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What Your Cravings Really Mean

We can all admit to craving unhealthy foods every once in a while. While most cravings are innocent, if you find yourself turning to certain foods on a regular basis, it could mean you are deficient in an essential vitamin or mineral. Eating these foods tastes great, but won’t actually curb your cravings. It’s time to look into what your cravings really mean and what you should be eating instead.

Chocolate: This is one of the most common cravings in Western society. Craving chocolate on a regular basis could actually mean you have a magnesium deficiency.

What you should be eating instead: Eating dark leafy greens, beans, nuts and seeds, as well as fish will help curb your chocolate cravings.

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Sugary foods: This is one of the most difficult to pin down as it could mean you’re deficient in a number of different things. Chromium, carbon, phosphorus, sulphur, and tryptophan are all linked to craving junk food and could also mean you have low blood sugar. Your family doctor can help you determine whether this is the case.

What you should be eating instead: Try a fresh garden salad consisting of dark leafy greens (like spinach), cheese, mixed nuts and fruit, a serving of chicken or a hard boiled egg.

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Carbohydrates: Craving foods high in carbs like bread and pasta can be linked to a nitrogen deficiency. Eating them can temporarily boost your body’s serotonin, but the downside is an energy crash.

What you should be eating instead: Fresh fruits and vegetables are very high in nitrogen, so try snacking on a piece of fruit or veggies and dip.

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Oily and foods high in fat or soda pop: Craving these types of food could mean you actually need a calcium fix. Turning to soda on a regular basis can actually deplete your body’s calcium supply and has been linked to osteoporosis.

What you should be eating instead: Try eating a piece of cheese, drinking a glass of milk, or snacking on some broccoli with your favourite dip.

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Other less common cravings:
Ice: Do you like to snack on the leftover ice from your favourite beverage? It could mean you need more iron. Incorporate more leafy greens into your diet.

Salty snacks: Choosing salty foods on a regular basis could mean you’re lacking chloride or silicon. Add fish, nuts, and seeds to your diet.

We recommend that you consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet, especially if you have underlying conditions such as diabetes. If your deficiency is severe enough your doctor may advise you to add a vitamin or mineral supplement to your diet.