Are your cravings the result of Nutrient deficiencies?
Here’s the Thing: When your body is lacking key nutrients it can turn up the volume on hunger and cravings.
Are you like one of the thousands of people who have strong cravings for certain foods?
The first questions you want to ask yourself when you are struggling with a craving is “Am I currently riding the blood sugar roller coaster?” If you have made an effort to each on schedule and have made some great whole food choices, then there could be an underlying nutritional need your body is experiencing that is contributing to your cravings.
So how can you tell what your body wants? Sometimes the foods we crave can be an indication of nutrients we are looking for. An example of this is a craving for dark chocolate around your monthly cycle. Quality chocolate can be a source of magnesium, and a woman’s requirement for magnesium goes up slightly before her cycle begins. Craving greens could be a sign of needing more minerals, craving red meat or liver could be a sign of a body looking for more iron. I can easily be a vegetarian right up until my monthly time, at which point I turn into a carnivorous beast who is not satisfied until I consume some animal rich source of iron and protein (yes I strongly encourage plant based eating, but and sharing some real life truth with you).
So how can you tell what you are really lacking, based on what you are craving? The honest to goodness, truth? You cant! Cravings can be an indication of deficiencies and if there is one thing I have learned about our nutrient requirements, its that we never need just one thing!
Our body may be indicating the desire for a food that is high in a particular nutrient, but the important thing to know is that no one single nutrient is ever really needed on its own. If you are not riding the blood sugar rollercoaster and you are continuing to experience cravings that you feel could be related to possible nutrient deficiencies, my suggestion is to focus on 80% of your calories from whole foods, they are in fact the most bio-available source of nutrition for our body. (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and legumes)
If you struggle with eating this much of your food from whole food, or if you want to pump up the volume on the quality of nutrition you are eating, I also recommend all of my clients use a concentrated whole food supplement like Juice Plus+. This fills the gaps and adds more nutrient dense foods in concentrated form to your body every day!
Alisa Herriman has been researching and teaching Nutrition since 2003. Leaving her job in the health care industry to share her passion for healthy living, Alisa travels all over Canada sharing her mission and teaching communities how to prevent and fight disease with Nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.