What food cravings are showing you about your nutrition

Nutrition Blog

We often find ourselves desperately wanting something specific to eat. There is even a reason behind cravings for sugary treats like chocolate. Even when we aren’t hungry, we often crave things. This is because our bodies are trying to tell us that it needs something. The need can be emotional or nutritional.

Here are what some of the cravings might mean:

Healthy fats

If you are craving foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, butter or coconut milk, this can mean that your body needs more calories as it may need more energy.

These foods contain healthy fats that provide the calories our bodies need to produce energy. These healthy fats can also normalise hormone imbalances.

Salty foods

If you are craving salty foods like chips, popcorn, celery or dark chocolate, you could be dehydrated or have an electrolyte imbalance.

This is owing to the fact that when we sweat, we lose a lot of salt and electrolytes. Craving salty foods means that your body needs to fill up these stores.

Sugary foods

If you are craving sugary foods like cake, brownies, fruit or honey, you could have a blood sugar imbalance, low chromium, stress and increased cortisol, lack of sleep or hormonal imbalances.

This could mean that your body needs more calories. Sugar is an easy and quick way for our body to get more calories.

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If you are craving chocolate, your body could be in need of an increase in serotonin (the happy hormone), dopamine (the feel-good hormone), or oxytocin (the ‘love’ hormone).

This type of craving could also mean that your body is in need of magnesium, which is usually lost when you have sustained an injury which has caused blood loss.


If you are craving foods like pasta, bread, crackers and wraps, your body could be lacking the amino acid, tryptophan.

Our bodies need this amino acid to make serotonin. If your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates, you could be experiencing a low mood and anxiety.

Animal protein

If you are craving meat, your body could be low in minerals like zinc, iron, B12, Omega 3 fatty acids or even protein itself.

Your body needs these minerals to maintain healthy immune, digestive and sensory systems, as well as healthy bones and blood.


As weird as it may seem, when you are craving ice or cold foods, it could be a sign of anaemia.

Craving ice is a type of pica, which is a desire to eat non-food items like dirt and indicates an iron deficiency.


If you are craving Coke or Pepsi, you could be suffering from a calcium deficiency.

This is because when you drink Coke daily, it leaches calcium and magnesium from your bones, creating a cycle of depletion and craving.

Rather than drinking the soda you crave, opt for a glass of milk or water.

It is important to differentiate whether your cravings are because of emotional distress, eating disorder or nutritional deficiencies. If you are struggling to identify the cause behind your cravings, it could be wise to consult a doctor.

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