What Your Food Cravings Really Mean
Ever had a craving you just can’t shake? Is there only one particular food that can always pull you out of an emotional rut? Have you ever wondered where the phrase “Eat your feelings” even comes from?
Of course you have! You’re only human! Most people accept food cravings as a normal part of everyday life without really ever asking “why?” No two bodies are the same, and therefore no two reasons behind a specific food craving are the same. While some may be rooted in nutritional deficits – others may be a deeper signal from our Spirit echoing throughout our bodies.
Your mind, body, and Spirit communicate through an intricate language, which isn’t always easy to decipher. However, with a little effort, you can translate these signals and create the harmony needed for improved health.
For most, we’ve been taught to “overcome” our bodily cues. For example, when a person has a headache, they’re taught to reach for the Advil bottle rather than lying down and drinking lots of water. However, no matter how much you resent, ignore, or overlook your bodily cues – they’re not going to go away.
When looking at food cravings specifically, emotions are one of the most common causes of overeating. Our cravings tend to manifest themselves when we’re feeling vulnerable. Rather than expressing our emotions, we tend to stuff them down with “comfort foods” that give our bodies a false sense of fulfillment. After a while, your body learns this routine and sends cravings in order to create a short-term boost of chemical components. By deciphering the real meaning of your cravings, you can get insight as to what’s truly gnawing at you from within.
Having some knowledge about what our cravings can mean, may help us to reduce unhealthy habits and poor food choices. The following are the three most commonly craved food flavors, and a starting point for you to decrypt what your mind, body, and Spirit are really trying to tell you.
- Tired or Lack of Energy
- Blood Sugar imbalances
- Chromium or Magnesium deficiencies
- Fatty Acid deficiency
There have been a number of studies that show how sugar can affect the same brain regions as drugs and alcohol. This is because simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, are digested faster than complex carbohydrates and give an immediate energy boost. Chocolate specifically is also metabolized to serotonin, a mood-boosting hormone, so cravings can also be related to an emotional need. However, this momentary mood improvement is generally followed by a serious drop, which spurs people to reach for another sugary snack, and forms an addictive cycle.
- Fresh Fruit
- Healthy Cocoa or Dark Chocolate
- Getting a massage
- Talking with loved ones
- Long walks
- Any activity that makes you feel good
Instead of indulging and grabbing the closest candy bar, choose a piece of fruit when you’re craving sweets. Giving into cookies, cakes, soft drinks or other refined sweets will only make the problem worse, and cause a blood sugar roller coaster that leads to more cravings.
When you’re seeking to balance this, think about whether or not any other experiences could satiate the craving, such as getting a massage or a bath, or sitting in the beauty of nature. Besides healthy cocoa or dark chocolate, reach for a loved one, friend, pet, or any activity that makes you feel good. The important thing is to remember that there is a difference between sweetness that heals and sweetness that temporarily bandages.
- Low electrolyte levels
- Chloride Deficiency
- Iodine deficiency
When adding those fries on the side seems too good to pass up – it may be time to re-evaluate your daily life. Excess and constant life stress can lead to adrenal exhaustion, and you might be pushing yourself further than your body can handle. Your body craves salt when your stress levels are intensely raised for a prolonged period of time and deplete your adrenal glands ability to create aldosterone, a hormone that helps to retain sodium.
With reduced levels of sodium, your body is unable to absorb a proper amount of water, and can become dehydrated. A hankering for salt may be related to iodine deficiency as well, as it is the body’s way of calling out for natural sea-based minerals.
Salt cravings can indicate that you are trying to “solidify” yourself in your overwhelmed state. Subconsciously, you may be trying to fortify yourself with the hardness and strength of salt’s solid construct, in order to deal with your situation.
- Vitamin B rich foods (Nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables)
Rather than fortifying and enforcing the walls around you, find strength in trust and flexibility. The hardness you wish to develop through salts only creates resistance, not healing. Instead of devouring an entire bag of potato chips – try distressing in more healthy and productive ways. Eat foods rich in vitamin B such as oats or wild salmon to increase adrenal support. While exercise is a sure-fire way to balance your body and expel negative stress from the body, meditation, and mindful relaxation are also great mood balancers, as well.
- Calcium Deficiency
- Fatty Acid Deficiency
- Depleted Self-Worth
While all foods in moderation are quite normal – if you find yourself constantly over-indulging in fatty foods, you know your body is out of balance. Cravings for things like peanut butter, oils, or fried foods often relate to a calcium deficiency, as saturated fats are necessary to help maintain calcium in the body and build bone density. However, the wrong fatty foods can leave you feeling bloated – perpetuating your body’s desire to sink into lethargy and despair.
On a spiritual level, you may be craving fatty foods because you have yet to accept your own importance, and feel the need to keep the full reality of your power squashed down by physical discomfort. In this instance, your cravings are probably coming from a wounded ego, looking to perpetuate old hurts and a reduced sense of self-worth.
- Omega 3’s (EPA and DHA) – Flax oil, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts
- Sesame seeds
Accepting our own authenticity and importance frees our power and allows us to go against social norms that cultivate insecurity. Through articulating our experience and understanding ourselves better, it’s possible to see how beautiful we really are, and how much we have to give the world. This releases restrictions on our sense of personal power, and allows a stronger mind to take back control. Consider practicing core exercises to cultivate your third chakra, which is the center of your self-esteem and willpower.
17 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Health and Wellness
Apple cider vinegar, commonly denoted as ACV, has received a lot of hype as a miracle home remedy for all kinds of ailments, from allergies to arthritis. While a lot of conclusive research needs to be done, there are all kinds of ACV tricks you can try for your home and wellness.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is the product of fermentation—the process in which sugars in food are broken down by bacteria and yeast. In stage one of fermentation, the sugars are turned into alcohol. Stage two, if the alcohol ferments further, you get vinegar. While vinegar can be made from all sorts of things—fruits, vegetables, and grains –ACV, is, unsurprisingly, made from pulverized apples. The main ingredient of apple cider vinegar, or any vinegar, is acetic acid. It also has other acids, vitamins, mineral salts, and amino acids.
It sounds like a relatively innocuous substance more likely to be found in a salad dressing or used as a preservative, but because of its unique properties, ACV has a huge range of uses.
15 Health Benefits to Apple Cider Vinegar
Adding apple cider vinegar as a supplement to your diet can result in a number of benefits to your health. Apple cider vinegar may help with everything from heart disease to weight loss. Below is a list of 17 proven benefits.
1. Help with Heart Disease
If you’re looking for an alternative modality to improve heart health and ameliorate high blood pressure, ACV could be exactly what you’re looking for. Though clinical trials haven’t been conducted yet on humans, trials on animals have shown ACV to reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels, two of the major contributing factors to heart disease.
2. Lower Blood Sugar
Do you experience high blood sugar levels from type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Are your insulin levels low and your glucose levels too high? Try taking ACV after meals to lower your blood sugar levels. According to research conducted from a small study in 2004, subjects taking 20mL of ACV diluted in 40mL of water with a teaspoon of saccharine, lowered their blood sugar levels after a meal. This reduction was significant, though small, and only lasted about 30 minutes.
While this method needs more research conducted before it could be considered a viable treatment, some researchers have described it as a potential adjuvant to other treatments for diabetes.
3. Leg Cramp Relief
Ever had a crazy sudden pain in your leg in the middle of the night? It’s the worst! Stop the attacks with an ACV tonic. Taken diluted in water twice daily, it will dissolve acid crystals in the blood and provide potassium, calcium, and other essential minerals to the body needed to ease the leg cramps.