Food cravings don’t have to put an end to your healthy eating habits. They can be your body’s way of telling you what it’s really needing in order to function at its best. Here’s how to interpret the hidden meanings behind the most popular food cravings.
When You Are Craving…
This is the granddaddy of all cravings, and one that you don’t want to ignore. It’s not surprising that chocolate pops up as the most common craving, because it works on our endorphins and makes us feel good. It’s not such a bad thing to crave feeling good, so you don’t want to deprive yourself of chocolate long-term.
What your body really wants is Magnesium
Aside from the effect it has on the chemistry of the brain, chocolate also contains magnesium, a mineral that is vital to several functions of the body, including relaxing blood vessels and providing us with energy.
Here’s how to stay healthy: Have a serving of dark chocolate. It has the magnesium your body is asking for, without the added sugar in milk chocolate. Let’s face it, nothing satisfies a chocolate craving but chocolate, you just have to demand a better grade of chocolate. Alternative sources of magnesium if you’ve had too much chocolate recently are nuts and seeds, many types of legumes, and some fruits like bananas and avocados.
Bread shows up all over the place, as the bookends to most sandwiches, a side to soup, and the foundation for a pizza. It’s no surprise that it’s a popular craving because it’s become an ingrained habit in our modern world. But it’s been shown again and again that eating too much bread can lead to weight gain due to the toll it takes on blood sugar levels, and the high carb count.
What your body really wants is Amino Acids
Your body needs some help in the amino acid department, as it can’t make the essential amino acids it needs on its own.
Here’s how to stay healthy: Instead of bread try getting your amino acids from nuts, fish, and eggs. Or better yet, try a serving of quinoa, which contains a complete set of all essential amino acids, as well as a full serving of fiber, and an assortment of vitamins and minerals.
There are a ton of reasons why you might be craving coffee, but the most likely one is that it contains an addictive chemical in it: caffeine. If you take your coffee with plenty of sugar, you might also be craving the sugar, which we’ll cover next.
What your body really wants is Energy
When you instinctively reach for the coffee in the morning, what you’re really in search of is energy. The problem with getting your energy from a stimulant like caffeine is eventually it wears out, and often leaves you feeling more depleted than before you consumed it. What your body needs, what it craves, is real energy from natural sources.
Here’s how to stay healthy: Try going with a smoothie in the morning rather than coffee. If you still want some caffeine to go along with it try our Green Tea Smoothie which uses a natural source of caffeine in the green tea and can help promote weight loss.
One craving that is hard to kick is a sugar craving. This is because there are so many sugar-laden temptations lurking around every corner. Many of these sweets offer nothing in the way of nutrition, and are merely a way to satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you feeling regretful after you eat them.
What your body really wants is Glucose
Your body does need some glucose to make it through the day and keep your blood sugar levels where they should be. Abstaining from all forms of sugar may not be a sustainable goal. Just be sure that along with your glucose you’re getting vitamins, minerals, and fiber as well.
Here’s how to stay healthy: Use fruit as your source of sweet. They contain fructose as well as glucose and will provide you with antioxidants and other nutrients that makes them a satisfying snack when you’d otherwise be munching on cookies and other sweet treats.
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