Have Cravings? You Might Be Missing A Nutrient!
By Brandi Monasco
Cravings are the worst, especially when you are trying to eat healthy and lose weight. But just because you have a craving for that cookie or soda, it does not necessarily mean that you “need” it. Cravings are your body’s way of telling you that you’re missing a nutrient or vitamin.
Here’s a great way to figure out what your cravings mean and what you need to do to fix them!
If You’re Craving PASTA, BREAD, Or PASTRIES: You could be lacking chromium. Chromium helps to regulate blood sugar and helps insulin to transport glucose to different cells within your body so that it can be used later for energy. Chromium also plays an important role in how your body metabolizes carbs, protein and fat. “An estimated 25-50% of the U.S. population is mildly deficient in chromium,” which could possibly be the reason why you are always craving carbs!
|To Fix This: Instead of satisfying your craving with unhealthy carbs, try eating romaine lettuce, onions, apples, tomato, grapes and sweet potatoes.
If You’re Craving CHEESE: You could be missing essential fatty acids such as omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are important to your body because without them, your cells would not be able to function properly. Omega-3 fatty acids aid in regulating hormones that clot blood and trigger the relaxation and contraction of artery walls. These fatty acids prevent heart disease, reduce inflammation and play roles in reducing cancer risks and other serious conditions.
If you are craving cheese, you could also be missing calcium. Calcium helps to build bones and maintain them, keeping them strong. It also helps your blood to clot. According to National Institutes of Health, about 99% of the body’s calcium supply is stored in your teeth and bones.
|To Fix This: For omega 3s, eat salmon, walnuts or chia seeds. For calcium, eat broccoli, kale, mustard and turnip greens, legumes and sesame seeds.
If You’re Craving RED MEAT: You could be missing iron. Iron plays an important role in the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells. Without adequate iron in your body, you are at risk for conditions such as anemia. Iron also plays a role in strengthening and maintaining a healthy immune system. It also helps with aiding insomnia and regulating body temperature.
|To Fix This: Eat beans, prunes, figs, seaweed, spinach and cherries.
If You’re Craving CHIPS: You could be missing chloride. It is an important electrolyte that your body needs. Your body needs chloride to keep the proper balance of body fluids and to help keep the correct amount of fluid in your cells. It helps to maintain your blood pressure and blood volume.
Craving chips could also mean that you’re missing essential fatty acids such as omega-3s as well.
|To Fix This: For chloride, eat olives, tomato, celery and Himalayan sea salt. For omega 3s, eat salmon, walnuts or chia seeds.
It is important to listen to your body and understand what it is trying to tell you when you are craving these things. You could possibly be missing an important vitamin or mineral that is essential to your health and your body’s well being.
What’s your favorite way to healthfully satisfy your cravings? Share with us in the comments below!
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Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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