Winter is the perfect time to indulge in delicious comfort food, but when you’re craving hot pie and chocolate, what is your body really trying to tell you? It’s time to get a handle on those cravings!
Are You Lacking Nutrients?
If you’re experiencing a craving you might notch it up to your body wanting a certain nutrient. For instance, if you’re craving a burger you might assume it means you need protein; if you’re craving chocolate, perhaps you’re low in magnesium. Although this seems to make sense logically, it doesn’t hold much water. There is actually no research to show that your body can push you to want to eat certain things because it is lacking certain vitamins.
So what are those cravings about, then?
The Probiotics Link
Your cravings are influenced by the bacteria in your gut. Studies have found this bacteria to have an effect on our eating habits because they feed on fat and sugar in foods, thus prompting us to reach for them. To get rid of cravings, you therefore need to get rid of the bad bacteria.
Taking probiotics helps to encourage healthy bacteria to flourish instead of the bad kind, and could therefore also prevent us feeling like slaves to our cravings. Besides for probiotic supplements, there are certain foods that are rich in probiotics and can help good bacteria to grow, such as yogurt with live cultures, sauerkraut, kefir (which is a cultured milk product), sourdough bread and tempeh, which is full of Vitamin B12, too.
Good News for Chocaholics
If you’re craving chocolate, dig into the dark, high cocoa variety – it actually works with probiotics to make you healthier! Researchers have found that good bacteria in the stomach release cocoa’s healthy compounds. This produces anti-inflammatory substances that decrease cardiovascular tissue inflammation which can lead to health conditions such as strokes.
Start consuming probiotics and balance out your gut bacteria. The bonus is that it’s great for your general health, too. Good bacteria that line your intestines helps you digest food properly while improving your immune system and producing molecules that optimise your brain power.