What Your Unhealthy Food Cravings Mean

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Sure, we all have moments in which we crave junk food. But do you know what your body is actually trying to tell you? We found this gem over at Natural News about what your unhealthy food cravings mean. Read on and be amazed!

Chocolate: magnesium
Chocolate is the most commonly-reported craving in the Western world, so it shouldn't surprise us that it is linked to a nutrient in which a huge number of us are unknowingly deficient: magnesium. According to recent statistics, up to 80 percent of Americans are lacking in this essential macromineral, which is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including reactions that relate to relaxation. In fact, magnesium is nicknamed the "relaxation mineral," since anxiety, irritability, insomnia and high blood pressure are its main deficiency symptoms. This is the reason why magnesium-deficient people temporarily feel better after eating a chocolate bar: the small amounts of magnesium in it (derived from its cacao content) relaxes them. But, of course, there are far healthier sources of magnesium than processed chocolate. Dark leafy greens, seeds and nuts, fish, beans and blackstrap molasses are all excellent sources of magnesium and will help end chocolate cravings.

Sugary foods: chromium, carbon, phosphorus, sulfur and/or tryptophan
The second most commonly reported craving in the West is high-sugar foods. This is the most complex craving to pin down, since deficiencies in no less than five nutrients could be causing it: chromium (helps to regulate blood sugar levels), carbon (one of the elements from which sugar is made), phosphorus (helps the body produce energy), sulfur (helps remove toxins) and tryptophan (a serotonin regulator). Therefore, the best way to end incessant sugar cravings is to simply improve your diet, which will help remineralize your body in all areas.

Refined carbohydrates: nitrogen
A craving for refined carbs like pasta and bread signals a deficiency in nitrogen. Nitrogen compounds are an essential component of nucleic acids and protein, and deficiencies in them can result in malnutrition due to a related protein deficiency. Therefore, if you find that you're craving a lot of refined carbohydrates, add more nitrogen-rich foods to your diet. Most foods contain nitrogen in organic or non-organic form, but fruits and vegetables are especially rich in it.

Other cravings
The following cravings are less common than those detailed above, but are still regularly reported in today's society:

Oily and fatty foods: You are deficient in calcium. Good sources of calcium include raw milk, cheese, turnip greens and broccoli.

Ice: You are deficient in iron. Eat more iron-rich foods like leafy greens, meat, blackstrap molasses and sea vegetables.

Salty foods: You are deficient in chloride and/or silicon. Try adding more fish, nuts and seeds to your diet. 

Sources for this article include:
http://www.ruled.me
http://eatwiseteens.org
http://www.huffingtonpost.com
http://www.tandurust.com
http://science.naturalnews.com

About the author:
Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.
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Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.