Food cravings is a very common phenomenon that happens pretty much to everyone (you are not alone, yay!). They are especially pronounced, if you have recently decided to eat healthy, making the lifestyle change twice as challenging and frustrating. What most people don’t know is that sometimes cravings is one of the ways our bodies signal us that we are deficient in certain nutrients. It is important to learn how to distinguish between these “alert” and “false alarm” situations and how to deal with them in a healthy way.

Physical vs. Psychological Cravings 

According to FamilyEducation.com, cravings happen either due to actual physical deficiencies of vitamins and minerals or psychologically, or emotionally. Psychological craving is when you crave food in general, and can be caused when you get reminded about a certain food (commercials, passing by a restaurant or seeing someone eating ice cream). This type of craving is nothing to worry about and it will go away, if you preoccupy yourself with something else. On the other hand, when you experience a craving for a specific food that only gets stronger with time, you are probably experiencing a physical type of craving and your body is trying to tell you that your diet needs a refill of a certain nutrient.

You Are Craving Sweets

If you are jonesing for something sweet and the feeling does not go away, it may be that you are low in one or more of the following: chromium, carbon, phosphorus, sulfur or tryptophan. According to livestrong.com, eating meats, green leafy vegetables and nuts, should replenish your body with the above nutrients and help you overcome the cravings.

You Are Craving Chocolate

Consistent craving for the sweet cocoa treat may be an indication that you are low in vitamin B or magnesium. Eating nuts and beans, as well as supplementing with flax oil, should help you conquer this Need or Treat.

You Are Craving Alcohol

The “I need a drink” statement not only applies to unwinding and relieving stress, but also deficiencies in the following nutrients: protein, glutamine, avenin, potassium and/or calcium. Eating more seafood, meat, oatmeal and green leafy vegetables, will satisfy your thirst for alcoholic beverages.

You Are Craving Salty Food

If that bag of Ruffles you saw in the grocery store 3 days ago keeps haunting you, it often indicates that your body needs a little sodium boost. Salt is important for many physiological functions, and including a moderate amount of it in your food is a good idea to bring it back to an optimal level. Replace regular table salt with Himalayan pink salt, as it has a more nutrients than the conventional table salt.

Follow the steps above and never crave unhealthy food again!