Our bodies can do strange things, especially when it comes to cravings. One minute you eat an entire meal the next minute you’re craving a whole box of chocolates. Or maybe an even stranger craving such as eating chocolate then suddenly find yourself craving a box of Chinese take-out. We all know what it feels like when the cravings hit especially when they become too strong they start to interfere with your day until you finally give in.

When you think about food cravings usually your minds automatically think about unhealthy foods like chocolate, fast food etc. However, sometimes our bodies crave other foods like pickles or ice chips which seem to have no reason. Whichever the case it’s important to know when a craving arises there might be a bigger underlying message your body is trying to send you. Together we can learn about 15 foods and what their cravings might mean.

1. Candy

Whether you have a sweet tooth or not a candy craving can be a hard one to ignore. There’s nothing like a sweet tasting candy to either chew on or savor. However, next time you find yourself in a rut and are strongly craving a piece of candy consider the following; having a candy craving might mean you haven’t eaten enough or not enough of the right kinds of foods. For example, if you’re lacking protein or fat this may be the culprit for your sugary candy craving. It could also be a sign that you ate too much starch or consumed too many salty foods.

Lastly, you could have simply picked up a really bad habit and found yourself addicted to sugar and just simply can’t get enough. Recent studies show that sugar can lead to a dopamine release in the part of our brain that is associated with reward and motivation. There’s no wonder why we keep reaching for that jar of candy, it can make us feel good!  None the less make sure to always ask yourself, is it candy that your body really wants?

2. Cheese

Cheese, a crazily delicious and addictive food. There is a reason why people say “I could never give up cheese” or why so many people transitioning to a plant-based diet struggle with this food, it’s because it has natural addictive traits. This is from the casomorphin protein fragments found in cheese has an opioid effect on our brains, although the reason why it’s so addictive is slightly unclear it makes it a hard food to say no to.

Furthermore, your body could be craving cheese because it actually wants sugar. Your brain recognizes that cheese contains natural milk sugars and we know now that sugar releases dopamine into the brain so there is no wonder that cheese could have a similar effect.  And finally, craving cheese could also mean your body isn’t getting eno0ugh calcium or vitamin D. Although cheese may contain both of these nutrients it isn’t enough to satisfy the body. Consider a healthier choice such as leafy greens rich in calcium or fatty fish rich in vitamin D the next time you have a cheese craving.

3. Pickles

Whether you’re craving pickles or other vinegary foods like salt and vinegar chips, vinegar on fries etc, you could really be craving something else. The next time you crave pickles you could really be having an issue with your stomach acid. If there isn’t enough stomach acid your body will crave vinegary foods to help trigger your stomach to produce more.

You may be experiencing low stomach acid because of stress or other health problems. Instead of eating processed vinegary foods like potato chips or fries try using vinegar as a salad dressing or pairing it with seasonings to compliment a chicken dinner. This can help restore the balance of your stomach acid levels without hurting your digestion.

4. Burgers

Sometimes you just crave a big juicy burger loaded with toppings. If this happens it could be a way of your body telling you it is actually craving iron and zinc. Both of these are very common deficiencies all across America, especially in women.

Furthermore, if you find yourself craving a burger you may be lacking energy. If you’ve been living a busy lifestyle lately your body may be craving nourishment and comfort food. Make sure to indulge in a healthy meal including a good balance of carbs, protein and a big side of vegetables for extra nutrients. This can help satisfy your craving without making you more tired from foods that lack nutrients.

5. Pasta

There are two major reasons why your body may be craving pasta, you may be lacking nutrients and calories. First, pasta is considered a high-energy carb so if you have a big event coming up your body may crave it to help get you through the stressful time. However what you really need is nutrient dense food that can do all the same and more.

Secondly, you may be craving pasta even more so in the winter months when we have cooler weather. Your body is seeking ways to keep warm which can lead you to comfort foods like pasta. Regardless of the reasons why your body is craving pasta make sure if you choose to indulge in it you pair it with something healthy like vegetables or good fats like avocados.

6. Chinese Food

Considering Chinese foods are generally very high in sodium this could the biggest reason why your body is craving it. When you’re craving salty foods it can usually mean your body is dehydrated.

You may really want that Chinese takeout but it isn’t always the healthiest option. Before dialling that takeout phone number consider drinking some water to see if you were indeed dehydrated. If hydrating doesn’t do the trick then you can consider getting that takeout after all.

7. Ice

Cravings for ice chips is an interesting one and I hate to admit it but it is an often craving of mine and I’m sure many other people too. Some health professionals say that craving ice chips could be a sign of an iron deficiency but the reason behind that is unclear. You could also crave ice if you’re dehydrated and it’s your bodies way of getting more water into it.

Following, craving ice could have hidden psychological meaning. Constantly craving ice could be a sign of stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and even developmental disorder. However, most common of the three is due to stress. Ice contains no calories or nutrients so there isn’t any harm in indulging in some ice chips to help you get through a stressful situation but if you believe it could be due to an iron deficiency make sure to speak to your doctor and seek foods that are high in iron nutrients such as spinach, beans or red meats.

8. Peanut Butter

If you’re a peanut butter lover you know how delicious its creamy spread is perfect on toast or in baking or even better mixed with chocolate. Craving peanut butter might mean you and your body are more stressed out than you thought.

Recent studies show that our bodies crave high calorie and fatty foods when we are stressed. Our bodies tend to lean towards the foods that make us feel the best but these usually offer only a short-term, temporary fix. Further, you could also be craving peanut butter if your body is low in magnesium and Vitamin B which are both found in many nut-butters. You could also not be getting enough fat or calories that is causing your body to crave this high-calorie food. Make sure your body doesn’t actually need a wholesome meal before you indulge in your spoonful of peanut butter.

9. Chocolate

Chocolate is my ultimate weakness when it comes to food. If you’re like me and can’t say no to a chocolate offering there may be a deeper reason why we love it and crave it so much. Firstly, craving chocolate could mean you need more magnesium. Sodas and other sugary foods and drinks have components that bind to the magnesium in our diets causing it to flush out of our bodies. However, we need magnesium for many crucial chemical reactions that occur in our bodies especially for heart and bone health as well as our overall energy.

Furthermore, similar to candy chocolate too can make us feel happy and content because of the sugars abilities to release dopamine in our brain. Instead of leaning towards milk chocolate, if the craving occurs consider having a dark chocolate instead. It will contain the magnesium your body needs just without all the refined sugar.

10. Ice Cream

Ice cream is such a delicious treat because it comes in so many amazing flavors that there is something for everyone. You can even have ice cream if you have a dairy allergy or prefer to not have dairy for other reasons as there are so many other great alternatives out there such as coconut ice cream, soy ice cream, and many other great choices. However, craving ice cream could really mean that your body is actually exhausted.

Ice cream, as well as many other dairy or dairy alternative desserts and drinks, contain sugars and our bodies recognize it as a quick boost of energy. You could also be craving a bowl of ice cream after a heavy meal because it helps prevent heartburn and can help control your stomach acidity. So the next time you have an ice cream craving consider maybe you just need a quick power nap instead and making sure you’re eating a wholesome meal to help prevent this craving right after you eat.

11. French Fries

Craving french fries and other oily, deep fried foods could mean a couple different things. First, your body may actually need more calcium when you’re craving fries. Your body still needs fats but not the fried kind, try and stick to healthy fats like fish, almonds or avocados.

Continuing, you could also be craving french fries because we recognize that they smell and taste good which sends all sorts of signals to the pleasure center in our brain. Your brain remembers that you temporarily feel good every time you have them so it will naturally crave them.

12. Coffee

If our bodies are lacking iron it can make us feel lethargic and very tired. So naturally, we may crave coffee as a temporary fix. If you think this may be the case make sure to eat foods that are dense in iron nutrients and make sure to talk to your doctor in the case that it may be a more serious issue.

You may also be craving coffee because you are addicted to caffeine. If you find yourself unable to get through the day with0ut coffee or experience caffeine headaches when you don’t have coffee you are probably addicted. Consider drinking less or watching your caffeine intake so your body doesn’t rely on caffeine to fuel your energy.

13. Spicy Food

If you’re a hot sauce lover like myself you know that a dabble or two of hot sauce can be a game changer with a lot of meals. However, sometimes the craving for spicy foods can come out of nowhere.

There is a logical reason why spicy food is popular in countries that have warmer climates. It is because when you eat spicy food it naturally cools your body down. It sounds interesting because you might think that eating hot foods would make you warmer internally too but it actually does the opposite. When you eat spicy foods your body sweats as a reaction which is a form of cooling your body. You may also crave spicy foods when you’re sick because it can release endorphins to help relieve pain and enhance our moods. Make sure to reach for spices to add to your dish instead of spicy potato chips the next time a spicy food craving comes up.

14. Soda

An underlying reason why you may be craving soda could be a calcium deficiency. The presence of phosphoric acid found in carbonated drinks can drain away calcium and magnesium from the bones in our bodies. This sparks a vicious cycle of craving and then depletion. If your craving soda considers eating or drinking something that is high in calcium such as kale, raw milk, yogurt, and broccoli.

Soda also contains a ton of sugar, that is probably to no surprise. However, as we have discovered previously we crave sugary drinks and snacks because they make us feel good. So the next time you feel stressed try and not reach for that soda, it may cause temporary relief but it may not be worth the long-term toll it can have on your body.

15. Water

Water may seem like an obvious craving. If a serious craving for water occurs usually that means you are dehydrated. It’s important to not dismiss this craving because water keeps you hydrated which in turns help keep your skin from aging quickly, helps distribute nutrients in your body as well as can help enhance your overall mood.

A more underlying reason why you may be craving water could be because you are at risk of diabetes. If you find yourself consistently craving water consider speaking to your doctor about it. One of the earliest warning signs of diabetes is excessive urination and thirst. As you can see, it is very important not to ignore your cravings for water.

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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