► Sugary foods are known to boost mood, but do not fall for that trap. Studies have shown that this may be just a placebo. Sugar cravings commonly signify the lack of sugar or chromium in the body. Sudden cravings for sweet foods are often observed in case of those following extreme diets as their body is starved of the sugar it actually requires for energy. Also, there are instances where the sugar craving is due to a carbohydrate deficiency.
The occurrence of symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation or bloating along with the sugar craving is symbolic of a Candida (yeast) infection. Satisfy your sugar craving by munching on a fresh, juicy fruit. Stock up on strawberries, raspberries, oranges and pineapples to whip up a quick milkshake when the craving strikes.
► Caffeine addiction is bad, especially in the long run. If you are among those who get sudden, extreme cravings for tea or coffee, or gulp down more than 5 cups a day, it is possible that your adrenal glands are exhausted. Other possible reasons for a caffeine craving are vitamin C deficiency, iron deficiency or loss of phosphorous. Pregnant women or lactating mothers are more susceptible to caffeine cravings due to loss of iron from the body.
Include more of iron and vitamin C rich foods in your diet. Load on the lemons and greenies.
► Sudden, extreme, down-to-your-knees craving for super-salty foods like popcorn, fries or chips is a sure-shot sign of a sodium deficiency. Although, our bodyís requirement for sodium is low, living on raw foods (as most dieters normally do) will meet your bodyís need for potassium but the sodium content is much likely to be low. Sodium rich healthy foods like spinach and celery are a safe source of sodium.
► Feeling blue? Looking for comfort food? Sudden cravings for comfort food often indicate a psychological ailment rather than a nutritional deficiency. Comfort food acts as a temporary, mild tranquilizer for your body, soothes your nerves and creates a feeling-good sensation which makes you crave for it every time youíre feeling low.
Psychologists say this kind of behavior may become deep rooted and often troublesome for overweight people. A safe way to deal with emotions is to find different sources to keep you occupied. Try some outdoor activity or painting or take your pet for a walk.
Journaling is often the best way to let out hard emotions and studies show that people who keep a journal are less likely to suffer from stress and other emotional problems.
► Are you more inclined towards gobbling up breads and grainy stuff? Itís obvious. Carbohydrates help release the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin which makes us more addicted to it, especially when youíre feeling moody. In fact, carbohydrates are good at warding away depression and often, experiencing mood swings means your body is starved of carbs.
Another reason why you may be craving for breads may be an underactive or overactive thyroid gland. Pile up on whole grain breads and low glycemic index foods to beat those persistent cravings.
Surprisingly, ice cravings signify low blood hemoglobin. Often, pregnant women suddenly ask for ice. This is because, the body is anemic, and ice helps relieve pain and inflammation caused as a result of the anemia.
Including green vegetables, beetroot and red meat will keep your iron content normal.
Probably the best way to combat cravings is to have enough of every nutritional element, include every food group in your meals, exercise regularly and make a conscious effort to beat stress, anxiety and sadness.
Latest Publications and Research on Food CravingsSweetened Drink and Snacking Cues in Adolescents: A Study Using Ecological Momentary Assessment. - Published by PubMed
Cognitive regulation of food craving: effects of three cognitive reappraisal strategies on neural response to palatable foods. - Published by PubMed
Acute versus Repeated Chocolate Exposure: Effects on Intake and Cravings in Restrained and Unrestrained Eaters. - Published by PubMed
Low-income, Pregnant, African American Women's Views on Physical Activity and Diet. - Published by PubMed
Implicit approach-avoidance associations for craved food cues. - Published by PubMed