It is common for people enduring various emotional states to experience strange, and seemingly random food cravings. However, while we are indeed drowning our emotions with food, the cravings we experience may not be as random as we think.
In fact, the foods we crave when we are handling intense states of emotion are telling us something important about ourselves, and we would do well to understand what our cravings are telling us. For me, when I am deep in an emotional downward spiral, I typically reach for cheese, milk, or really anything dairy based, as it not only comforts me on a deeper level, but it satisfies something deep within me. And after researching, now I understand why. So what are your cravings telling you?
I have often heard of people ‘craving’ ice, and while I couldn’t understand it makes sense. According to various studies, including one carried out in 2014, craving ice may be a sign that we are anemic. Often referred to as pica, or a desire to eat non-food items, like dirt, laundry soap, and ice, is typically caused by low iron levels.
2. Cheese or Milkshakes
Containing tryptophan, milk helps our system produce melatonin and serotonin, which causes a sense of relaxation and even sleepiness. When we are craving these foods, it is a sign of depression, according to a 2016 study.
3. Candy and Sweets
If you are craving sweets, it is likely you need an energy boost. While your cravings say, sweets, the desire your body truly has is to eat. This often happens when we skip meals, because of our fluctuating blood sugar. It can also be caused due to a lack of sleep.
Cravings for carbohydrates indicates that we are either going through depression or that we are in the midst of a diet. Carbs boost our serotonin, leading us to eat them when we feel down.
5. Spicy Foods
A craving for spicy foods is often a sign that we are craving for intensity in our lives. While you are reaching for peppers or other spicy treats, another good alternative could be trying a new workout regimen, or even watching the latest action movie.
Chocolate is one of the most common cravings we experience, and while chocolate itself is craving-worthy, if you crave it often, you may be depressed. Used to self-medicate feelings of depression, chocolate boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine. These feel-good chemicals, paired with magnesium and theobromine (also found in chocolate) reduces hormones and relaxes the muscles.
7. Soda Pop
A craving for soda is typically due to the need for an energy boost. Another reason, according to WebMD is our body’s need for calcium. Soda contains phosphoric acid, which leaches calcium out of our bones, in turn causing a vicious cycle of depletion and craving.
8. Potato Chips or French Fries
French fries and potatoes are delicious. But, when we are craving them often, it’s likely we need a good dose of healthy fats. Instead of reaching for chips, try fish, or avocado instead.
Craving water is a major sign of dehydration. But, if you find that you are constantly thirsty, you may have diabetes. It is one of the earliest signs of diabetes, so you may need to check in with a medical professional.
Cravings for salt are likely a sign for mineral deficiencies, according to a study published in the journal of Physiology and Behavior. Typically, this craving indicates that you may be low on your levels of calcium, magnesium, or even zinc.