I’ve recently stumbled upon some nutritional research that suggests that cravings for sugar, salt, fat and otherwise junk food may be more than just wanting to eat a box of Thin Mints because they taste good and you’ve only been eating salad for the last 6 weeks. The research shows that certain cravings suggest a dietary imbalance or insufficiency. The chart below shows some of the reasons you may crave the junk and what you should eat instead.
It seems pretty straight forward, our bodies require nutrients to perform at an optimum level, and when we are under nourished our brain sends signals to our body to get the nutrients needed or we feel bad. Let’s look at the chocolate craving for instance: chocolate does indeed contain the essential nutrient magnesium, the thing our body is lacking and craving. Dark chocolate is even on the top ten list for foods highest in magnesium. What the chart provides is some alternatives to the “bad food” that are more nutritionally dense, and provide a bigger bang for your buck. A half a cup of pumpkin seeds provides 606 grams of magnesium, which is 152% of the recommended daily value, where the same amount of dark chocolate is only 95 grams of magnesium and 24% of the daily value. All the “craved foods” provide the nutrient that your body needs, just in small quantities that are surrounded by non-essential nutrients like excess sugar or fat.
It’s pretty easy to find out what your body needs by your cravings. There are several similar charts online, and you can just as easily google your craving to find out what you may be missing nutritionally, and make a better food choice.
So next time you go for the Snickers bar, google “chocolate craving” or candy craving and see what the better alternative is that will satiate your craving and fulfill your body’s needs.