You are in the middle of going about your daily routine when you feel an intense desire to eat something salty or sweet (or both) . Sometimes you ignore the cravings, sometimes you give in, unable to go on until you get your hands in that bag of chips. While you may think cravings are just an excuse to eat your favorite junk foods, they actually indicate that your body is deficient in certain vitamins or minerals. Understanding what these cravings mean lets you indulge in something satisfying without all the guilt. So dig in!



Photo by Rachel Piorko.

Raw cocoa is extremely high in magnesium, so your chocolate craving isn’t just your sweet tooth talking.  Since chocolate products can also be very high in sugar and fat, opt for dark chocolate if you must give in. Healthier magnesium-rich alternatives include raw nuts, seeds, legumes and fish.

Salty Foods


Photo by Rachel Piorko.

Craving salt indicates a chloride deficiency. Instead of that bag of chips, try celery, seaweed or raw nuts and seeds.

Cheese and Dairy


Photo by Rachel Piorko.

Unless  it’s 2 am and you have a case of the drunchies, your pizza craving is telling you to eat more fatty acids. Raw walnuts, wild salmon and flaxseed should do the trick.

Red Meat


Photo by Kelly Repka.

Everyone loves a good burger, but if you’re thinking about red meat 24/7, your body is deficient in iron. Beans, legumes, prunes, figs, and other dried fruits are all alternative sources of iron. Vitamin C facilitates iron absorption, so pair these foods with citrus fruits, red peppers, tomatoes, or berries to get the most out of your iron-rich foods.



Photo by Rachel Piorko.

Sometimes you just can’t stop yourself from carbo-loading, which may be a symptom of chromium deficiency. But before you eat all the pasta and bread you can get your hands on, try some broccoli,  green beans, tomatoes, or romaine lettuce instead.

More things you’re craving: