HomeAyurvedic CookingCravings. What you Really Want.

Cravings. What you Really Want.

А craving is a strong desire for something. Usually we crave things that are unhealthy or make us fat. Oftentimes we do not really need this exact product. Below is a list of healthy substitutes that will satisfy our cravings and do good instead of harm.

Craving for What is missing What to eat
Chocolate or sour food Magnesium Fruits, nuts, pumpkin seeds, grains, legumes
Sweets Carbohydrates, chromium, phosphorus, or sulfur Vegetables – tomatoes, green peppers, beans, potatoes, spinach, cabbage, leafy vegetables, turnip; fruit – bananas and dried fruit; wheat germ, corn, cranberries, lentils
Bread Nitrogen Foods with high protein content – nuts and legumes
Soda or fatty food Calcium Spinach, lettuce, raisins, carrots, cauliflower, nuts, turnip, broccoli, sesame seeds
Meat Iron Pumpkin seeds, buckwheat, beans, blueberries, green vegetables, sunflower seeds
Like to scrape burnt brown from the frying pan Carbohydrates Fresh fruit
Salty food Chlorides Seaweed, beets, wheat, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, celery, olives
Tea Phosphorus, sulfur, iron, magnesium or sodium, or all together Nuts, legumes, vegetables (cabbage, red pepper), grains, sea salt, apple cider vinegar (use on salad), pumpkin seeds, beans, blueberries, green vegetables, artichoke, buckwheat , raisins, fruit
Want to sweep everything off the table before your period starts Zinc Vegetables, root vegetables, leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds
No appetite at all Vitamin B1, B3, or manganese, or chloride Seeds, nuts, legumes, bran, cereals, grains, blueberries, pineapples, sea salt, seaweed, beets

Pica – craving for non-food substances.

Sometimes children or pregnant women crave substances with little or no nutritional value such as dirt or chalk. I remember a colleague of mine who enjoyed the smell of shoe polish during pregnancy. Every day she would polish her husband shoes, but she never did it before nor after that.

This condition is called pica. The word pica is Latin for a bird called magpie, which eats almost anything.

Pica cravings are usually seen in children and occur in approximately 25-30% of all children; and are even less common in pregnant women.

The substances typically craved during pregnancy are dirt, clay, laundry starch, burnt matches, stones, charcoal, mothballs, ice, cornstarch, toothpaste, soap, sand, plaster, coffee grounds, baking soda, and cigarette ashes. In case of “abnormal” cravings, inform your health care provider who most likely will monitor your iron status along with other vitamin and mineral intake.

TODAY’S TIP: It is our mind not the body, which craves food. The body needs just the elements the food consists of, such as proteins, carbs, fats, etc., while the mind craves for specific sort of food depending of the emotion it needs. Food is a combination of six tastes that nourish our emotions (for example, love is sweet, grief – bitter, envy- sour). (See The six Tastes). The more peaceful our mind is the less food we need and the simpler our meals are. An unquiet mind would demand a variety of new extravagant treats every day, while a yogi, even in the cold Himalayan climate, is satisfied with a handful of rice a day.


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