Whether you are trying to eat healthier or shed those extra pounds, food cravings can be your worst nightmare!
These cravings or the strong desire for specific food, especially unhealthy food that might strike any time of the day or night are actually your body telling you it needs something.
Understanding the science behind these cravings can help you get control over them and decipher what really your body needs.
The science behind cravings:
Cravings are both psychological and physical process. In case you’re stressed or emotionally unstable, you may tend to eat more sugary foods or serotonin-rich foods which are calming and relaxing. On the other hand, cravings may also indicate the lack of key nutrients such as protein, magnesium, etc.
What are really your cravings? And what are the healthy alternatives?
Don’t let these cravings ruin your healthy eating habits! Be smart and choose wisely while satisfying these urges.
Most of us experience chocolate cravings at some point and these desires can get out of control and end up binge eating. Besides its effects on boosting the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain, it’s also a good source of magnesium.
What you need: Magnesium which plays a role in the good neuromuscular functioning as well as the proper nervous flow.
Healthier choices: Eating small amounts of dark chocolate is a healthier alternative to milk chocolate which is loaded with sugar. Also, magnesium-rich foods such as raw nuts, legumes, chia seeds, avocados, and bananas can satisfy your chocolate cravings without feeling guilty after you eat them.
2- Sugary Foods:
It’s no surprise that sugary food is one of the most popular cravings in the world! Satisfying your sweet tooth can be tricky, but it’s possible with simple swaps or changes to your diet.
What you need: Carbon, chromium or tryptophan.
Healthier choices: Fruits are the ideal snacks to satisfy your sweet cravings and keep you energized. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cabbage may also help.
3- Bread and Bakery:
Eating too much bread, especially white bread can contribute to many health problems and weight gain, therefore finding healthier alternatives may be essential.
What you need: Amino acids which are crucial for growth and repair.
Healthier choices: Protein-rich foods such as fish, nuts, quinoa and beans.
4- Salty Snacks:
We all sometimes get tempted to devour salty snacks between meals or while watching TV that will definitely wreck our diet plan. Enjoying tasty yet healthy snacks will keep you satisfied while outsmarting your cravings.
What you need: Chloride or sodium
Healthier choices: Opt for fish, milk, raw cashews, nuts, seeds and veggies such as celery, tomatoes, and lettuce.