Overcoming Cravings: Healthy Options

Like most people I get cravings. I don’t always have healthy alternatives at hand but sometimes it can be super simple to meet my cravings head on with healthy options that I already have in my kitchen.

Craving Sweet

Craving sweet foods is probably what we think of most often when we think of craving foods: the ice cream, cake, cookies, and similar goodies. When we consistently give into these cravings we start to lose the natural sugars that should be in our food: our fruits. Refined carbohydrates such as bread products may also satisfy our sweet cravings because of how our body processes them.

To move away from refined sugars and back towards natural sugars I recommend always having large amounts of fruit on hand. Allow yourself to have as much fruit as you want. Your body will eventually balance itself out and you wont be eating 6-8 servings of fruit at day. As your body takes on natural sugars you may notice yourself eating more fruits than you would have eaten of sweets. This is simply because your body is adjusting and learning that it will have a consistent supply of usable sugars that it  has not had in a while.

For myself, I often crave cold sweet foods. I can also feel satisfied sometimes by ice. This is a specific craving that is also a craving for minerals. Be aware that this may not be a craving for natural sugars.

Craving Salty

This comes down to two things: 1. You are lacking minerals that your body needs or 2. You actually need salt. Most of the chemical processes that take place in our body need minerals of some kind to make them work properly. Our blood cannot flow, we cannot use any of our muscles, including breathing, and our brains cannot function with out minerals.

Minerals in our food come from our fruits and vegetables, mostly leafy green things. If you are able to get some greens such as collards, spinach, or kale this is great. They will probably not immediately stop your craving because they take a while to build up in your system. This can be a reminder to include these in your diet more frequently to reduce salt cravings.

For a quick fix, have some salt that is high in mineral content such as Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt. These two are most commonly available at this time. You may also want to reach for kale chips or seaweed snacks. These can be flavorful, salty, and provide some of the minerals you are missing.

If you are menstruating and craving something salty you may be low in iron. Consider taking an iron supplement, having some of the green suggested above, or some red meat if your food plan allows it.

Craving Fatty or Fried Food

Most of our fatty and fried foods do not contain our good fats and good oils. Simply supplementing and taking 1-2 tablespoons of a good quality oil supplement can be enough to stop you from having these cravings regularly. It takes some adjusting to be able to swallow oil as a supplement. If you struggle with this start with taking capsules. I do recommend eventually shifting to liquid supplements of oil. Be sure to speak with a health care professional to determine what kind of oil supplement is best for you.

Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online. For more learning opportunities or to work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultationsvisit The Dancing Herbalist.com.

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