What Your Sweet Cravings Are Telling You

When you’re craving sugary snacks, it’s possibly a signal from your body that it’s deficient in some nutrient, and oftentimes, our brains turn towards sugary things to satisfy that physical need.  NOTE:  The physical needs often feel emotional in nature.  That’s just how our brains interpret things.

CHROMIUM

If you’re diabetic (type II), you’re probably deficient at some level in chromium.  Signs of chromium deficiency include glucose intolerance, high blood sugars, peripheral neuropathy (tingling or numbness in the fingers or toes), and mental confusion.

Good sources of chromium include sea vegetables (try seaweed chips if you haven’t already!), mushrooms, beets, nutritional yeast (you can sprinkle this on popcorn – delicious!), broccoli, grapes, dried beans, liver, and chicken.

PHOSPHORUS

Signs of phosphorus deficiency may include anxiety, irregular breathing, fatigue, joint stiffness, numbness, osteoporosis (calcium deficiency) and changes in weight.  Excess phosphorus in the form of phosphoric acid from drinking soda can lead to craving sugar and alcohol as well.  Both excess and deficiency of phosphorus inhibits absorption and use of calcium in your body.

Good sources of phosphorus include chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.

SULFUR

Signs of sulfur deficiency include obesity, muscle pain and inflammation, fungal and bacterial infections, and heart disease and other forms of muscle wasting like Chron’s disease.

Good sources of sulfur include dark leafy greens like broccoli and kale, garlic, eggs, onions, meats, nuts, and seafood. 

In theory, most reasonably healthy diets should contain enough sulfur, as we only need very small amounts, but sulfur is lost when foods are broken down and then reassembled, as they are with processed foods.  Also the loss of minerals in our soil, as a result of “modern” farming practices, has led to less available minerals – including sulfur – in our foods.

If you’re craving sugar, what you need is a balanced diet of many types of vegetables, whole grains, and animal proteins and fats.  Today’s sugar craving is rooted in yesterday’s candy bar. 

In a pinch, when I crave sweets, I like to eat plain, whole-fat yogurt; roasted sweet potatoes; or sprouted grain toast topped with grass-fed butter and almond butter. For a quick, short-term solution, this has worked for me.

Also, gymnema, an Ayurvedic herb, is known to reduce cravings for sugar.  If you hold the herb in your mouth for 1 minute, then try to eat something sweet, it will actually taste like cardboard.  Something fun to try if you get bored. 

Have you found something that works for nipping a sugar craving in the bud?  Please let me know in the comments!  

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