Have you ever struggled with an intense craving for something that you usually consider as unhealthy?
It could be donuts, chocolate, salty snacks, or refined carbs. Our body wants these and, admit it, you are too happy to submit. But, here is the problem. These foods will not stop your craving. Wonder why is it so? Is your body playing jokes on you? Well, maybe not.
Science has found that such cravings indicate that your body lacks minerals that may be found in unhealthy foods. However, whole foods are a much better option. Only minerals from natural sources that are optimized for great absorption will finally end your craving.
Chocolate -- Magnesium
Chocolate is the most common craving in the West, so no wonder it is associated with a nutrient that great part of the population unknowingly lacks -- magnesium.
The latest statistics has shown that 80% of the Americans lack magnesium, necessary for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including reactions related to relaxation.
Magnesium is also known as the “relaxation mineral,” because anxiety, irritability, insomnia and high blood pressure are the main symptoms that indicate its deficiency.
Now you understand why magnesium-deficient people feel much better after having a chocolate bar. Small amounts of magnesium in chocolate (from the cacao content) relaxes them. Of course, processed chocolate is not the healthiest source.
Eat more dark leafy greens, seeds, nuts, fish, beans, and blackstrap molasses. These are great sources of magnesium and will help you deal with your chocolate craving.
Sugary foods -- Chromium, Carbon, Phosphorus, Sulfur and/or Tryptophan
High-sugar foods are the second most common craving in the West.
It is the most complex craving, because it is caused by no less than five important nutrients: chromium (regulates blood sugar levels), carbon (one of the elements sugar is made of), phosphorus (stimulates the production of energy), sulfur (removes toxins) and tryptophan (regulates serotonin). The best way to deal with sugar cravings is to introduce some changes into your diet and remineralize your body.
Refined Carbohydrates -- Nitrogen
Cravings for refined carbs like bread or pasta indicate nitrogen deficiency. Nitrogen compounds are found in nucleic acid and protein, so nitrogen deficiencies often result in malnutrition related to the protein deficiency.
Next time you crave for a nice dish of spaghetti, make a nitrogen-rich meal instead. Most foods contain nitrogen either in its organic or non-organic form, but fruits and vegetables are the richest source of nitrogen.
There are less common cravings, but each of these still concern health experts:
Oily and Fatty Foods
Your body probably lacks calcium. Include raw milk, cheese, turnip greens and broccoli into your daily menu.
You need more iron. Leafy greens, meat, blackstrap molassa, and sea vegetables are some of the richest sources of iron.
You need more chloride and/or silicon. Eat more fish, nuts, and seeds.
About the author:
Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world’s healthiest foods.