Decoded: What Cravings Tell Us About Our Personality and Dietary Needs
CRAVINGS: We all have them, whether it’s the 2 am ice-cream munchies or the random “I NEED CHOCOLATE NOW” attack during work. As inconvenient as they may be, cravings are your body’s biological language used to communicate when it needs nutrients or satisfaction. But we already know this.
Have you ever noticed you have insatiable cravings for certain things while rarely craving others? Dr. Alan Hirsch, founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, explains a surprising connection between our body, mind and cravings:
“Through our food preferences and choices we reveal inner thoughts, feelings, wishes and desires. It’s no exaggeration to say that the foods we choose provide a window to our unconscious.”
Try out healthier alternatives while preventing stronger cravings and learning a little bit about yourself!
Why: A craving for sweets indicates a need to uplift your mood. Or it could be that you’re low on energy. You might also be low on chromium, carbon phosphorous and sulfur.
Qualities: You live on the wild side and are often described as living a carefree lifestyle with few regrets. You love to stand out and feel special. A sweet tooth can also be linked to a strong willingness to help out as well as emotional vulnerability.
Try: Taking a walk to boost your energy (sunlight helps), napping, fruits, broccoli and sweet potatoes.
Why: If you have a strong tendency to reach for salty snacks, you may have a mineral deficiency, particularly in chloride, potassium, iron and calcium.
Qualities: You go with the flow. Hirsch’s data reveals salt lovers have an “external locus of control,” meaning they believe a higher or outside force, not their own actions, determine their fate. You also crave small rewards and immediate gratification, thus making you a competitive and worthy opponent.
Try: Organic yogurts, olives, nuts and seeds, rye, celery, seaweed.
Sweet and Salty
Why: To function properly, your body needs proper glucose and sodium levels. Craving sweet and salty snacks indicates sluggish body cells.
Qualities: You’re private and a bit solitary, but you have a creative side!
Try: Artichoke hearts, cacao-y pears, yogurt mixed with bitter/strong fruits, grapefruit brûlée, apples soaked in lemon-lime juice, frozen cranberries.
Why: Chocolate releases a boost of serotonin, a feel-good neurochemical in your brain. So when we crave it, our body is telling us we need a pick-me-up.
Qualities: Dark chocolate lovers are social butterflies and work well in teams. Milk chocolate lovers tend to be the quiet and introspective types. Overall, chocoholics rely heavily on their intuition and logic.
Try: TAZA Chocolates!
Why: When the body is having trouble cooling down, we reach for something spicy to help our bodies sweat and cool off.
Qualities: You love order, dislike wasting time, and sweat out the details. Spice lovers are also more accepting and tolerant of change in other people.
Hot Trick! Research suggests that we’re more likely to flirt with our mouths on fire Time to munch on those spicy party chips!
Why: In a research study, those with low-calcium diets had a higher desire for crunchy foods. It also may suggest that you’re frustrated as your body is probably looking for fulfillment, approval or pleasure.
Qualities: Perfectionists with high expectations for themselves and are not afraid to redo a task if it is anything less than perfect. Focused, energetic, punctual, and excited by challenges.
Try: Jicama slices with guacamole, kale/sweet potato/apple baked crisps or chickpeas.
Why: Your body needs nitrogen, causing you to feel fatigued.
Qualities: You’re a bit serious and like to stay inside the lines. Carb lovers are thoughtful with a lot to say, cautious and tread on passivity. You find the beauty in seeing boundaries and familiarity since it brings comfort and reassurance.
Try: High-protein foods like nuts, beans and almonds.
Why: Citric scents have a calming property to them. Citrus cravings mean that your body is trying to relieve itself of stress and anxiety.
Qualities: Those who are more anxious than most tend to gravitate towards citrus snacks. Since citrus foods are known to boost immunity, citrus lovers subconsciously more aware of their health and “load up” to prepare for the future.
Try: Broiled grapefruit with cinnamon sugar (yum!), edamame with citrus, or an orange and fennel salad.