Craving Communication: What Your Body is Really Telling You Through Cravings

Craving Communication: What Your Body is Really Telling You Through Cravings

You know that a grumbling stomach is your body’s way of telling you it’s time to get some food — any food — in your system. What about the more selective cravings? Just as a grumbling stomach is your body’s way of communicating hunger, cravings for particular foods are also your body’s way of communicating deficiencies in certain vital nutrients. The tricky part is being able to distinguish between the foods you want to eat to satisfy your cravings and the foods that you should eat. It all comes down to understanding how to interpret your cravings and knowing how to make sure your body is getting the right vitamins and minerals that it’s really asking for.


Let your body know you hear it loud and clear next time a craving sets in by following these guidelines about some of the common cravings you might experience and what your body is really telling you when they start to kick in.

If you’re craving bread, pasta, and rice…

When you feel the urge to load up on carbohydrates, this could mean that your body is really in need of nitrogen. As a component of all amino acids which make up protein, nitrogen can be found in protein-rich foods such as beef, chicken, turkey, fish, and other seafood. You can also turn to nuts, seeds, or a number of vegetable sources of nitrogen, such as spinach, kale, and asparagus to curb your carb cravings.

If you’re craving candy and cookies

Giving into the need for a sugar fix by indulging in sweets only leads to a rise in insulin followed by a crash. A craving for sweets could actually be signifying a deficiency in several minerals, including chromium, sulfur, carbon, phosphorous, and tryptophan. To satisfy your body’s need for these minerals, reach for fresh fruit, like apples and grapes; vegetables, like sweet potatoes and cauliflower; or nuts and dried fruits, like raisins. A sugar craving could also mean your body is low on energy. Try a power nap, a walk, or a workout to help your body recharge.

If you’re craving pizza and fries…

A desire for greasy, fatty foods can mean a few things. For starters, it could just be your body’s way of telling you it is missing exactly what you are craving: fat. Instead of greasy foods, like fries, you should aim to feed your body healthy fats, such as those which you can get from avocados, olive oil, and eggs. On the other hand, a craving for oily foods could mean that your body is in need of calcium, in which case you can turn to healthy servings of cheese and other dairy products, or can even get a good dose from veggies, like broccoli, kale, and asparagus.

If you’re craving salty pretzels and potato chips…

A craving for salt is usually a sign that your body is really asking you for chloride and silicon. In the case of the former, the mineral can be found in several sources, including tomatoes, celery, lettuce, seaweed, and olives. As for silicon, some good sources include whole grains, dried fruits, barley, oats, and nuts. Try whipping up a salad with your favorite chloride-rich greens, or get a healthy serving of silicon to start your morning by having a bowl of oatmeal with some dried fruit in the morning to help curb cravings throughout the rest of the day.

If you’re craving chocolate…

A chocolate craving is one of the cravings you may be least likely to feel content satisfying with anything other than chocolate. While a chocolate craving signifies a need for magnesium which your body can get from several healthy sources including nuts and seeds, you can also get a good amount of magnesium from dark chocolate with over 75 percent cocoa. So if you absolutely need your chocolate fix, don’t deprive yourself — just be sure to opt for healthier dark chocolate varieties to satisfy your cravings without sacrificing consideration for your health.


Did you know there was a science behind your cravings? Share your thoughts below, or tweet me @tamarahoumi

Tamara Rahoumi

Tamara Rahoumi is a third-culture kid of Egyptian descent who was born and raised in New Jersey. She loves experiencing new things, and is in a constant state of wanderlust. She has spent a year studying in Switzerland and another teaching in Albania. Tamara graduated from Rutgers University, where she studied political science and cultural anthropology. She reports on a variety of stories for MUIPR. Follow Tamara on twitter @tamarahoumi.

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