Every now and then we get this moment when all we can think of is a certain food we are dying to have – right now. Maybe, it’s something sweet like chocolate, or something salty like pretzels. Cravings can come and go sporadically, but we never really take the time to think about what they really mean.
Did you know that our food cravings, as random as they may be, could actually indicate a health problem? It’s true, and that’s why it’s so important that you pay close attention to those cravings to help you uncover what is really going on with your body.
Here are five common food cravings that could indicate a health problem.
Water: Craving water because you are excessively thirsty could be an early warning sign of diabetes. This is due to excess sugar building up in the blood, which means your kidneys must work harder to filter and absorb that sugar. As a result, you are left high, dry, and thirsty.
Salt: Many Americans actually take in far more salt than recommended, so when we crave salt it’s not because we have a deficiency. A salt craving could be a result of Addison’s disease, a condition in which the adrenal glands don’t produce enough hormones. If left untreated, Addison’s disease could result in drastically low blood pressure. If you persistently crave salt, book an appointment with your doctor.
Ice: If you want to chew on ice cubes (or other substances that offer no nutritional value), you could be low on iron. Although not fully understood, research has shown that chewing on ice increases blood flow to the brain to combat the sluggish feeling brought on by low iron.
Chocolate: Some of us crave chocolate because it’s a sweet treat, but this could also reveal a magnesium or vitamin B deficiency. Chocolate is a source of magnesium – not the best source, but a source nonetheless – so when your levels get low, you could be craving it more. Also, if you’re low on B vitamins, eating chocolate gives you a quick boost. Unfortunately, it’s not a long-standing boost, so have your levels checked and get your magnesium and B vitamins from healthier sources.
Fatty foods: Be it French fries or burgers, your fatty food craving could reveal an omega-3 deficiency. But there are healthier fatty food options you can choose from that won’t cause you problems over time. Opt for salmon, avocados, and nuts to boost up your healthy fats and steer clear of the unhealthy ones.
A craving here and there isn’t much of a big deal, but if your cravings are persistent, see your doctor to find out what the culprit is.