What's Causing These Food Cravings?
Pickles and ice cream. It’s the stereotype of pregnancy food cravings. Most of us have experienced a strong craving for fried foods or salty potato chips—and definitely chocolate. But have you ever wondered what’s driving these food cravings?
Craving certain foods is extremely common and seems to plague women more than men. One study on food cravings found that 97% of women and 68% of men have experienced food cravings. These usually occur later in the day, averaging two to four cravings a week.
Many theories try to explain our strong desire for certain foods, including emotional triggers as well as biological ones.
Nutritional deficiencies may play a role in the foods you crave. Wanting chocolate, for example, has been linked to low magnesium levels.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Pica, a strange condition where a person may crave non-food items, such as soil or eating laundry detergent. Most common among pregnant women and children, it’s unknown what the root cause is, but it’s speculated to be linked to nutrient deficiencies, such as zinc, iron and calcium.
You may notice craving sodium after a strenuous workout. A loss or imbalance in electrolytes may create a craving for salty foods in order to replenish salt lost in sweat.
Sometimes, you might simply feel ravenous because you’re dehydrated. Dehydration leads to loss of energy levels, which may increase your appetite in order to meet energy needs. This is also the case when you’re tired and craving a “pick me up” cappuccino. Drinking a glass of water may be all you need to increase energy levels and put a halt to those food and coffee cravings.
When certain hormones, such as serotonin and leptin are out of balance, this may also contribute to food cravings. Food can trigger the release of endorphins, similar to a drug addiction.
Studies are also indicating that your microbiome influences what foods you crave. Our gut flora has their own appetites. Good and evil exist even in the microbiome world. Yeast, for example, crave sugar. Bifidobacteria crave fiber, Bacteroidetes love fat. Microbes can even change our taste buds, influencing the foods we like.
It’s also common to eat when your sad or to reward yourself with food, giving food cravings an emotional motivation.
Stressed out? You might want foods that crunch in your mouth and allow you to chomp down, releasing tension in your jaw. Women who experience stress also lean toward sweets.
Stress on its own, even if you aren’t falling into the binge eating trap, can cause weight gain. Chronic stress increases cortisol levels, which can add inches of belly fat.
Lack of sleep can also affect hormone balance, which may contribute to food cravings and weight gain.
Staying satiated throughout the day helps control ravenous food-shoveling later in the day, which may contribute to overeating. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and snacking on lean proteins as well as hydrating throughout the day can help eliminate late-night binges.
Want to help control food cravings?
Finding healthier food options that still satisfy cravings is one solution.
Craving sugar? Reach for dried or fresh fruit.
Want a Coke? Try some sparkling water with a lime in it. Kombucha may also do the trick.
How about a bag of potato chips? Try some sunflower seeds or pistachios. Kale chips are also easy to make, can be seasoned just right and provide a bit of crispy crunch you’re seeking.
Another option is to produce the same endorphin high with a mood boosting activity. Get out for a hike or bike ride, practice yoga or similar exercise. The increase in endorphins will likely quell the craving.
Support a healthy microbiome with healthy food choices, exercise and taking a probiotic daily.
Our Power Probiotic Daily™ is a four-strain vegetarian, dairy- and gluten-free probiotic totaling 30 billion CFU† per capsule. Since heat, moisture, and oxygen are proven to degrade probiotic stability, each capsule is sealed in nitrogen-purged aluminum blister packs to assure viability.
This probiotic formula provides four researched strains of useful bacteria, including the extensively studied HN019 strain of Bifidobacterium lactis. These live microorganisms have proven health benefits and well-established safety, and have been tested for epithelial cell adhesion and/or resistance to low pH.
Power Probiotic Daily™ probiotics are encased in innovative stomach acid resistant capsules called DRcaps® to further support resistance to low pH and the delivery of microorganisms to the small intestines. This formulation supports the immune response, bowel regularity and maintaining a healthy flora.
Much of the fat in the stomach area lies directly under the skin. This is called subcutaneous fat and is not necessarily hazardous to your health. The fat that is harmful is the unseen fat around your organs, otherwise known are visceral abdominal fat. You may have visceral fat but yet not be obese.
If you concentrate only on weight loss rather than visceral fat, this fat may be an obstacle. Visceral has influence on your hunger mechanism and you are more likely to eat more than required, eventually that will result weight gain. In simple words stored fat affects metabolism and increases insulin resistance, more calories are converted to fat when your insulin level is high.
Our MicroActive Oligonol is a 12-hour sustained release formula with improved uniform absorption. 2.39x GREATER bioavailability than regular Oligonol – which means you only need ONE CAPSULE a day to get an equivalent of 239mg Oligonol (the dose required for visceral belly fat reduction)
Derived from lychee fruit extract and green tea, Oligonol is the world’s first low-molecular-weight polyphenol and winner of the prestigious Nutracon “Top Evidence-Backed Product of the Year” Award. Unlike other antioxidant formulas and skin supplements, our antioxidant complex uses clinically studied ingredients backed by 30 human clinical trials with multiple anti-aging benefits. It addresses the three major causes of aging: poor blood circulation, cell oxidation and inflammation.
Oligonol has been clinically shown to:
- Support healthy post-meal blood glucose and lipid levels
- Reduce visceral fat
- Lessen skin wrinkles and brown spots
- Help decrease fatigue and improves endurance