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Cravings have a strange kind of power and urgency – the power to get you off the couch and out the door to hunt down a very specific treat. And it’s seldom that our cravings are for healthy food, which puts us right in the middle of a vicious cycle of unhealthy eating and more cravings as a result.

But, what do our cravings mean, how can we curb them, and what healthy alternatives are there for those junk food yearnings? Once we understand this, we take control back and ensure that our body is getting the vitamins and minerals that it needs to function efficiently and feel good.

Common Cravings, What They Mean, and Healthy Alternatives

You want: Chocolate

You need: Magnesium

Eat: Spinach (or Swiss chard), sunflower and pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts

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You want: Fizzy drinks, fruit

You need: Vitamin C

Eat: Peppers (yellow, green and red), cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts

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You want: Cheese, yoghurt, alcohol, drugs, fizzy drinks

You need: Calcium

Eat: Sardines, spinach, sesame seeds, powdered egg shells

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You want: Sweets

You need: Sulphur

Eat: Lettuce, eggs, onions, cabbage, kale, peas, brinjals, broccoli

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You want: Pastries, pasta, white bread, grapes, apples

You need: Chromium

Eat: Barley, oats, broccoli, lettuce, green beans

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You want: Bread and toast

You need: Nitrogen

Eat: Grains, legumes, leafy greens, nuts

You want: Red meat

You need: Iron

Eat: Lentils, olives, sesame seeds, spinach, legumes

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You want: Molasses, tofu (or you have no appetite)

You need: Manganese

Eat: Oats, cloves, spinach, chickpeas

You want: Yeast extracts (like Marmite), cheese, milk

You need: Vitamin B12

Eat: Salmon, tuna, sardines, prawns, beef, lamb

You want: Tobacco (or you’re overeating)

You need: Tyrosine

Eat: Chicken, fish, avocado, bananas, almonds

You want: Chips, salty snacks (or you have a lack of appetite)

You need: Chloride

Eat: Celery, kelp, tomatoes, olives

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You want: Tea, coffee, soybeans, sweets

You need: Phosphorous

Eat: Sardines, scallops, tuna, prawns, lentils, cod

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You want: Refined starch, tobacco

You need: Silicon

Eat: Barley, millet, nuts, onions, beetroot

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You want: Burnt food

You need: Carbon

Eat: All foods contain carbon, so you may just need a bigger variety

You want: Peanuts

You need: Vitamin B3

Eat: Chicken, lamb, tuna, salmon, brown rice

If you find that you have no appetite, you may be lacking:

  • Chloride – found in celery, kelp, tomatoes and olives.
  • Manganese – get this from oats, cloves, spinach and chickpeas.
  • Vitamin B1 – opt for lentils, peas and sunflower seeds.

If you’re eating too much, you may need:

  • Tyrosine – supplement your diet with chicken, fish, avocado, bananas and almonds.
  • Tryptophan – eat raw cacao, sweet potato, spinach, raisins, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

Other Reasons for Cravings

Apart from lacking certain nutrients in your diet, you may be craving food in general, or certain types of indulgences for the following reasons:

  • Hormonal imbalances and pre-menstrual tension
  • Stress
  • Boredom
  • Dehydration
  • Imbalances in your gut flora
  • An increase in physical activity
  • You’re eating too many processed foods, which become addictive
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Comfort

These issues need to be addressed at their root if you’re going to prevent them from controlling your diet and eating habits. But, just being aware of their connection to your cravings helps you to take back control and resist the urge to nurture emotional or physical imbalances with unhealthy treats.

Beat Your Cravings

Understanding your body is empowering. It allows you to control what goes into it and to notice how you benefit as a result. When you get a handle on your cravings and how to satisfy them in a healthier, more long-term way, you ensure that you begin to feel better than ever.

For excellent supplements that ensure that your body is getting the minerals and vitamins that it needs, visit our online store or email us for a product catalogue (

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