What you crave: Chocolate
What you need: Magnesium
Chocolate is one of the world’s most commonly craved foods and, while you may feel as though you are addicted to the sweet treat, it is believed that what many of us are craving when we are hankering after some chocolate is in fact the mineral magnesium.
Healthy food swaps: Dark chocolate, nuts and seeds, medjool dates
To help ease chocolate cravings, make sure that you are getting enough magnesium in your daily diet through healthy sources such as nuts, seeds and pulses. Also, when those chocolate cravings strike, try switching to 85 per cent dark chocolate. Although chocolate can be high in fat, dark chocolate also has plenty of health benefits due to its abundance of antioxidants. Some of the reported health benefits include its ability to slow down muscle ageing, fight disease, prevent wrinkles, boost brain health and prevent heart disease. If dark chocolate doesn’t hit the spot, try snacking on medjool dates, which are rich in magnesium and a natural solution to sugar cravings.
What you crave: Pasta and bread
What you need: Serotonin
Research has found that eating carbohydrates stimulates the brain’s production of serotonin – the happy hormone. This may be why many of us crave stodgy ‘comfort’ foods such as pasta and bread when we are feeling blue.
Healthy food swaps: Sweet potatoes, lentils, beans
To get a healthy fix of carbs (minus the blood sugar crashes and energy slumps) opt for nutritious and low GI carbohydrates which will release a steady supply of energy and keep you feeling full for longer. Good sources of complex carbohydrates include beans, lentils, oats and sweet potatoes. As well as switching your carbohydrate sources, you can also reduce cravings by boosting your serotonin levels through exercise and mood-boosting activities. Try using uplifting essential oils such as neroli and lemon which also stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain.
What you crave: Sugar
What you need: Chromium
We are all tempted by sugary treats and desserts from time to time. However, if you find yourself experiencing regular, intense cravings for sugar, this could be a symptom of low levels of the mineral chromium in your diet.
Healthy swap: Grape juice, whole grains, apples
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