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Looking Good - September 25, 2017

*-- What Those Cravings Are Trying to Say to You! --*

We all have cravings, but usually, they're for all the wrong foods or drinks! Did you know though, there are reasons behind those cravings? Your body isn't craving those things to trick you into eating or drinking things that are unhealthy for you, those cravings are telling you your body is missing something very important!

The most common cravings are usually dairy products, chocolate, sweet foods, salty foods, and red meat!

In the case of dairy products (cheese specifically or even pizza sometimes) means that you have a fatty acid deficiency. Omega-3 and Omega-6 are a very important part of your health. They are important parts of the cell membranes and also help in regulating blood pressure and inflammatory responses. These Omegas also play a role in preventing cancer and diabetes and help to protect against fatal heart diseases.

**Instead of eating cheesy foods or pizza, try fish, walnuts, or flaxseed to get rid of the cravings!**

In the case of chocolate, it generally points to a deficiency in magnesium. An estimated 80% of the worlds population has a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium keeps the body running, from helping with organ function, to muscle contraction, food conversion, strong bones and teeth, immune system support, as well as blood sugar and blood pressure regulations. Magnesium also regulates other vitamins and minerals essential to your body.

**Instead of chocolate, eat fish, nuts and seeds, legumes, spinach and beet greens, potatoes with skins, yogurt, avocado, milk, bananas, dried apricots and raisins. If chocolate is required for your craving make it dark chocolate or a small piece no bigger than an inch square**

In the case of red meat, your body is telling you it needs iron. Most people already know that. Iron deficiency is the number one cause that leads to anemia in the United States. Women who menstruate actually are more susceptible for iron deficiency. And women, did you know, when you're suffering from iron deficiency, the symptoms for PMS actually get worse? Iron is required for oxygen to be carried throughout the red blood cells in a body, as well as for oxygen to be transported to the muscles. Iron also helps with keeping your body temperature regulated, immune function, and keeping a healthy metabolism.

**Foods high in iron other than meat consist of egg yolks, dark leafy greens (spinach, collards), dried fruits, beans and lentils, as well as artichokes.**

In the case of salt cravings it means you're stressed out!! When you get stressed, cortisol is released, which causes your body to crave high fat, simple carb foods. To get away from this craving, take some breaths and go for a walk. Take yourself out of the situation. Or, if you can, meditate. Believe it or not, when you crave salt, food isn't the answer, de-stressing is!

In the case of sweets, your body is telling you that your blood sugar in fluctuating. When you eat excessive simple sugars your insulin levels spike and can lead to diabetes. Reach for some fruit instead. It contains fiber and will keep your levels from fluctuating. They also contain vitamins and minerals and far fewer calories than a candy bar.

**If you can't handle fruit, try cutting up numerous kinds and taking a bit of all to work to change things up and keep you on track!**

Honestly, no matter what your craving is, the best answer is water. People often think they are hungry and really, they are actually dehydrated without even realizing it. When you feel like you absolutely must have something, drink a full glass of water and wait 30 minutes. More than likely, you won't be hungry at all after that!


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