What do your cravings mean?

By: Health Local Staff Jul 18, 2012
food cravings

When we crave specific types of food, there is a reason behind it.

Have you ever wondered why you crave certain foods? Turns out that our food cravings go beyond just wanting something for the sake of having it or because it looked good on the menu. When we crave specific types of food, there is a reason behind it. A good way to begin to understand these cravings and how real they are is to consider that many of the amino acids and nutrients found in the foods we crave are used in drugs because of the effect they have on us.  Let’s take a closer look.

Chocolate Cravings
Chocolate is constantly being researched for its impact on our health. What research has found so far is that chocolate releases the same feel-good hormones in the brain that being in love or being sexually aroused does. Also, the same chemical, PEA, found in chocolate is also found in drugs such as Ecstasy which can explain why chocolate can make us feel so good and why many of us are professed “chocaholics”.

Salty Cravings
If you’re constantly craving salty foods then you could be feeling stressed or anxious. Our adrenals manage our body’s stress response and a craving for salty foods is a symptom of adrenal fatigue or weakness. This can explain the common desire to reach for a bag or chips or pretzels when you come home after a stressful day at work.

Crunchy Food Cravings
It isn’t always about the taste with cravings; many times it’s the texture, or more specifically the crunch that we crave. Craving crunchy foods can also be the result of stress or anxiety. Biting down and crunching away on foods like nuts, chips, and pretzels can almost feel therapeutic to someone who is in need of stress relief.

Dairy Cravings
Whether it’s a tall glass or milk or some cheese, craving dairy is usually the result of feeling down or tired and wanting comfort. Milk, which we all know a warm glass of can help us get to sleep, contains choline which is known to have a soothing effect. Milk and other dairy products also contain L-tryptophan which increases serotonin in the brain. For those who don’t know, this is the same effect that antidepressants have so that we feel better.

Starchy Carb Cravings
If you’re looking for comfort then chances are that you’re craving starchy carbs like bread, bagels, or pasta. All of these are known to have a comforting effect on us and it’s been proven that eating a bagel or other similar carb can help combat insomnia and restlessness.

Spicy Food Cravings
Psychologists have linked a craving for spicy food to people who often crave change and excitement in their lives. Cravings for foods that are hot and spicy or even sour can mean that you’re bored, feeling like you’re in a rut and looking to shake things up in your life or even your relationship.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.