What are you craving?

by Trace on August 14, 2011

My lettuce addiction was a sign of cancer!

Lettuce.ElsieElsie Campbell became obsessive eating four whole lettuces a day. Luckily her husband Jim, a Research Scientist, suspected there might be something more to it. Jim found out lettuce contains a nutrient, sulforaphane, which naturally attacks cancer cells but is lacking in many breast cancer sufferers. Jim correctly guessed his wife had breast cancer.

Lucky for Elsie, after a visit to her doctor she was diagnosed with breast cancer and has now made a full recovery thanks to an early diagnosis.

Food cravings are normally associated with pregnancy, however cravings can exist any time when our body is out of balance. A craving simply indicates the body is lacking is certain nutrients.

Craving: Vegemite

VegemitePossible ailment: Heart arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation

Vegemite is a useful source of Riboflavin, Niacin, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. As long as you are not on a low-salt diet you can enjoy it daily. Vitamin-B is also essential for breaking down carbohydrates for energy to maintain our energy level and keep nerves at bay. There are 8 different B-vitamins and a deficiency in any one of them can result in a range of conditions including heart palpatations, arrhythmia, chronic fatigue, irritability and poor concentration.

Craving: Chips & Salty foods

chipsPossible Ailment: Thyroid or Adrenal gland problems

Shona Wilkinson, head nutritionist at The Nutri Centre, London, says: ‘Severe stress affects the adrenal glands. ‘If someone is very stressed, they stop producing the correct amounts of hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and aldosterone. This can disrupt the salt balance in the body and explains why some people have salt cravings.’

It might also mean you have an iodine deficiency. This is linked to thyroid problems, says Jeannette Jackson, a nutritional biochemist. An underactive thyroid can cause lethargy, constipation, weight gain and depression, while an overactive thyroid can cause weight loss, anxiety and irregular periods.

Craving: Chocoalte

chocolatePossible Ailment: Depression, Stress, premenstrual tension

A small Swiss study in the Journal of Proteome Research found eating 40g of dark chocolate every day for two weeks reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol in people who’d been battling with pressures.

Compounds found in chocolate called alkaloids may help to raise the levels of serotonin — the mood-boosting hormone.

Chocolate is also a source of magnesium and B-vitamins, which are used by the body in energy production, meaning it can help give us energy when we’re under pressure. Magnesium is vital for our nervous system, our bones and our immune system.

If you are craving any foods, visit  your local naturopath and have a discussion, or go to your local health food store and speak to a Naturopath.
Foods affect our mood and it may be a simple as bringing Magnesium back into your diet that can lift your mood and you no longer feel depressed.

tropicalfruitVisit my blog posts and learn more about how Food Affects Your Mood

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