Decode Your Food Cravings

Published on by CMe

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http://thumbs.ifood.tv/files/images/editor/images/food-cravings.jpgWho hasn't been there: in the throes of a food craving so intense that having Jillian Michaels appear in the flesh wouldn't hold you back from that bag of chips ... or greasy slice of pizza ... or chocolate confection. But why exactly are these common food joneses so powerful?

"Cravings definitely have a physical component, but they also give some insight into the type of person you are," says Alan R. Hirsch, M.D., head of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago and the author of "What Flavor Is Your Personality?" Hirsch should know: He's studied the cravings, food choices, and personalities of more than 18,000 people for over 25 years. Here's something to take away from your midday vending-machine runs or late-night fridge raids besides extra calories.

When you crave salty food
http://backintoit.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/mcdonalds_fries.jpgWhat it says about your body: If nothing but the saltiest french fry will do, you may have a mineral deficiency. Studies have shown that women who eat low-calcium diets want salty foods more than those who get enough of the bone builder, says Michael Tordoff, Ph. D., a researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, an institute that studies taste and smell. One possible reason: Sodium temporarily increases calcium levels in the blood, which tricks the body into thinking the problem is solved. But you may have a shortage of other minerals too. In animal studies, researchers have found that a lack of potassium, calcium, and iron causes test subjects to devour table salt

What it says about you: You go with the flow. Hirsch's research describes salt lovers as having an "external locus of control," meaning they believe that outside forces, not their own actions, determine their fate.

When you crave chocolate
http://alum.mit.edu/pages/sliceofmit/files/2009/04/chocolate-truffles.jpgWhat it says about your body: You reach for the chocolate because the flavor makes you swoon — but it does that because it stimulates the release of serotonin, Hirsch says. It's basically an antidepressant in dessert form that your body instinctively seeks out when your happy chemicals are bottoming out and you need a quick lift.

What it says about you: That depends on what type of chocolate you long for:

  • Dark chocolate: You're the life of the party, a social butterfly, and right in the mix of the team project at work.
  • Milk chocolate: You're the quiet, introspective type. Your idea of a perfect afternoon is a solo run or one-on-one time with a good book.

When you crave spicy food
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_TSWKiHJ6U50/TSpzDOG3CeI/AAAAAAAAAFQ/MP_ZIkGBs8k/s1600/suicide+chicken+wings.jpgWhat it says about your body: If you're having trouble cooling down, your body may crave a fiery taste to make you perspire. That may seem counterintuitive, but it helps explain why Mexican food would be popular even when temps are scorching. Some research also suggests that people become addicted to the rush of spicy food — the spiked blood pressure, accelerated heart rate, and rapid breathing, says Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D., a co-author of “The Secret to Skinny.”

What it says about you: You love order, dislike wasting time, and sweat the details.

When you crave sweets
http://old.wallcoo.net/photography/colorful_romantic_sweets_pictures_photos_01/wallpapers/1600x1200/pictures_photos_romantic_colorful_sweets_da308072.jpgWhat it says about your body: This is a lot like a chocolate craving — lusting after sweets could indicate that you're looking to boost your mood. Or it could be that you're just low on energy. The body absorbs refined sugars of the candy variety faster than any other type of food, giving you immediate fuel, Shames says.

What it says about you: Sugar fiends tend to walk toward the wild side, Hirsch says. He describes them as hedonistic, with few regrets. They also like to stand out and feel special.

When you crave sweet + salty
http://newsodrome.com/asian_food_news/-108799-sweet-and-salty-cupcakes-22510096.jpgWhat it says about your body: Your body needs glucose and sodium to function properly, so when the cells get sluggish (and you get tired), you reach for the chocolate-covered pretzels to get them revving, Hirsch says.

What it says about you: You're a loner, but a whiz, too. According to Hirsch's data, people who think a potato chip dipped in chocolate sauce is a match made in sensory heaven tend to be creative but private, to the point that they appear standoffish.

If you crave this... What you really need is... And here are healthy foods that have it:
Chocolate Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Sweets Chromium Broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, calves liver, chicken
  Carbon Fresh fruits
  Phosphorus Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, grains
  Sulfur Cranberries, horseradish, cruciferous vegetables, kale, cabbage
  Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Bread, toast Nitrogen High protein foods: fish, meat, nuts, beans
Oily snacks, fatty foods Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Coffee or tea Phosphorous Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes
  Sulfur Egg yolks, red peppers, muscle protein, garlic, onion, cruciferous vegetables
  NaCl (salt) Sea salt, apple cider vinegar (on salad)
  Iron Meat, fish and poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Alcohol, recreational drugs Protein Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, nuts
  Avenin Granola, oatmeal
  Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
  Glutamine Supplement glutamine powder for withdrawal, raw cabbage juice
  Potassium Sun-dried black olives, potato peel broth, seaweed, bitter greens
Chewing ice Iron Meat, fish, poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Burned food BBQ Carbon Fresh fruits
Soda and other carbonated drinks Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Salty foods Chloride Raw goat milk, fish, unrefined sea salt
Acid foods Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Preference for liquids rather than solids Water Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Preference for solids rather than liquids Water You have been so dehydrated for so long that you have lost your thirst. Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Cool drinks Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
Pre-menstrual cravings Zinc Red meats (especially organ meats), seafood, leafy vegetables, root vegetables
General overeating Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
  Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
  Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green, red fruits and vegetables
Lack of appetite Vitamin B1 Nuts, seeds, beans, liver and other organ meats
  Vitamin B3 Tuna, halibut, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, seeds and legumes
  Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
  Chloride Raw goat milk, unrefined sea salt
Tobacco Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
  Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green and red fruits and vegetables

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