Food craving (defined as an intense desire to eat a specific food) is of interest because it is extremely common and because it influences obesity or nutritional status. It has also been suggested that food craving may be the evolutionary source for cravings of all kinds including cravings for drugs and alcohol. “Surveys estimate that almost 100% of young women and nearly 70% of young men had food cravings during the past year,” says Mercia Levin Pelchat, of Monell Chemical Senses Center in her published article ‘Food Cravings in Young and Elderly Adults’ in the journal Appetite*
As humans, we’re biologically wired to crave for Food. The more bad food we eat, the more our body will learn to accept and want them. We become addicted to highly palatable, energy dense food. Well, yes many of the food we eat today (ready made) are extremely addictive, and we are hardwired to crave them. Anything that gives us pleasure and offers relief, our body will want more and crave.
What food am I referring to?
Processed food. They are prepared with a combination of fat, sugar, and salt and provide very fewer nutrients.
Studies have found, highly processed food have the same effect on the brain as some drugs. It helps release feel good hormone which in turn helps to relieve stress temporarily.
What about those people who have food craving even without indulging in processed foods often? The answer for this could be due to missing micro nutrients from your diet, which causes you to crave for certain foods.
Let’s take a look at why we should be adding more veggies, fruits, and other unprocessed food to our diet.
I have covered here few very commonly reported cravings and deficiency associated with the same:
|Nutritious food||Green Leafy Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds, Legumes, Grains|
|Food Craving||White Pastas, Cake, Pastries|
|Nutritious food||Onion, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cinnamon, Grapes|
|Food Craving||Crisps/Potato Chips, Salty foods|
|Nutritious food||Celery, Olives, Tomatoes, Kelp, Himalayan Sea Salt|
|Nutritious food||Raw Cacao, Whole Grains, Beans, Nuts, Seeds, Fruit, Green Veggies|
|Food Craving||Fizzy/Aerated Drinks|
|Nutritious food||Broccoli, Kale, Sesame seed, legumes, mustard, turnip, greens|
|Food Craving||Coffee / Black tea|
|Nutritious food||Cruciferous Veggies, Cranberries, horseradish, garlic, onion|
|Food Craving||Ice, Chilled water|
|Nutritious food||Beans, Legumes, Dates, Black raisin, Jaggery, Spinach|
|Nutritious food||Citrus Fruits, Green Leafy Veggies, Banana, Tomatoes, Black Olives.|
As you can see on the table, a simple mindful inclusion of certain food does not only save you from lot more cravings and its ill effect but can also provide you with lots of nutrients and minerals.
So what will you choose?
*Appetite is an international research journal specializing in cultural, social, psychological, sensory and physiological influences on the selection and intake of foods and drinks. It covers normal and disordered eating and drinking and welcomes studies of both human and non-human animal behaviour towards food