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!
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!