Decoding Your Food Cravings

decode_food_cravings

decode_food_cravings

Brrr..... winter is setting in and my thoughts are turning to big family dinners and things of a carbohydrate nature, in general.  You?

It's actually pretty healthy and normal to crave food, especially as the days get colder and our bodies have to work a little harder to maintain a nice, comfy temperature.  Digesting and processing food stokes the body's furnace, so winter can actually trigger an increase in appetite.  OK, so it's partly the cold and partly just the fact that we get to wear sweaters and Uggs for 6 months before we have to face the music when tank top & miniskirt season hits again.  Whatever your reason, chances are you eat a bit more in the winter.  The average person gains 1-2 pounds over the holiday season and the surrounding chilly months, and overweight people tend to gain even more than that. Yikes!

By all means, eat. But if you're craving a particular comfort food, night after night (mac & cheese, anyone?), maybe there is something missing in your diet.  Maybe your body is trying to send you a message and it's getting all muddled up in sweaters, Uggs, and visions of sugarplums.

Check out this fantastic list from Naturopathy Works to decode what it is your body is actually craving!

If you crave this...

What you really need is...

And here are healthy foods that have it:

Chocolate

Magnesium

Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits

Sweets

Chromium

Broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, calves liver, chicken

Carbon

Fresh fruits

Phosphorus

Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, grains

Sulfur

Cranberries, horseradish, cruciferous vegetables, kale, cabbage

Tryptophan

Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach

Bread, toast

Nitrogen

High protein foods: fish, meat, nuts, beans

Oily snacks, fatty foods

Calcium

Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame

Coffee or tea

Phosphorous

Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes

Sulfur

Egg yolks, red peppers, muscle protein, garlic, onion, cruciferous vegetables

NaCl (salt)

Sea salt, apple cider vinegar (on salad)

Iron

Meat, fish and poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries

Alcohol, recreational drugs

Protein

Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, nuts

Avenin

Granola, oatmeal

Calcium

Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame

Glutamine

Supplement glutamine powder for withdrawal, raw cabbage juice

Potassium

Sun-dried black olives, potato peel broth, seaweed, bitter greens

Chewing ice

Iron

Meat, fish, poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries

Burned food

Carbon

Fresh fruits

Soda and other carbonated drinks

Calcium

Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame

Salty foods

Chloride

Raw goat milk, fish, unrefined sea salt

Acid foods

Magnesium

Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits

Preference for liquids rather than solids

Water

Flavor water with lemon or lime.

You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.

Preference for solids rather than liquids

Water

You have been so dehydrated for so long that you have lost your thirst. Flavor water with lemon or lime.

You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.

Cool drinks

Manganese

Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries

Pre-menstrual cravings

Zinc

Red meats (especially organ meats), seafood, leafy vegetables, root vegetables

General overeating

Silicon

Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches

Tryptophan

Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach

Tyrosine

Vitamin C supplements or orange, green, red fruits and vegetables

Lack of appetite

Vitamin B1

Nuts, seeds, beans, liver and other organ meats

Vitamin B3

Tuna, halibut, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, seeds and legumes

Manganese

Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries

Chloride

Raw goat milk, unrefined sea salt

Tobacco

Silicon

Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches

Tyrosine

Vitamin C supplements or orange, green and red fruits and vegetables

  1. Lectures, Cheryl M. Deroin, NMD, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Spring 2003 (healthy food recommendations)