Most people at times have a strong desire for a particular food, whether it is salty, sweet, sour or bitter. Having this desire for food even when not hungry is called a craving. There are a lot of theories that are believed to be the reason behind why people have cravings. These are:
- hormonal changes – cravings are more intense in women than in men especially during the menstrual period
- response to stress
- psychological desire for a comfort food – a craving for foods that are usually served on holidays or special occasions
- self-imposed food restriction – a craving for the foods they feel should be avoided
- gender difference – men normally crave for foods high in protein such as eggs and meat while women crave for foods that are high in carbohydrates such as ice cream and chocolate
It is normal for women to have cravings when pregnant. A craving for milk may mean a need for calcium or a craving for fruit may mean a need for Vitamin C. Milk, cakes, chocolates and fruits are some of the most common pregnancy cravings. A woman may like to eat beef, but when pregnant, refuses to eat nothing but fish. This is merely because a pregnant woman’s taste preference changes and this may affect the choice of foods she wishes to eat.
Cravings for Sugar
There are two possible reasons why a person has cravings for sugar. It could be that eating sweets or dessert is a family tradition and you find comfort eating something sweet after dinner or it could also be a habit. On the other hand, another reason could be low serotonin levels. A brain chemical called serotonin makes one feel pleased and contented. Sugar can help increase the absorption of an amino acid called tryptophan which is what the body uses to make serotonin.
A food craving is an intense desire to eat a particular food or a strong impulse to buy a specific snack. People can either crave for sweet, salty or sour foods. Some people go to some lengths just to be able to follow their food cravings and satisfy themselves.
Salt cravings are experienced by people for many reasons. It is best to first do some research to see what the causes might be should one have salt cravings. Some people reckon that salt cravings mean one is not getting enough vitamins and minerals. The most common reason as to why people have salt cravings is stress.