I have to have chocolate. Hand me those salty potato chips. Where can I get some really good macaroni and cheese? Are you going to finish that ice cream? Cravings come in many different forms for different people. And believe it or not, they are specific to you and what your body is trying to tell you. Yes, your cravings mean something. You don’t just want the salty snack, it means something more. Below we are venturing into the world of cravings by talking about the most popular craving types and what they mean. Put down the chips, you need your hands to keep scrolling! 

Comfort Food: We’re taking pasta, bread… the really processed foods filled with sugar too. A great deal of the time this can be a seasonal craving. According to NPR, “a research study from University of Massachusetts Medical School documented that caloric intake tends to increase as the weather turns colder. Researchers closely tracked how much people ate from season to season and how quickly they ate it. Turns out, the study subjects consumed about 200 more calories a day beginning in the fall when the days grow darker.” Additional research has shown that are bodies are wired the same as they were years ago, we have “primitive impulses prompting us to stockpile calories for the winter ahead,” also stated on NPR. While yes, you craving a big bowl of pasta may be normal for the season. It also tends to say something about your health. Buzzword: gut health. Craving comfort foods typically means you have digestive issues. Additionally, it could be a sign of low estrogen or progesterone prior to menstruation. Pay attention to what your body is telling you the next time you are craving that 5th piece of sourdough. 

Salty Snacks: The body has a great internal quality that it tends to crave the very thing it is lacking. Basically, it wants what it can’t have. The body thinks it can’t have something because you are not feeding it that particular thing. In the case of salty snack cravings this is attributed to lack of sleep, stress and PMS. Your body is craving sleep, that feeling is coming out in the form of wanting salted peanuts. That deadline at work is approaching, this looks like you crushing a bag of popcorn. Accordingly to Health Line Online, “The adrenal glands are responsible for releasing cortisol. This hormone helps regulate blood pressure and your body’s response to stress. Research suggests that people with higher levels of sodium release lower levels of cortisol during stressful periods. Craving salt could be one way your body is trying to deal with unusual stress.” Stay aware the next time you are craving something salty, note your surroundings and your lifestyle before giving in. 

Chocolate or Sweets: “The body will crave certain foods with the mineral it lacks,” states Hormones Balance Online. Additionally stating, “Craving chocolate and sweets could mean your body is deficient in magnesium. Look to these solutions: add legumes, raw nuts and seeds to your diet, try 85% cocoa dark chocolate, leafy greens and also whole grains. Take a good quality magnesium supplement (not in oxide form) in glycinate or citrate form. Topically, you can apply magnesium oil on the bottom of your feet before bed.” Adding in foods that are rich in magnesium is likely to be the best cure, while you can snack on a piece of dark chocolate. This will not always help your craving. Also, if you are working out, magnesium is a MUST! 

This list is a great starting piece to pinpoint your cravings and why they might be coming into play in your life. Pay close attention to your cravings, when you experience them, how you body feels before and after giving into the craving. If you have a severely repetitive craving, consult your doctor for more information. Wanting a certain snack here or there, isn’t a big red flag– it happens to all of us. But, be aware of your body and what it is telling you!

What did you learn about your cravings in this article? Tell me in the comments!