Cravings and Health

When you find yourself craving a certain food, your body may be trying to tell you something.  If you are craving something unhealthy, this does not necessarily mean that you should go out and eat lots of that unhealthy substance.  But you might have a look at a few other factors.

1.  You might be craving something which contains certain nutrients which your body is deficient in.  A recent example for me was incessant cravings for canned ravioli.  I eventually realized that I was also craving Tomato Soup.  I began making tomato soup, using fresh tomatoes and herbs, and found that it fully handled my ravioli cravings!

What I assumed was that the tomatoes contained some nutrient(s) that I was deficient in – perhaps Vitamin C or Iron – and that this was what was behind the craving for ravioli (with all its tomato sauce).  But instead of eating tons of unhealthy and fattening ravioli, I was able to pacify myself with fresh tomato soup – doing only good and no harm to my body.

2.  Your craving might be a side-effect of another deficiency.

My mother always told me that when I craved sugar, this was usually a sign of a lack of protein.  I have also read that when you continuously feel like you want to eat something but you don’t know what it is, that’s a need for Vitamin C.

Of course I’m no doctor.  But in my personal experience, whenever I did find the correct and healthful item to fulfill my craving, it sort of “felt right” in the end.

Keep this in mind the next time you have a funny craving and you may be able to use it as an indicator for better health, instead of an impetus to indulgence.

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20 Responses to “Cravings and Health”

  1. Cheryl December 28, 2008 at 9:37 pm #

    In Adele Davis’ famous book, Let’s Eat Right to Stay Fit, she points out that sugar cravings result from a drop in blood sugar. Also, that alcohol cravings result from nutritional deficiencies, particularly Vitamin B3.

  2. herbalife March 20, 2009 at 8:58 am #

    Hi,

    Today we are continuing on with the Many Faces of Cravings – 3. One reader mentioned a possible genetic correlation of “addiction” that may contribute to cravings. Sugar and other very refined “white” flour items can act similarly in the way a person may be “driven” to consume them like an addict does a drug

  3. Leah@absolutemartialarts May 31, 2009 at 3:01 am #

    Hello, I have question: I have notice for the past 2 weeks I have been craving for chocolates, I’m not sure why. Is it healthy? Can someone please advise.

    Thanks,
    Leah

    • Anna May 31, 2009 at 4:34 am #

      Have you tried eating more protein and making sure you are getting enough vitamin C?

      Also, have you tried eating some healthy raw oils (such as on salad) in case there was a craving for oils/fats involved?

  4. vaporizers June 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm #

    eating more protein than others is not good at all, you should have a balance diet. That’s it, just balance everything in your life and don’t forget to sweat out those fats.

  5. admin June 14, 2009 at 6:53 am #

    Self-control and discipline is essential in fighting for our unwanted cravings..haha..=D

  6. Cheryl September 13, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    Welcome, Vietnamese Translator!

    The best way to tell what is going on with your Vitamin C levels is to raise the amount you take each day and see if that decreases your cravings over time. One method to find out if you are taking more Vitamin C than your body needs is to keep raising the daily amount until your bowels become noticeably too loose. Then stop taking Vitamin C for a day. After that, start taking it again, but at a lower amount. The loose bowels show the body is getting rid of the extra. No harm done. If you have sources of natural Vitamin C that you can eat, great! For example, if you have unsprayed roses, you can gather the fruits (the rose hips at the base of the petals). There are many foods high in Vitamin C, and if you get them from a local farmer or organic source, the vitamin C content is likely to be higher.

  7. Cheryl September 16, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    You are welcome. Could you let us know the result of your experiment?

  8. milly October 6, 2009 at 8:15 am #

    Oh gosh, wow. I never knew the body could make me crave what I needed. All last week, I craved chocolate. (I’m normally not a sweet person AT ALL.) As soon as I had a bar, the cravings went…fascinating stuff.

  9. alcohol addiction treatment November 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm #

    It is my opinion that more people should promote a healthy and alcohol/ drug free lifestyle.

    Also, if someone is addicted to alcohol or a drug they should seek help from an addiction treatment center.

  10. Moses@drug treatment November 27, 2009 at 1:14 am #

    There are many cravings in this world, but drugs and alcohol are ruining entire people’s life. All should get rid of it by using treatments offered by professionals. You can get a treatment from our site.

    • Cheryl November 27, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

      Welcome, Moses.
      I totally agree, and I recommend that readers who are interested in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation method with permanent results check the information at your site: Narconon Riverbend.

  11. renz@Narconon Louisiana December 12, 2009 at 2:41 am #

    Hello Cheryl!! I really appreciate your thoughts. Some are taken from your mother. I think she is an intelligent lady. But I think for the best figure and skin, we need to eat a proper diet and also to drink lots of water. Seasonal fruits are best for skin. But avoid drugs for a healthy life.

  12. Guruprasad July 1, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    Is craving something to eat or take really a kind of deficiency? So tell us what to do to maintain a healthy diet?

    • Cheryl July 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

      To maintain a healthy diet, eat foods that are as natural as possible. At the supermarket, avoid the packaged goods. Instead choose the fresh foods. If you can afford organic food, by all means choose it. The value to you of organic meats, eggs and dairy and wild-caught fish is even greater than the value of organic produce, because the toxins in non-organic animal foods are more concentrated than in plant foods. You can also plant a garden, raise chickens or bees, make your own bread and yogurt, and so forth. Excellent books on nutrition and food are available by authors such as Adele Davis and Sally Fallon.

  13. prashantsnv@Colic August 16, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Health is a great thing for any one and it is very necessary thing that keep your self healthy and strong. I think this is a great thing to be healthy and there are lots of ways through which you can make yourself healthy. Taking a balanced diet and workout are the basic lessons.

  14. Marc August 20, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    It’s really very hard to stop cravings. One thing that I was able to do about it is to give in to the cravings. Give in to the cravings but to only eat a portion of it and not all. It eventually took care of my cravings for food. I’ll just eat up on healthy food before going out and eat what I really want. :o)

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