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Food Cravings: What They Really Mean

Cravings can get the best of us. Nothing is worse than craving a big hunk of yummy dark chocolate and then realizing it is completely unattainable (i.e., there is no dark chocolate to be found in your pantry). What about a substitute? has come up with a great list of foods we crave, what the craving is really saying we need and how to get it healthfully.

If you crave this... What you really need is... Here are healthy foods that have it...
Chocolate Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Bread/Toast Nitrogen High protein foods
Oily Snacks, Fatty Foods Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, cheese, legumes
Chewing Ice Iron Meat, fish, poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Cool Drinks Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
Burned Foods Carbon Fresh fruits
Pre-menstrual cravings Zinc Red meats (especially organ meats), seafood, leafy vegetables, root vegetables

To see the full list, visit

Join The Conversation
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 10 years
Interesting article Fit! I'll have to try some of these tips since I'm always craving one of the foods listed above.
sailing-chick sailing-chick 10 years
sounds interesting enough but from a science background I'm a not so sure
rubialala rubialala 10 years
Cooooooool, maybe I can get rid of my cravings for unhealthy foods by eating the healthier alternatives. P.S. I did crave laundry detergent when I was pregnant (don't worry, I didn't eat any!), and the doctor said it was because I was iron deficient. Which made sense becuase I have a tendency to be anemic and it was worse during pregnancy.
RrebeccccaaaT_xo RrebeccccaaaT_xo 10 years
thanks! this is helpful :)
pk9000 pk9000 10 years
In med school we learned people with an iron deficiency can develop pica where they crave non nutritional items such as ice, dirt, etc. that do not contain iron. This craving usually lasts for a month or longer to be considered pica, so just wanting to eat ice doesn't mean you're lacking iron.
Daisie Daisie 10 years
Neat list! I will have to try it out and see if it works for me. Thought from what Nikolem says, it won't! Either way, I always thought my chocolate craving was because I wanted sweet and yummy. ^^
thewordisberry thewordisberry 10 years
Nikolem2, I agree with you! I think cravings are often psychological. It is a nice idea to try to substitute unhealthy foods with better options. There is something to be said for "listening" to your body, but most of the time it's not any deficiency, but just a glass of water we need. Especially if you're craving sweets, you may just be dehydrated. Anytime you crave something, just drink a glass of aqua and see how you feel after 10 minutes. :)
am am 10 years
That's really neat. But does anyone ever _crave_ ice? I never have. Actually, wait...just thinking about it makes me crave it for the first time ever...hmmm. I guess thinking about ice reduces my iron... I think in concept this is a very interesting idea. Maybe the details still need to be hashed out by fancy scientists.
melda melda 10 years
I hate baroccoli and kale ....... always crave fatty foods!
JBlondie JBlondie 10 years
That was really interesting and helpful! Thanks! Now where is the kale when you need it?? :)
DesignRchic DesignRchic 10 years
Crave foods/drinks mentioned above that is :)
DesignRchic DesignRchic 10 years
Usually if I crave foods, it's because I'm stressed.
nikolem2 nikolem2 10 years
Actually, nutrition research has not found any correlation between food cravings and nutrition needs. A lot of people come up with ideas like this, but food cravings actually have nothing to do with your body's true needs and more to do with cultural norms, triggers, your own thoughts, etc. I think you can tell by looking at the list that it doesn't make any sense. If your body NEEDED calcium, why would you crave foods without it (fat, oil)? From an evolutionary standpoint, that's nonsense.
Melissa-Rae Melissa-Rae 10 years
This is really helpful. Thanks for sharing! My pre-men cravings were AWFUL the last few days.
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