According to MSN Health, some food cravings mean your diet is deficient in essential nutrients. Here are four of the most common cravings, and what your body is REALLY trying to tell you.
- Let's start with the biggie: chocolate. Marni Loomis is with the National College of Natural Medicine. She says when people crave chocolate, a lot of times they're low in magnesium and B vitamins. These nutrients help your body get the most out of food, and if you don't have enough, you'll be sluggish, tired and craving the feel-good hormone boost that chocolate gives you. Instead of giving into the chocolate craving, eat foods rich in vitamins B6 and B12, like eggs, beans, salmon and low-fat dairy.
- Next common craving: salt. If all you can think about is salty chips you might be experiencing adrenal fatigue. Your adrenal gland is responsible for creating stress hormones and maintaining your blood-sugar level. If you're stressed or not eating right, it has to work overtime and it can get fatigued. This results in low energy and an overwhelming craving for salty foods. So eat regular small meals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar stable.
- A lot of people also crave spicy foods. It's not just because you love salsa. Marni Loomis says people crave spice when they have pain caused by inflammation. Spices and peppers contain natural anti-inflammatories. In fact, some topical pain and inflammation medications were actually created using hot peppers. Loomis says ingesting the spices has healing properties, so this is one case where it's okay to indulge your craving.
- The most harmless craving may be the most serious. If you're craving liquids you're more than just thirsty, because by the time you're feeling thirsty, your body might be low in electrolytes, which are minerals that help you absorb water. That can cause dizziness, vomiting and more. It could be even more serious. If you're constantly thirsty, see a doctor because it's also one of the first signs of diabetes!