Common food cravings and what they mean.

What foods do you crave for

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Copyright@ Rosika- Hubpages

Food cravings may happen due to various reasons such as hormonal changes within the body that happens during menstruation or pregnancy, due to metabolic and physiologic imbalances or due to issues with the adrenal function. There are mainly two different kinds of food craving: one which satisfies you by eating any food, for instance, you craved for chips but you had a bowl of soup, you are full and your craving is gone. But, with the second type your craving is more intense and is not satisfied by eating anything. For instance, after eating a big packet of chips or a big tray of brownies, you still want to have more of these foods. If you have this second type of craving, you need to explore and find out what your body is trying to tell you about your health.

Reasons of craving for some of the food:

Sweets: Low sugar levels in the body or deficiency in chromium, sulfur, phosphorus and carbon leads to sweet cravings. But you might also crave for sweets because your body is looking for the way to boost your mood. As our body absorbs refined quality of sugar quickly, it brings the energy back to the body immediately. So, we like to have it. Eat whole fruit or wholemeal snacks because they have complex carbohydrates which will make you satisfied for long time. Eating sugary foods and sugary juices increases the sugar level immediately rather leading to the insulin sensitivity.

However, if you are also having symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, thrush or constipation when you are craving for sweet, it might mean that you have yeast infection called candida. You need to see doctor and get tested.

Salty foods such as fries: After doing exercise or after going through stressful situation, our body gets tired and craves for salty foods because salt makes us thirsty and then we go for a drink. Check your urine, if it is dark, you are surely dehydrated. You need to drink more water for sure. Salty food cravings might also be due to adrenal fatigue which happens when you go through stressful situation. Find out the way to de-stress yourself by using relaxation techniques such as doing meditation or yoga. Sometimes, lower zinc level in your body may also make you crave for salt as lower zinc level means your taste buds is not working well and you want to boost your taste bud by eating salt or salty food.

Ice: craving for ice may suggest low haemoglobin levels in your body. In other words, your body hasn't got enough iron to produce red blood cells, finally leading to anaemia. Ice relieves pain and inflammation caused by anaemia, so you crave for it. I had very bad cravings for ice during pregnancy. I went for blood test which showed that I had low haemoglobin levels. After increasing the intake food containing high levels of iron such as red meat, spinach, iron tablets, my cravings for ice gradually vanished.

Carbohydrates such as breads, cakes and cookies: Low carbohydrate level in your body leads to mood swings. In extreme cases, it might even lead to depression. Carbohydrates raises feel-good hormone called serotonin, a neurotransmitter which helps to relax front part of the brain, so we crave for carbohydrates to boost our mood.

The other reason for such cravings might mean that your thyroid gland is either over-active or under-active. Go for low GI and wholemeal food if you crave for carbohydrates, as it will help you feel satisfied for longer period.

Chocolates and Ice creams: Cravings for chocolate means that your body is longing for magnesium, which is the mineral that gives energy to our body. Before and during menstruation the need for magnesium increases and we might crave for chocolates abnormally.

If your mood is low, you would crave for chocolates as well, because chocolate, like carbohydrate and sugar, also leads to the release of serotonin which, then, increases the level of alkaloids, mood-boosting hormone, in the body. Eating whole grain foods, leafy green veggies, nuts, seeds and legumes can help you out in this case.

Caffeine: Craving for caffeine may mean that your adrenal glands are exhausted and, as a result, you want to have caffeine to increase the energy levels in your body. It might also mean decrease in vitamin c in your body or not having enough amount of iron level in your system. Women loose iron through blood during menstruation. Iron level is also decreased during pregnancy and lactation period. As a result, they feel tired and crave for caffeine. Increase the intake of foods such as apricots, figs or raw broccoli food instead of taking too much caffeine.

Water: If you feel like drinking water all the time and your thirst never seems to go away, you are lacking in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your system, which causes dry mouth and dry skin. Thirst triggered by such cause will never be satisfied by just drinking water. Eating fish, leafy vegetables or adding chia or flaxseed in your diet can help you out.

Spicy food : It means there is thyroid imbalance or a lack of sulfur in the body and you try to satisfy yourself by eating spicy and hot foods such as curry.

Dairy foods: If you are crazy about dairy products such as milk, cheese or milk chocolate, it is because you might be addicted to the amino acids found in dairy products that works like opiates. Have you heard that if you drink a glass of milk before going to sleep, you are going to have a good sleep? That explains milk working as opium to relax our brain.

Meat: Every time when you sit down for eating, if you feel like having a big steak or juicy piece of meat in your plate, then you might be having a deficiency in vitamin B, carnitine, mineral or iron deficiency.

Remember that if you are craving for some specific kind of food uncontrollably, it is good to see your doctor, as sometimes as simple as blood tests may detect your health issue.

Read more about food cravings and nutrition deficiency:

More by this Author


Comments 29 comments

cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

Great information. I do hope it helps someone reading it. Voted up.


thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 4 years ago from India

I was not aware of any of these facts.

I am delighted to learn something new like this.

The problem I am facing is that my children are not satisfied with anything else if they ask for icecream or cake.

Thanks for such an informative hub.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Excellent, well presented guide to food cravings and what they mean! Thank you for the answer. Voted up! Steph


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

@stephhicks68 Thanks for your vote and for your comment!

I am glad that you liked it!


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

@ thumbi 7: Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment...Your children's non-satisfaction with icecream and cakes could be due to addiction to sugar used in such products and recently lots of research is being done about sugar addiction, however I am not an expert. I really appreciate your comment.


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

@cloverleaffarm: Thank you for stopping by and commenting.


Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 4 years ago

Hi rosika

It was very enjoyable to read your angle on this topic which comes at the subject in a different way than my hub.

Well done.

Amber:)


Eliminate Cancer profile image

Eliminate Cancer 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Food cravings are so misunderstood, they should steer us to what our body needs, but with chemicals in our diet it's hard to trust them.


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

Thank you for reading mine one as well Amber Allen.


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

Eliminate cancer: Thank you for your comment. It is quite true, because of too much chemical in our food, the food's nutritious value changes.


kg 4 years ago

Nice article. BTW- it's 'steak' not "stake."


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

Thx kg, just changed it!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Oh my! I've been craving for water lately. And also chocolates, hehe! Thank you for this hub. It's very educational, rosika.

It's me,

Travel Man 1971 ( Ireno Alcala)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

That was really very interesting my friend. I did not know this information. Thank you for the education.


rosika profile image

rosika 3 years ago Author

@Ireno Alcala: Thx for your comment. I am glad you learned something about water craving!

@billybuc: Thx for your comment billy.....sometimes it is good to know about our cravings, isn't it!


anuramkumar profile image

anuramkumar 3 years ago from Chennai, India

Excellent hub. Now I understand why sometimes even if I drink lots of water, my thirst never goes. Voted up and shared.


Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 3 years ago from North Carolina

Really enjoyed your hub! I often have cravings for sweets especially chocolate and then tend to crave something salty afterward to balance the sweet. It's good to know the reasoning behind these cravings! Great job, thanks for sharing!


Joanne M Olivieri 3 years ago

These are all great tips and such useful information for all. A water craving or liquid craving can also mean diabetes so it is important to contact your doctor. Voted up and I will definitely share this. Great hub.


iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 3 years ago from Austin, TX

Wow, I didn't know about ice cravings in relation to anemia. Thanks explaining each of the food cravings. I've learned something new. Up and useful/interesting, shared and a following.


Maria Cecilia profile image

Maria Cecilia 3 years ago from Philippines

wow this is good, something that I want to print and put at the door of my refrigerator.... I crave for Sweets, Salty foods and Coffee most of the time, especially during overtime work....


rosika profile image

rosika 3 years ago Author

Thanks @ anuramkumar for your comment and sharing!

Thank you @betteryourself...I am glad that you learned something about cravings for sweet!

Thanks@ Joanne for your comment and sharing..... you are right about liquid craving!

Thank you @iguidenetwork! ya I was quite amazed myself about the reason for ice craving......thanks for sharing!

@Maria: yes, I crave for almost most of these things.....even though it is difficult to avoid those cravings, but I do try my best to eat healthy options. Thanks for your comment!


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

An interesting discovery concerning the different foods and cravings, I have learned more about the foods and why I crave such foods as well. Voted up and LIKED on facebook


daydreams profile image

daydreams 3 years ago from Scotland, UK

This is really interesting. Why did you get this information from?


ExpectGreatThings profile image

ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing it with us. I always crave sweets and my husband always craves salty things. Now I can tell him why :)


Deltachord profile image

Deltachord 3 years ago from United States

Great article about food cravings and useful for those that have them.


Daena B. profile image

Daena B. 3 years ago from Wenatchee, WA

I think the part about Water cravings was the most interesting to me. My husband comes home from work where he drinks water all day long, and then complains of a dry mouth when he goes to bed. It just didn't make sense to me.


PaoloJpm profile image

PaoloJpm 3 years ago from Philippine

woow, I never thought of myself that all my cravings has something with my body's status. thank you. voted up!


Mattie Mae 3 years ago

Very informative hub! I did not know that ice cravings were a sign of anemia. I an anemic and I do crave ice often, so now I know why.


carozy profile image

carozy 3 years ago from San Francisco

Interesting information in here. I didn't realize the cravings really came down to wanting different chemicals in my body. Good advice also.

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