A few months ago I read an interesting article (I have searched and cannot find it) about the affect, low quality, nutrient deficient food has on our brains. To summarize the article; research had been done on the brain and how it responded to eating donuts, pop tarts and other “junk” food. Essentially it caused the body to crave these foods even more because the brain and body had not been satisfied with the amount of nutrients it had gotten. So it needed to eat again. This caused overeating in several test subjects.
Make of it what you will but when we crave and subsequently eat foods that would be considered low nutrient food, you end up craving more it to make up for the lack of nutrients that other foods such as vegetables, fruits and lean proteins would provide. Thus causing overeating.
So…What is my body telling me when I crave certain foods? Great question. I have always said that what your body craves, tells you what your diet is lacking. So here is a list of cravings and what you need and what to eat instead:
What you need: Magnesium
What to eat instead: Nuts, seeds, veggies and fruits
What you need: Chromium, Carbon, Trytophan
What to eat instead: broccoli, chicken, fatty fish, nuts, fresh fruits
Craving: Starchy Carbs (pasta, bread)
What you need: Nitrogene
What to eat instead: high protein foods, fatty fish, chia seeds
Craving: Oily Foods
What you need: Calcium
What to eat instead: green leafy vegetables
Craving: Salty Foods
What you need: Chloride, Silicon
What to eat instead: cashews, seeds, almonds, fatty fish
This is by no means the end all be all list. However, this gives you an idea of how to help your cravings. This also does not taken into consideration the emotional value of food when dealing with stress and the daily stressors of the world.
But there is always this…