When your body really wants something, it will send out signals to your brain, and we often confuse these cravings as cravings for something salty or sweet, rather than something nutritious or hydrating. Pregnant women are most known for having cravings, particularly odd ones, and it’s no wonder- they’re growing a new human life within them, and their own bodies are likely actually screaming for something other than pickles and ice cream. Learn what your body really wants when you get sudden cravings for something.
When you’re craving ice cream, what your body really wants is ice water. Your body is wanting hydration, and triggers you to think of something cold and liquidy, so we most often jump to ice cream and ice cold soda as our craving. Next time you crave ice cream or an ice cold soda, drink a glass of water first, and within minutes your craving should fade.
When you crave chocolate, what you really want is something mood lifting, and you could be facing a lack of B vitamins or magnesium. We often crave chocolate when we’re tired, and it’s no surprise that sugar is the thing we crave when our moods are low and we just want to sleep. Drink water increase your vitamin consumption as well, or take a walk. A walk gives you the same happy endorphins chocolate does, and is healthier by far for you. If you crave sweets in general, take a brisk walk and boost your mood and energy levels, and the cravings should fade.
Back to sugar, if you can’t get enough no matter what you do, it could be a sign of a sugar imbalance, and you may be having issues with your insulin levels. You could also be lacking protein and energy, and you are triggered for sugar fixes to try to offset your imbalance. See your doctor to rule out insulin issues or sugar imbalances, and try to eat more protein.
If you crave salt all the time, you may be either not getting enough salt, or way too much. If you crave salt and are gaining weight, likely you don’t need any. If you’ve recently begun dieting and can’t get salt off your mind, perhaps you need to maintain proper sodium levels. In people with too much salt in their diet who crave salt constantly, they may be experiencing adrenal fatigue when they don’t have a surplus of salt in their diets. Regardless of why you want salt, you need to keep your sodium intake levels in check. You likely just need a walk to balance out your cravings.
If you crave spicy things all the time, your body may be trying to manage pain and inflammation naturally. If you are prone to headaches, muscle pain, and joint aches, you may increase your cravings for spicy things, the hotter the better. Spicy foods are natural pain relievers, so your body may be trying to heal itself by screaming out for spicy foods. Try to manage your pain with dandelion tea, chamomile tea, and peppermint tea, which are natural pain relievers as well, to avoid overdoing it on spicy foods.
If you crave peanut butter all the time, you need protein. This happens a lot to vegetarians, and we find ourselves licking out a jar of peanut butter when we normally don’t touch the stuff. We also get insane cravings for chicken and light meats out of nowhere. if you can’t get meat off your mind, or crave a lot more eggs than normal, it’s protein you’re after. A protein supplement or eating lean meats is a great way to keep your protein levels where they should be.
If you crave dairy all the time, or milk, you may be allergic to it. The endorphins released when eating a food we are sensitive to can often trigger a “gotta have more” response, making us want more and more of it. Dairy can also mean a need for water, or protein.
If you are thirsty all the time and can’t get enough water, you may be dehydrated, or you may be showing symptoms of diabetes. If you are particularly craving sugary drinks like fruit drinks and just can’t get enough, diabetes may be to blame.
Listen to your cravings, as your body is trying to tell you something if you crave the same thing all the time. Ruling out the reasons behind your cravings is a great way to tune into your body and give it what it really wants. The next time a craving hits you, take a short walk to try to repel the craving, and if it persists, try to find out what it is you really want. It probably really isn’t a pickle dunked in ice cream after all.