1 of 2
Photo: Gord Weber
Sweet Potato Chili.
2 of 2
Photo: Gord Weber
Flourless Chocolate Cake.
We are all unique and our food needs are equally unique. What we crave is a message to us of what we may be lacking and how our metabolism is working. Consider the information as the tip of the iceberg as to what your cravings mean.
You Crave: Sweets!
You Need: Chromium
Chromium is a mineral that helps to balance blood sugar. When your blood sugar is unstable your body screams to balance it. A quick shot of sweets brings blood sugar up, fast, but when your blood sugar crashes yet again, we want another sweet!
Increase: Foods naturally high in chromium like carrots, sweet potatoes, whole grains and eggs.
You Crave: Chocolate!
You Need: Magnesium
80% of us are deficient in magnesium. Stress can be a cause of magnesium deficiency, and a lack of magnesium tends to magnify the stress reaction, worsening the problem. In studies, adrenaline and cortisol, byproducts of the “fight or flight” reaction associated with stress and anxiety, were associated with decreased magnesium. (No wonder when you a stressed you want a chocolate bar!)
Increase: Foods naturally high in magnesium dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit and dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa).
You Crave: Carbs! (Bread, pasta, donuts)
You Need: Tryptophan
When you crave carbohydrates this is a sign you are lacking the amino acid tryptophan, the chemical the body uses to synthesize serotonin. Serotonin is that feel-good, happy chemical that regulates our moods! Many times when we are feeling depressed, that is why we reach for bread!
Increase: Whole grains, exercise and fish oil.
You Crave: Meat!
You Need: Iron, Zinc
Craving meat could be a sign the body is in need of more iron. Iron and zinc play a vital role in supporting the immune system, as it helps to transport oxygen throughout the body. Without it, we become fatigued, prone to infection, skin eruptions and tired.
Increase: Foods naturally high in iron and zinc like pumpkin seeds, black strap molasses, dark leafy greens and organic free-range beef.
Kathy Smart is an Ottawa nutritionist, holistic chef, personal fitness trainer, founder of Live The Smart Way and is known as North America’s Gluten-Free Expert.