I have a frequent craving for corn chips. It turned on like a tap a few years ago and hasn’t switched off. It’s not all day every day but it’s often enough for alarm.
At first, I thought I might be pregnant … perhaps it was going to be my thing or I was having a Latino baby. But since I’ve never been to Mexico—or with a Mexican—it seemed unlikely. So with that ruled out, I turned to the experts. Ok, ok, I Googled it, and here’s what I found.
There is a lot of contention around whether food cravings are symptomatic of nutritional deficiencies. One article suggested that as babies we are programmed to equate the taste of breast milk—being sweet and fatty—with love and nurture. As we get older, these are the foods we crave when we need these things. A study by the University of Arizona drew a parallel between chocolate and drugs. It stated that it’s “chocolate’s sensory characteristics, nutrient composition, and psychoactive ingredients” combined with “monthly hormonal fluctuations and mood swings among women” that make chocolate so hard to resist.
And others write it off altogether.
Regardless of your standpoint, speak to any woman and she’ll tell you that cravings are real. Between breast milk as babies and hormones as adults, how did we ever stand a chance?
So to help you get to the bottom of your cravings, we spoke to nutritionist, Lola Berry, and enlisted the help of Bernard Jensen’s (PhD) research in The Chemistry Of Man. Here’s what they had to say.
Jensen suggests a craving for salty foods is indicative of a chloride deficiency, while Berry believes it could be linked to low calcium or minerals.
Jensen: Raw goats milk, fish, celery and kelp
Berry: Dairy products, kale and broccoli
Jensen: Chromium, phosphorous, sulphur or tryptophan
Berry: Sweet cravings are often associated with low protein diets.
Jensen: broccoli, chicken, liver, turkey, collard, green vegetables, sweet potato, nuts or fruit
Berry: Beans, meat, nuts and eggs
Both Berry and Jensen agree that a craving for chocolate could be a sign of low magnesium.
Nuts, seeds and legumes…or stick to dark chocolate.
Berry: If it’s after a big night out, it could be linked to your liver.
Jensen: Dairy products, sesame seeds, kale and broccoli
Berry: Avocado, nuts, fish, and eggs
Both Berry and Jensen agree that carbs cravings could be due to a lack of protein in the diet. Often vegans and vegetarians will crave sweet carbs because their protein intake is much lower.
Beans, meat, nuts and eggs