What Do You Crave?

Did you know that your food cravings may actually be a clue as to what your body is telling you it needs in order to function properly or heal itself?

Several months ago I started becoming really interested in nutrition and health, hence the mostly gluten-free and vegan diet I have made my lifestyle! I noticed that the less junk food I ate, the more my cravings changed. What really tipped me off that food cravings are not just random was when I realized that I only liked/craved red peppers. Yellow, green, and orange peppers don’t exactly repulse me, but I really don’t care for them. Red peppers? I can eat them all day every day, and I usually do! A quick Google search told me that red peppers are high in Vitamin E and are often used as a home remedy for asthma. People should eat them to help open their airways, and they fight off respiratory infection. I was shocked and excited to read this, it meant that my body was smarter than I gave it credit for. As a lifelong asthmatic, eating red peppers every day is a great way to naturally keep my respiratory system in check.

Since I made the switch to a vegan diet, my chocolate/dairy/meat cravings have completely disappeared. Instead, I have been craving a food that I haven’t had in probably 10 years!

sauerkraut

Yep, sauerkraut. My craving was so strong that I had to go to the grocery store to buy a few cans. Immediately upon returning from the store I crushed an entire can! Naturally I had to go online to figure out what the health benefits of sauerkraut are, and why I may be craving it:

“Apart from its deliciously tangy flavor, sauerkraut offers remarkable health benefits. The fibre and lactic acid bacteria improve digestion and promote the growth healthy bowel flora, protecting against many diseases of the digestive tract. It’s low in calories, enzyme-rich and high in vitamin C. Many sailors died from scurvy caused by a lack of vitamin C in their diets until, in the 18th century, the explorer Captain James Cook discovered sauerkraut was an effective remedy for the disease. On his voyages around the world he insisted that his crew ate sauerkraut, no doubt saving many lives.

More recently, Finnish researchers reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, that the fermentation of cabbage produces compounds called isothiocyanates which appear protective against cancer.” source here

Healthy digestive tract, Vitamin C for immune system boost, and cancer prevention? I don’t mind this craving at all! Dr. Oz has also listed sauerkraut as one of his “belly fat blasting foods.”

So what are you craving? Do some research online to figure out why you love certain foods and what it may mean. I have discovered that even eating my not-so-favorite vegetables like broccoli is more enjoyable when simultaneously reading about why it is good for me.

Here is a chart I found online that may help you get started! Suddenly the reason why my chocolate craving has completely stopped seems pretty clear. Since going vegan I have been eating a TON of beans, lentils, and fruits. It’s so amazing how our bodies work when we listen to them!

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14 thoughts on “What Do You Crave?

  1. So interesting. I chose the vegan diet about 2 month ago and am CRAVING sauerkraut. I have it for breakfast! I made my own and have 2 or 3 helpings each day. Well, it’s winter and I probably need quite a bit of vitamin C. It’s funny that this happens in December. Since I have cut out meat and dairy I am craving more sour foods. I love the lemon in the salad dressings and hummus. I also crave edible (Brewer’s) yeast, source of vitamin B12 (which vegan diets don’t have.) Our bodies are amazing. Thank you for sharing this post.

  2. The best sauerkraut is homemade. It’s easy to do and far more healthful than store-bought varieties. Also you can sneak some bok choi in with the cabbage (or maybe even some seaweed flakes!) for an added nutritional boost.

  3. i crave tomatoes, sea salt, balsamic vinegar, and steaming hot thai or vietnamese soup.

    as for sauerkraut you chose well! it’s basically partially digested so that your body has to do less work. they recommend to people who have GI problems! (i should know!). my grandfather makes a MEAN (and simple!) sauerkraut soup – Kosare Jucha- every Christmas Eve. his has northern beans, sauerkraut, mushrooms, garlic, and onion. i’ve been looking forward to recreating in my own kitchen. you should look up some soup recipes!!

      • Mostly chocolate-type sweets. That blissful mix of fat and sugar. I think part of it is that the holidays really messed with our healthy vegan diet so I think I’ve been set back a bit. Then again, maybe I just need more magnesium πŸ˜‰

  4. What an interesting post…Well, I’m not the craving type. My semi-buddists philosophy asks that I reject most cravings, but I do really like and admire most veggies. Its all about flavor. My top ten list would look something like(in no particular order): asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, squash, kale, zucchini, peppers, garlic, onions, and eggplant. These are probably the veggies I would plant were I stranded on a remote island. The advantages are as follows: Asparagus = Awesome flavor! asparagus contains potassium, vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate. Mushrooms are equally delicious and rich with antioxidant, immunity building properties. Spinach is also rich in (again) antioxidants, folates, vitamin A. I eat spinach daily. I grow squash in the spring and harvest well into the fall. Squash is rich in beta-carotene which decreases cancer risks. Kale is amazingly high in fiber…as what goes in must come out! Zucchini(I also grow alongside my squash) are high in Vitamin C. Peppers are just so damned good but they are rich in many vitamins and minerals such as molybdenum and manganese. Garlic, well I eat atleast two cloves of roasted garlic daily. Years ago I met two beautiful and vibrant 60 yr old Italian women(who looked and acted like they were in their mid 40s) . They swore that garlic was the prized secret to their youth and beauty…I didn’t question anything. I listened and since starting the daily roasted garlic regime, I rarely get sick and my skin stays consistently clear. Onions are so stinky and yummy!!! Onions are very high in Vitamin A and Phosphorus…they maintain my blood pressure and also have immune building properties that keep the colds away. Lastly, Eggplant! The succulent, purple enigmatic beast of the veggie world. I love, love, love eggplant. Eggplant are considered “brain food” and they contain the antioxidant, nasunin, which help protect fat cells in the brain. Nasunin essentially aids in the brain’s ability to receive messages and instruction on how to perform. I’ll have eggplant on my team anyday! I guess my veggie essentials are based more or less on a flavor index….I guess my body “craves” flavor and what tastes good, most definately feels good and just so happens to contain gracious benefits:)

  5. Pingback: Organic Boosts Immunity « Family Survival Protocol

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