Common Food Cravings

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Have you ever changed your way of eating and one day, BAM you are hit with a craving out of left field? What about needing to have foods so badly that you drove out of your way to get it? Have you woken up with a craving for foods that you have not had in years?Scenarios like these are perfect examples of vitamin and mineral deficiencies that many of us suffer from.

During my last two pregnancies, I craved raw almond butter like crazy. Through research I found that certain deficiencies cause certain cravings. Cravings are different from hunger. Hunger is controlled by the stomach, whereas craving are controlled by our brains and our body’s chemistry.

Below is a chart with the most common cravings I have come across in my research, the deficiency associate with each craving and all the foods you can eat to restore your body back to optimal function.

Craving
Deficiency
Foods to Repair With
  • Cheese
  • Potato Chips

 

Essential Fatty Acids deficiency Omega 3 Fatty Acids (EPA and DHA) such as flax oil, fish oil, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts
  • Cheese
  • Soda, Carbonated Drinks
  • Alcohol, recreational drugs

 

Calcium deficiency Sesame seeds/ tahini, broccoli, kale, legumes, raw almonds, mustard and turnip greens
  • Pasta, white bread, pastries
  • Sweets

 

Chromium deficiency Onion, romaine lettuce, tomato, cinnamon, grapes, apples, sweet potato
  • Bread and toast

 

Nitrogen deficiency Foods containing proteins, meat, poultry, fish, leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains
  • Red meat
  • Caffeine

 

Iron deficiency beans, legumes, prunes, figs/dried fruit, seaweed, spinach, cherries, Vitamin C
  • Popcorn
  • Salty Foods

 

Stress hormone fluctuations Leafy greens, vitamin B and C
  • Potato Chips
  • Salty Foods
  • Lack of Appetite

 

Chloride deficiency celery, olives, tomato, kelp, Himalayan sea salt
  • Burned Food

 

Carbon deficiency Fresh fruits
  • Acid foods
  • Chocolate

 

Magnesium deficiency Raw cacao nibs/beans/powder, Whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, greens, fruit
  • Sweets

 

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) Fruit, high fiber foods (ex. beans, legumes), complex carbs (whole grains), chromium (cinnamon)
  • Sweets
  • Overeating

 

Tryptophan deficiency Spirulina, pumpkin/sesame/sunflower seeds, raw cacao, oatmeal, sweet potato, spinach, raisins, raw almonds
  • Sweets
  • Caffeine

 

Sulfur deficiency Cruciferous vegetables (ex. kale, cabbage, etc), cranberries, horseradish, asparagus, carob powder, garlic, onion
  • Sweets
  • Caffeine

 

Phosphorus deficiency Whole grains, pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, lentils
  • Sweets
  • Caffeine

 

Sulfur deficiency Cruciferous vegetables (ex. kale, cabbage, etc), cranberries, horseradish, asparagus, carob powder, garlic, onion
  • Caffeine

 

NaCl (salt) deficiency Himalayan sea salt, Apple Cider vinegar, kombucha
  • Sweets
  • Caffeine

 

Phosphorous deficiency Whole grains, pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, lentils
  • Alcohol, recreational drugs

 

Glutamine deficiency Cabbage, beetroot, beans, spinach, parsley, vegetable juice
  • Alcohol, recreational drugs

 

Protein deficiency Green leafy vegetable, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, beans
  • Alcohol, recreational drugs

 

Potassium deficiency Citrus fruits, bitter green leafy vegetables, banana, tomato, pineapple, black olives, seaweeds
  • Alcohol, recreational drugs

 

Oat deficiency Oatmeal, granola
  • Tobacco
  • Overeating

 

Silicon deficiency Horsetail herb, nuts, seeds, oats, millet, barley, onions, whole wheat, beetroot. Avoid refines starches
  • Tobacco
  • Overeating

 

Tyrosine deficiency Fruits (ex. Avocado and banana), whole grains, oats, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, Vitamin C, vegetables
  • Lack of appetite

 

Thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency Whole grains, peanuts, seeds, beans, green and yellow vegetables
  • Lack of appetite

 

Niacin (Vitamin B3) deficiency Peanuts, sunflower seeds, wheat bran and wheat germ
  • Lack of appetite

 

Manganese deficiency Walnuts, almonds, pecans, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, pineapple, blueberries

Sources:
Alekseeva, T., What Do Food Cravings Say About You (Chart)?:

Georgiou, C., Reboot with Joe

Shifko, R.,Cravings & Vitamin Deficiency

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