FOOD

The Incredible True Meaning Behind Your Food Cravings

by Phil Mutz
Phil is an Editor at LittleThings. He loves writing and the outdoors. You can often find him at the movies or the park.

Whether pining for something sweet or something salty, everybody experiences cravings now and again.

And while there are certainly foods we should eat — like these foods that aid with digestion — it can sometimes be difficult to resist our cravings for those not-so-good-for-us foods.

Fortunately, there is something we can do about it. For each craving that we have, there is something specific within that food that our body is actually craving. And there are healthier foods we can pick that will satisfy each seemingly unhealthy desire.

Dr. Brian Wansink tells WebMD, “You may be dying for that chocolate sundae, but eating something that’s healthier will eliminate that craving almost as effectively.”

Scroll through below for an exclusive look at what our bodies actually want when we experience cravings. I had no idea that a bit of turkey could actually satisfy my sweet tooth, or that broccoli could combat my urge for pizza.

What foods do you crave most? Will you be giving these craving alternatives a try? Let us know in the comments!

1. Craving Something Sweet

what your cravings really mean
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

It might seem crazy, but anytime you feel the need to snack on something sweet, it is actually your body’s way of telling you that you want some chromium, carbon, sulfur, or tryptophan, according to Daily Transformations.

So which healthier foods can satisfy your craving for candy, cookies, or ice cream?

Grapes, cabbage, sweet potatoes, and turkey are just a few of the healthier options you can turn to.

Fresh fruits, chicken, and nuts are also good alternatives that will satiate your sweet tooth.

2. Craving Carbs

what your cravings really mean
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

We all crave carbs now and again, but according to TheVeggieGirl.com, it is actually the nitrogen in the carbs that our body is asking us for.

So which healthier options can we try in lieu of bread, pasta, or a stack of pancakes?

Salmon, nuts, and beans are all good sources of nitrogen that can keep us from consuming too many carbs. Even a healthy bowl of oatmeal can satisfy your urge for a Belgian waffle.

3. Craving Something Fatty

what your cravings really mean
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Sometimes you just can’t help scarfing down some oily, greasy, fatty food. But, surprisingly, it isn’t necessarily the grease or fat that you’re craving  it’s calcium, according to Free Form Fitness.

So could every dish that has calcium eliminate the desire for fatty foods? Absolutely!

WebMD lists some of the top calcium-rich foods: cheese, yogurt, milk, sardines, dark leafy greens (including kale and broccoli), fortified cereals, orange juice, soybeans, and soy milk. Any of these should hit the spot when a fatty food craving strikes.

4. Craving Coffee

what your cravings really mean
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Of course, many of our bodies have become accustomed to the caffeine in coffee. However, breaking the coffee habit also involves finding other sources of phosphorus, sulfur, and iron.

Which caffeine-free foods can help fight that daily coffee craving?

Red peppers, eggs, and black cherries are much healthier alternatives that can keep those coffee urges at bay. Onions, garlic, and other similar vegetables can also quench that coffee thirst.

5. Craving Alcohol

what your cravings really mean
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

You might want a drink, but it may not always be an appropriate time, or you may just be looking to cut back. When your body tells you that it could use alcohol, it is actually looking for protein, avenin, and potassium.

What are some good alternatives to liquor, wine, or beer that can satisfy the same cravings?

Try dining on steak, black olives, or oatmeal instead of taking that first drink. Potassium-rich bananas are also a good way to satiate your urge.

6. Craving Soda

what your cravings really mean
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

It might be hard to fight the urge to pop open a soda, but the easiest trick would be to snack on some calcium-rich food. As with fatty foods, the desire to drink a Coke is really your body’s way of asking for more calcium.

So which Big Gulp alternative will also fulfill the same craving?

Spinach and asparagus are great vegetables to include with your lunch or dinner meal to keep from reaching for that soda. And in between meals, munch on some almonds, which will give you that same calcium fix.

7. Craving Something Salty

what your cravings really mean
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

You may or may not believe it, but each time you reach for a salty snack, you are looking to satisfy a craving for chloride and silicon.

What might be a healthier alternative to salt-covered chips or pretzels?

Fish is great to include with your meal, and will satisfy that desire for salt. In between meals, you can snack on unsalted cashews or drink a glass of refreshing goat milk  each will battle that salt craving.

8. Craving A Feast

what your cravings really mean
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

But what are you supposed to do if you are just craving as much food as possible? If your body is looking for a feast, you can easily trick it by providing silicon, tryptophan, and tyrosine.

So which foods (eaten in moderation) will have the same effect as a huge meal?

Snack on some seeds or red berries in between meals to stave off your hunger for one giant meal later on. If you are starving when you sit down to dinner, try having a lamb chop. This will give your body exactly what it is looking for, without requiring a high volume of food.

Knowing what your body is actually looking for when you have a craving can be the first step to leading a healthier life!

Will you be giving these craving alternatives a try? Let us know in the comments.

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