HomeHealthDiet and NutritionWhat your food cravings mean

What your food cravings mean

A food craving is an intense desire to eat a certain kind of food. It is different from hunger, and can come about for a few reasons.

To some degree, food cravings are a matter of the mind. Specific areas of the brain are responsible for memory and sensing pleasure, and they are partly guilty for the reoccurrence of cravings. Medical research indicates that the three regions of the brain – the hippocampus, insula, and caudate – some alive during food-craving periods. Blocking the opiate receptors (pleasure-sensors) in the brain, can dull a person’s craving to eat foods that are rich in fat and sugar.

Indulging in some food cravings too often can lead to bad habits, increasing your chances of weight gain and psychological addition to foods to feel good. In general, it’s advisable to fight recurring cravings for sweets and oily foods, and to treat foods only as an occasional indulgence.

On the other hand, craving food can be your body’s way of telling you it’s deficient in certain nutrients. For instance, if you find yourself craving steak over a prolonged period, your body could be telling you it’s low in iron.

It’s important to listen to your body’s wants and needs, as well as monitoring your diet to ensure you’re getting the right nutrients. To see what your cravings might be telling you about your nutrition, refer to the table below.


 What your cravings may mean

 Your craving

 What you may need

 What to try instead



 Nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits

 Sugary foods



 Broccoli, grapes, cheese, chicken



 Fresh fruits


 Chicken, beef, fatty fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, vegetables, grains


 Cranberries, horseradish, cabbage, cauliflower


 Cheese, raisins, sweet potatoes, spinach

 Bread, pasta and other carbs


 High protein foods – e.g. meat, fatty fish, nuts, beans, chia seeds

 Oily foods


 Organic milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables

 Salty foods


 Fatty fish, goats milk


 Cashews, nuts, seeds

Source: Coaching & Weight Management

Cravings are not always due to a nutritional deficiency. They can also arise through bad habits over the years, and psychological/emotional addiction. However, if you feel you have a nutritional deficiency, it’s always a good idea to seek a professional opinion from your doctor.

Find out more at My Green World

Amelia Theodorakis
Amelia Theodorakishttps://ameliatheoodorakis.godaddysites.com/
A writer and communications specialist with eight years’ in startups, SMEs, not-for-profits and corporates. Interests and expertise in gender studies, history, finance, banking, human interest, literature and poetry.
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