Today we are going to explore what these cravings mean because, when we crave certain foods it may in fact be telling us something about our physical wellbeing.
Craving that chocolate bar tells you something different to when you crave that bag of crisps. Are you interested in finding out more? Yes, then read below.
If you crave carbs such as bread, pasta and cereal, it could mean that your body has a lack of the amino acid Tryptophan. This is used to help produce serotonin which is our mood regulating hormone. The lack of carbs can cause low moods and energy from our tryptophan deficiency. If you do have serious carb cravings, maybe look at what is going on in your life that could potentially be causing this.
That fried chicken, takeaway pizza and nut butters etc. all have something in common, they are high in fats. If you find that you are craving these types of foods more often than not, it is most likely that you need energy. Fat out of all our macronutrients has the highest calories, and if you are over exerting yourself by training too hard, or even the other way round and restricting calories, your body is simply looking for more to help it function better.
You walk past the shop and think to yourself, I could really do with a bag of crisps or that salted popcorn, but why do you crave salt? The reason for this could be that you are dehydrated. It sounds odd to think, but when you look at the science behind it, maybe not. The role of sodium is to pull water into our cells and ensure water stays in our body long enough to keep us hydrated. So, if you are dehydrated, the body will try and retain as much salt in order to keep the electrolytes balanced.
We are all human and every once in a while a doughnut, cake or bar of chocolate sounds like a treat. However, craving these foods could be an indication of high cortisol (stress) levels or an imbalance in blood sugar levels. The lack of sleep can also be a cause. Sugar gives us a quick boost of energy (followed by a huge crash, if you go too crazy with it) and your body knows this so it will ask for it.
If you are craving these on a regular basis, it may be worth looking at how you are managing stress, practice good eating habits by getting in all your macro and micronutrients as opposed to the artificial foods, along with ensuring you get enough sleep.