Uncle John knows pretty much everything—and if he doesn’t, he heads his massive research library, or puts one of his many associates on the case. So go ahead: In the comments below, ask Uncle John anything. (And if we answer your question sometime, we’ll send you a free book!)
What do individual cravings mean?
Cravings and hunger aren’t the same thing, apart from the fact that one is specific (and intense) and the other is more general (and intense). That’s because they’re controlled by two difference command centers: a grumble is your stomach’s way of letting you know it’s empty, and needs to be filled. Cravings, however, are controlled by the brain. Hunger is a survival instinct, but cravings are your brain trying to tell you, in as clearly as it can, that you are lacking a very specific nutrient or mineral.
Here’s what some very common cravings mean, or what it is you’re really craving, not the food itself.
If you’re craving chocolate, it’s not because you need sugar, or chocolate, but one of the many trace minerals found inside the raw cacao used to make chocolate. The most likely cause of a chocolate craving: a need for magnesium. It’s found in all forms of chocolate, of course, as well as in whole grains and seeds.
If you’re craving cheese, then you’re most likely lacking in essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3s, and/or calcium. While cheese is rich in both, other foods you can eat include flaxseeds, nuts, and dark greens like kale.
If you’re craving red meat, such as a steak or hamburger, you need to eat more iron. It’s most prevalent in red meat, but red meat is also high in fat and cholesterol. Other dietary sources of iron: beans, legumes, figs, and spinach.
If you’re craving potato chips, you’re most likely after the salt. A craving for this indicates a deficiency in the trace mineral of chloride. It can also be found in olives and kelp.