In every consult that I do I ask my patients if they have any food cravings. It tells me so much about the health of their gut, their body, their hormones and their mind.
So to help y’all out i’d thought I’d share a bit of what cravings tell me…or, well, you.
This is the most common by far and it can mean a lot of things but the first places I go to craving sugar are the GUT and the ADRENAL glands. Most likely one or both are out of balance or strained.
When our gut bugs (probiotics) get outta whack we can have an over growth of certain strains that actually crave sugar. So its really THEM, not YOU.
OR, you’ve had a long sting of infections where you then were put on heavy doses of ANTI-biotics…. which do what? Right, kill bacteria that are triggering an infection. Now keep in mind that the antibiotics don’t just target the “bad” bacteria making you feel super awful, but they kill the “good” bacteria that are in our gut to keep us healthy.
Now, think about this, in nature there is a natural balance between bacteria, viruses and fungus and yeasts.
Think of it like a three legged stool.
When we knock one of those legs out, say the bacteria leg with long term use of antibiotics, the other two legs get stronger. So then you will see chronic viral infections or fungal infections.
So often when we kill all the “good” bacteria yeast overgrowth will happen like Candida and Candida LOOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEESSS
So YOU crave it.
What to do? Get on a HEAVY duty probiotic and do the anti-candida diet.
One of the other triggers for craving sugar is adrenal stress.
The adrenals are the two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, they are responsible for a lot of things, and one of them being maintaining our blood sugar. When the blood sugar dips the adrenals send out a little note to the liver to put glucose into the blood to feed the brain and the body.
When we either go long periods of time without food (like skipping breakfast and not eating lunch til 2) it puts an enormous amount of stress on the adrenals and you will crave sugar because it’s a very quick way for you to get glucose into the blood stream and take the stress of your adrenals.
But when you, at 2 pm, reach for a granola bar, or bowl of pasta, or a PB and J, or a handful of pretzels it will spike the blood sugar and then crash out immediately, leaving the adrenals to pick up the pieces again, and you just wanting more…what?
So what to do? Eat PROTEIN and FATS with EVERY meal.
Like instead of a granola bar have a protein shake with coconut milk, almond butter and a banana.
EAT PROETEIN FOR BREAKSFAST!!!!!
I cant say this enough.
And Kashi cereal does not count.
I’m talking eggs, sausage, bacon, protein shakes, quinoa, green eggs and ham style.
I promise you, if you have been skipping breakfast or having cereal and then you can count on yourself crashing at 2- 3 pm, if you eat protein in the am that will shift.
Another trigger for sugar cravings is a magnesium deficiency.
This goes along with the sugar thing. It’s usually more in woman. And this more specifically points towards a magnesium deficiency.
So what to do?
Eat it. Eat the dark stuff.
And ALSO eat foods that are high in magnesium like nuts, seeds, fish and leafy greens.
And take a supplement.
This one is near and dear to my heart. Those of you who know me know I have a love affair with salt.
When I hear salt cravings I say this:
Salt cravings also have to do with the adrenals and more specifically adrenal insufficiency. People who crave salt are most likely deficient in the steroid hormone aldosterone, which helps the body maintain salt and water as a way to regulate our blood pressure.
Cortisol and aldosterone have a seesaw relationship. When one goes up the other goes down and both are influenced by stress. Chronically low levels of aldosterone can lead to electrolyte imbalance and eating salt is one way to correct this.
Peeps who crave crunch could be low in iron. So have your blood tested for anemia. You may also be craving red meat which would also indicate an iron deficiency.
There are those cheese heads out there that cant give the stuff up. You know who you are.
And when you crave cheese (gotta admit the stuff is awesome) you are probably deficient in essential fatty acids.
So what to do?
Take fish oil daily. Eat fish. Eat nuts and seeds. Eat flax seeds.
6. Nighttime Cravings
This craving can mean a few things.
Are you ready?
Magnesium deficiency. Calcium deficiency.
And good ol’ HABIT.
Many people just get into the HABIT of eating something sweet after dinner.
So what to do?
Have a bit of dark chocolate. Eat chocolate covered almonds.
Go for a walk.
Ask yourself if you’re really CRAVING it or its just creature of habit shenanigans going on.
Any others you guys have?
Woot! I’m out to go play with my horses.