Have you ever had a strong craving for chocolate? Do you ever just have a need for some greasy food? These are food cravings and they may mean more than you think. There is a lot of information out there trying to explain the meaning of food cravings; while some are backed with research, others are anecdotal and personal experiences. So, let’s dive into the subject of cravings. In this blog post, we will explore what some common cravings are, what the research says, and what you can do about them.  

Many people will tell you that food cravings are a way the body tells you that there is a nutritional deficiency. It is believed that this acts like an alarm that your body can trigger when you are low on a specific vitamin or mineral. One of the common examples of this is chocolate and magnesium. It is believed that when a person is craving chocolate, it is a signal that you are deficient in magnesium. Dark chocolate is a good source of magnesium, so on paper, this could imply a correlation. Another common craving is for greasy/fatty foods. It is believed that this is signaling a calcium deficiency. While there isn’t a study suggesting these ideas are correct, you can find a lot of anecdotal evidence from people online. 

What does the research say about cravings? Recently, major studies have found that cravings are the cause of conditioning. Much like addiction to cigarettes, the body will develop a dependence to certain types of food. Something will then trigger the craving, most commonly stress. Another study looking at the behavior behind cravings found that having more cravings was associated with a higher BMI and diabetes.

So, what’s the best way to stop cravings? The best way would be to eliminate the triggers that can cause cravings. This can be a bit of trial and error, but keeping track of when you get cravings can be a good way to get on top of them. Some of the factors that you should take into consideration when you get a craving are stress levels and lack of sleep. Both of these  factors can disrupt hormones which can be a trigger for cravings. Dehydration or a diet deficient in protein, good fats, and fiber can lead to constant hunger and increased cravings.

Sometimes cravings may never completely disappear. Acknowledging and indulging the craving occasionally is not a bad thing. Just make sure to stay mindful of your nutrition and how the indulgence will affect that. If you are having difficulty with over-indulging a craving, or you just can’t seem to find the trigger for your cravings, come see us here at Rush-Henrietta Family chiropractic. Here at our Rochester office, our nutritionist can work with you to help reduce cravings and maintain a healthy diet.