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Cravings and Nutritional Deficiencies 101

The munchies and desperate needs for donuts might be more than a passing craving. Cravings can stem from nutritional deficiencies. Learn to control the crave!

Are you plagued with out of control longings and cravings for certain food or drink? To discover what those longings might mean, read on, and learn how to deal with these challenges.

Each of us has tolerances in our body that have developed over the years from foods we eat that are highly acidic and toxic. They react in our body like a drug. If you take an acidic or poisonous drug, your body responds to fight this threat. If you continue to expose yourself to these drugs, your body can develop a tolerance to them.

If you then remove that acidic poison and continue to have the tolerance, your body can continue pushing against the acidic poison even though it is no longer being ingested. This feeling is what we call a craving. Your body longs for the particular drug because now with the developed tolerance, it requires it in order to maintain balance.

Food can often trigger this very same response. If you’ve been consuming over-processed, cooked, highly refined foods for a prolonged period, even when you stop putting those particular toxins into your body, you can experience a perceived need for them. This is the language of cravings, yet they can be overcome in time with continued abstinence from these foods. Your body can then recognize it no longer needs the protective tolerance and the craving gradually dissipates.

This means no matter how strong a craving is for some particular food (or any substance); if you don't eat that food, the craving will eventually go away, making room for healthy cravings. For instance, a fat craving can be satisfied with nut butter, almonds, or dark chocolate. Sugar cravings are relieved with fresh fruit. If your body needs certain vitamins, you may crave nutrient dense veggies such as a salad or vegetables or a smoothie.

Cravings are a language signaling our body to eat what we need to supply the body with necessary building blocks. Responding accordingly with whole foods enables our cravings to augment our health rather than impair it.

Here is a list of possible cravings, the mineral and vitamin deficiencies that create them and related symptoms:

  • Chocolate cravings usually stem from magnesium deficiencies and can be manifested in hormonal shifts.
  • Caffeine cravings can come from stress. They can signify adrenal or physical fatigue
  • Breads and Pasta cravings might mean you are low in zinc.
  • Salty food hankerings might come from stress or adrenal fatigue.
  • Sugary food needs are linked to deficiencies in chromium, zinc, magnesium and are manifested by fatigue, stress, and hormonal shifts.
  • Fatty Food longings come from being low in Essential Fatty Acids or FDA’s.
  • Spicy food desires usually come from fatigue or boredom
  • Crunchy cravings can come from stress or repressed anger

Symptoms and Supplements- what they may mean:

  • Scalp Dryness - Vit A, EFA 3, 6, or 9 deficiencies
  • Dandruff – B vitamins, zinc, or protein deficiency
  • Hair loss - zinc, Vit B12, or protein deficiency
  • Dry and lifeless hair, dry skin, sore joints – EFA deficiencies
  • Frizzy, corkscrew hair – Vit A or D deficiency
  • Poor Memory or erratic behavior – possible B 12 deficiency
  • Poor eyesight and night blindness – Vit A, lutein, Zeaxanthin, or selenium deficiency
  • Acne – hormonal problems, B Vitamins, zinc, Vit A, toxic liver, or digestive problems
  • Pale skin, lips finger nails – possible anemia, iron, and folic acid deficiency
  • Bleeding gums – Vit C deficiency or other dental problems
  • Poor digestion – bloating, gas or indigestion after meals can mean enzyme deficiency or food combo challenges
  • Elimination problems – insufficient fiber and water
  • Undigested food in stool – poor digestion
  • Diarrhea – bacteria in food, inflammation in intestinal tract or IBS

If you are plagued with constant cravings and health challenges, enlist the aid of a qualified dietary whole foods health care professional. They can help to assess your food intake and guide you to appropriately respond to cravings allowing for improved health and well-being.


Prescription for Nutritional Healing – James F. Balch, MD and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C. / Victoria Boutenko12 Steps to Raw Food; / Dan Hanewich The Nutritional Component of Your Active Living Program; / Vista Magazine – Penny Ornsbee –

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