Health is very important, but why do we tend to crave foods which are not good for us? After having a hard day at work, it is very tempting to come home and sit in front of the television set enjoying a bag of chips. Oftentimes, we senselessly indulge in the foods which are not healthy for us.
Cravings versus Nutrition
According to Texas A & M dieticians, there is a huge difference in what the body needs and the food cravings many often experience. In order to prevent senseless indulgence in these unhealthy foods, each of us should consume a balanced diet. Then, the cravings will nearly cease to exist since the body will be getting the nutrition it needs.
Reaching for the Sweets
Many times, the desire to “reach for the sweets” comes when the body has blood sugar swings. The body will naturally try to keep blood sugar at healthy levels, and in our mind, this can mean reaching for a candy bar. The challenge lies in developing an underlying addiction to sugary foods which result in further physical cravings.
Consuming sugar results in the body releasing endorphins which make us “feel good.” According to Newhouse (Texas A & M), this sugar high can set the individual up to consuming way too many carbs on a regular basis. This habit can become a vicious cycle which must be overcome with better eating habits for ongoing enhanced wellness.
Exercise is another activity which can be used to replace this “good feeling.” If one is trying to overcome a sugar or carb addiction, exercise should be added gradually over a longer period of time to prevent immense cravings from being an issue.
Healthy sweets are great to add to the diet replacing unhealthy cravings for sugary foods. Consider adding blueberries, raspberries, apples, and other fruits to the diet on a regular basis. Including dark leafy vegetables with increased amounts of calcium will also help reduce the desire to eat unwholesome alternatives.
Chocolate & Coffee Addictions
In American culture, chocolates and coffee have become another set of compulsions altogether. Stress can produce the desire to add a chocolate bar during the day, but it is often not the best choice. Chocolate is known to increase the serotonin levels in the brain which in turn increases the “feel good factor.”
Magnesium deficiencies within the body can also create a craving for chocolates. The desire to eat chocolate on a regular basis can also be a sign of lower levels of vitamin B.
A small amount of chocolate can go a long way and can be consumed in very small quantities for the enjoyment of life. Consider supplementing foods which will lessen the cravings for more chocolate: bananas, spinach, mixed nuts, garlic, olive oil, and rosemary.
Fried Foods & More Salt, Please
Do you desire to eat fried foods when you are stressed? Or, do you like to add more and more salt to your meals? Our bodies can naturally crave these items as a sign of deficiencies, which are unhealthy options.
Craving fried foods can be a sign of the need to add essential fatty acids to the diet. The body needs a regular supply of omega-3 fatty acids, and it must come from dietary supplementation. Consider using small amounts of extra virgin olive oil during cooking, or add an omega-3 rich supplement.
Iron deficiencies may be the cause of craving salty foods. Newhouse suggests adding foods which are higher in calcium, iron, and potassium to confront cravings for salty foods.
Another great option to keep salt cravings from being “in control” is to add yogurt to the diet as well as dark, leafy salad greens. If potassium deficiencies are the issue, eating a banana or some citrus fruit will help.
A Thirsty Body
Hunger pangs along with cravings can be a sign of dehydration. Consume plenty of water throughout the day, especially if working outside in the heat. According to Newhouse, the body’s last resort is signaling thirst when it is dehydrated. This makes it very important to stay hydrated on a regular basis for optimal health.
Nutritional Balance is the Key
Nutritional balance is the key to living a longer life. The body is created to have specific dietary needs. When the body craves foods, then something is out of balance. Adding healthy food options on a regular basis can provide an excellent way to stay on track to better health.