meat, sugar and salt have more extreme effects throwing off the its natural balance.
Causes of cravings:
The body will not send you a message that you are dehydrated. What it does is send messages like mild hunger so instead of reaching for food, try drinking a glass of water and wait a few minutes to see if it passes.
– Lifestyle and emotions
Like not exercising enough, anger, being bored and not being fulfilled in your job or lack of spiritual practice can all contribute to having cravings that you need to feed constantly.
– Sometimes cravings come from foods we have recently eaten or what we ate growing up as children
A good way to satisfy these cravings is to eat a healthier version of the foods we crave. For every processed, unhealthy food, there is always likely to be a healthier version.
– Often the body craves foods that are in season
For example in spring we tend to crave fresh, detoxifying foods like citrus and leafy greens while in summer we crave salads, fruits and ice cream, and in winter we crave warming foods that produce heat like meat, oil and fat.
– If the body is getting inadequate amount of nutrients, it will crave odd foods
e.g. inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings.
– Hormone levels change and fluctuate when women go through periods, pregnancy and menopause, which cause unusual cravings
Whenever your body is craving something, stop for a moment and think about what’s really going on. Your body is trying to bring your attention to something that’s lacking. Try to figure out what that is by starting with the flavor first.
Are you craving sweet foods?
– Craving sweet foods is your body’s way of asking for more energy
When sugar is digested, it becomes glucose, which is fuel for all of the body’s cells. As much as possible, try to satisfy the sweet cravings with more mild, natural foods like sweet vegetables and fruits.
– If you’re craving salty foods, it’s often an indication of mineral deficiency
Here’s the thing, we get salt from the sea and natural salt contains 60 different trace minerals, which are the basis for the formation of vitamins, enzymes and protein.
The salt being use today has been completely de-natured and lacks any form of nutrients. Try eating a wide variety of vegetables especially leafy greens and sea vegetables to satisfy your salt cravings.
– If you are craving spicy foods, it might be that your circulation has weakened over the years, which leads to organs and extremities becoming cool.
This is because most of the foods eaten today are bland and tasteless (not food but food-like substances), and lack vitality and energy. They also include added fat and cholesterol. When cooking, try to include lots of herbs and spices like garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, jalapenos etc.
– When craving something creamy, it might be because you may have had a lot of bread or other baked products.
These foods create feelings of dryness when too much. Try having oatmeal or porridge instead.
When you do get cravings for whatever flavor or texture, check in with yourself to find out what your body is trying to tell you. Look back on your diet and lifestyle to see if you’ve been eating too much of one thing and need to balance it out or your emotions and/or stress levels are not where they should be – balanced.
We all need to take the time to listen to our body and feed it what it requires to be nourished and thrive. If we take care of our body, it certainly will take care of us.
Peace & Fabulous Health!
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