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14
Jul

The Eight Causes of Cravings

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Lack of Primary Food

Eating can be used to fill the void of primary food (exercise, career, relationships, and spirituality). Being unhappy with a relationship, bored by a job, or participating in an exercise routine that is harmful too much or too little for your body may all cause emotional eating and specific cravings.

 

Water

Dehydration can manifest as a mild hunger; rather than diving into your craving, first drink a full glass of water to see if it that message you were getting was one from a lack of water.

 

Yin-Yang Imbalance

Eating foods that are extremely yin (expansive) or yang (contractive) causes cravings in order to maintain balance. For example, eating a lot of raw food (yin) may cause cravings for cooked (dehydrated/contractive) foods and vice versa.

 

Inside Coming Out

Sometimes, our cravings stem from foods that we have recently eaten, foods eaten by our ancestors, or foods from our childhood. To satisfy these cravings, try eating a healthier version of Mom’s enchiladas or chocolate chip cookies.

 

Seasonal

The body craves foods that balance the elements of the seasons. For example, one might encounter cravings for detoxifying leafy greens and citrus; in the summer, cooling foods like fruit, raw food, and ice cream; in fall, grounding foods including squash, onions, and nuts. It’s common to crave heat-producing foods in winter like meat, oil, and fat; cravings are also associated with holidays.

 

Lack of Nutrients

If one is consuming inadequate nutrients, it can cause odd cravings, i.e. salt cravings can indicate deficient mineral levels and non-nutritional cravings for coffee and instant-energy/sugary products may indicate poor nutrition overall.

 

Hormonal

In particular for women, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause cravings during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.

 

De-evolution

Also known as the self-sabotage syndrome, when things are going well, we crave foods that throw us off balance which then causes us to crave foods to balance ourselves; this often occurs with low blood sugar.

 

Source: Institute for Integrative Nutrition

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