The Science Behind Cravings -
Written by Alisse Andrews

Ever wondered why we crave the things we do? Most believe it’s because we enjoy a specific food and so we crave it for the flavour, textures and overall enjoyment of it, like chocolate, chips, sweets. Some people are even aware of a disorder called Pica (PIE-kuh) which happens when a person craves non-food items. A meta-analysis of over 70 studies suggest that it is prevalent in 28% of pregnant women, world wide. There isn’t enough research to conclude the real cause of Pica, although it is firmly suggested that it constitutes missing nutrients from our bodies, whether it’s low iron, magnesium, chromium, amino acids (tryptophan) or vitamins, particularly vitamin D.

Our bodies will adapt to things we eat most often, so when you crave things like spinach, it’s a good indicator of missing nutrients. However when we tend to dip towards less healthy foods, more often our body signals these cravings as a last ditch attempt to force us to source out what it knows you are more likely to eat or have on hand.

Things like chocolate contain high levels of magnesium and iron. As well as some protein. Potato chips contain some protein, Vitamin B6 and C. Glazed donuts can contain higher levels of minerals and amino acids such as phenylalanine which is a neurotransmitter that enhances mental alertness and moods. It also contains selenium which can help to make DNA and protect against cell damage and infections, and cystine which is an amino acid.

The take away? None of the above are remotely considered healthy enough to be a part of your regular diet. Yet we will crave these things due to our body understanding it is the best way to source out certain nutrients we are not giving it.

Let's look at some sneaky ways that our bodies are trying to get us to eat less healthy foods and some healthier alternatives to solve the same problems.

Chocolate: magnesium deficiency

Try to eat more leafy greens, vegetables, seeds, beans, fruit, and raw nuts 

Fatty/oily foods and carbonated drinks/soda: Calcium deficiency 

Try eating more spinach, kale, broccoli, okra, mustard greens, oranges, almonds, and sesame seeds

Bread: Nitrogen deficiency 

Try eating leafy greens, nuts, beans, peas, and lentils

salty snacks: Chloride (CI) deficiency as well as stress hormone fluctuations

Try to get more celery, olives, tomatoes, natural sea salt, leafy greens, veggies and vitamins B and C in your diet.

Coffee: Iron, phosphorus, sulfur and sodium chloride (salt) deficiency

Try more sea salt, seaweed, Apple Cider Vinegar, Kombucha, garlic, asparagus, onion, cranberry’s, cabbage, Pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and raw nuts.

Sugary snacks: Sulfur, tryptophan, phosphorus, chromium, deficiency, as well as possible low blood sugar 

Add in carob powder, sweet potatoes, raisins, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, grapes, apples, Brazil nuts, beans and lentils.

Cheese: calcium and essential fatty acids deficiency 

Get you some flax seeds/oil, Omega 3s (EPA and DHA) chia seeds, walnuts, mustard greens, legumes, kale, spinach, broccoli.

Pasta/baked foods:  Chromium deficiency 

See above listed items for replacements of chromium in your diet!


Some people have a need to prevent withdrawal, while some are struggling with their moods and want to let loose. Others actually have a craving for certain alcoholic beverages and don’t know why. This is because of Protein, Calcium, Potassium and Glutamine deficiencies!

Try some turnips, tahini, beans, fish, eggs, bone broth, pineapple, black olives, butter leafy greens, bananas, and beets!!


Remember, your body is always talking to you. Make sure you’re listening. Because if you’re not, it will guide you blindly to things that impact your health. You’re in control. Knowledge is power. 

Alisse andrewsCravingsHealthy alternativesHow to prevent cravingsWhat to do with cravingsWhy do i crave alcoholWhy do i crave coffeeWhy do i crave saltWhy do i crave sugar

1 comment

Sarah G

Sarah G

I’m loving this article and agree with it. We crave things because we lack benefits it needs. Good thing I crave better foods these days for my overall health and wellness.
Coffee is still my downfall but I’ve been offsetting it with lots of water. I’ve consumed it so long I have to retrain myself. I don’t mind learning either!

Good Job miss Alisse! ❤️🙏🏼 love and light!

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