Body Wisdom

Food Cravings – Understanding the cause

Quoting Jonathan Safran Foer - “Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity” has proven itself right time and again. Everyone craves for the foods that they have been raised eating. However, it’s always mistaken with hunger based on the conditioning of the mind. Craving for food is an intense momentary desire to have something that the parasites in the GUT want. Cravings can become addictive and vicious. This article aims to address various aspects of cravings.

Is Craving Hunger or Appetite?

A food craving is an intense desire for a specific food. This desire can seem uncontrollable, and the person's hunger may not be satisfied until they get that particular food. Appetite for a particular food is another word for craving. It’s not time-bound and is attached to mental happiness based on contentment. It’s a condition that resembles the emotional status of hunger but isn't.

Whereas, hunger is the state of the body. It’s a physiological need with a physiological signal. When a person is hungry, he can pick up any food that he is accustomed to as a part of his lifestyle to satisfy the stomach.

Reasons for Craving

  • Body toxins - They are not usually triggered by hunger but mostly by the level of toxicity in the body which is a result of lifestyle habits. It is affected based on food availability, time of the day, weather, culture, boredom and other social and emotional factors.
  • Dehydration which can be confused as a craving for food.
  • Depletion of simple sugars and salts in the body.
  • Withdrawal symptoms – A person does not crave unless he feels deprived of a certain food. During a detoxification process, when we stop consuming the foods that don’t serve us well, we crave not because the body has a need for it, but the brain is designed to keep the status quo of hormones and initiates a craving. However, if the food is avoided for an extended period of time, the bad signal dies and craving dies with it. This is an experience that everyone faces on a high fruit diet. The craving for coffee, chocolates or any junk food is eventually replaced by a desire for fruits. Hence, we crave for those foods long enough until the detoxification majorly completes.

• Emotions attached to food - People not only crave for the food but the ‘shift in experience’ that a certain food provides. Chocolate and caffeine contain stimulants that make us feel happy, hence when we think of chocolate, we like the feelings that come along and hence the craving for chocolate happens.

  • Gut flora - We don’t crave, our microbes do. In the article “Is Eating Behavior Manipulated by the gastrointestinal Microbiota? Evolutionary Pressures and Potential Mechanisms” published in the October 2014 issue of the journal BioEssays details the role of the microbiomes in controlling our thoughts too. When someone craves for the wrong foods, it’s not always a lack of willpower, but it’s a bad bacterium releasing a certain molecule that can affect the brain, including our hormones like serotonin that can make us feel good after having certain foods that it needs for its survival. Studies also say that the microbiome can change our taste receptors to suit the need which explains why people who love coffee with dairy end up disliking it after adopting a plant-based lifestyle. The good and bad are constantly fighting for survival in the human GUT. Carlos Mayley PhD, one of the authors of BioEssays, in his article “From the microbe’s perspective, what we eat is a matter of life and death” explains why we feel powerless to resist certain foods because we may not the ones making that decision.

Cravings during a detox

When we create conditions in the body to get rid of old toxins, such as adding raw to the diet, detoxification naturally happens. During the detox, the body is getting rid of heavy metals, old pathogens that are cosy in a body that has enough food supply, chemical build-up from exposures and unhealthy food and lifestyle damages. Both emotional and physical detox happens together since the mind and body are interconnected. If you have anger, anger will also be released from your cells.

Eating the right foods means one is eating less of the other wrong that did not serve well. Feelings of a loss can come with this naturally.

Desire to eat some small junk food can be a comforting thought and can just come from nowhere. It may not feel like a big deal if we make just one exception and reach for that deep-fried chips that you think has your name written all over it. Since cells have memories, such thoughts can mean that the cells are releasing old toxins from that very food you picked up in the past when the same feeling had visited you. As the toxins release to the bloodstream, it can feel like a bubble bursting with good memories attached to the emotions of the food in your consciousness.

The body is always trying to clean you, but digesting that unproductive food that’s constantly keeping the digestive system busy took priority in the past. Hence the toxins stayed deep inside buried in the organs of the body.

An intense craving, therefore, means your body is getting a chance to get rid of the old gunk. The last thing you want to do is to interrupt and start the cycle all over again. If you can find a way to ride the detox craving waves, but not be drowned, you will find yourself as a renewed person.

If you misunderstand that your body needs nourishment from a cake, then you are walking away from healing and awareness. Instead, when the path is natural, you walk closer to a clean body, mind and spirit.

Conclusion

Over time, as cleansing happens, the body will crave for fruit and fruit juices only or vegetables or its juices. When it comes to eating healthy, listen to the voice of the subconscious mind which always differentiates right from wrong. The body knows what it’s doing and what it needs. Mind and emotions are conditioned tools that we can instead use to create a beautiful life. Eating clean takes us back to nature's way of vitality and vibrancy.

In Part 2 of this article, we will take a look at lifestyle changes needed to break the habit of craving.

 

(About myself: Formerly I was with the IT industry for 2 decades and also have my venture on healthy vegan baking. I have suffered life-threatening allergies and survived twice. I learnt to heal naturally and applied the same on both my kids aged 13 &10. We as a family, live a healthy, disease-free lifestyle. Based on my experience and what I have gained from reading, I help others in reversing their ailments naturally and holistically.)

 



Disclaimer: The health journeys, blogs, videos and all other content on Wellcure is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered a ‘medical advice’ ‘prescription’ or a ‘cure’ for diseases. Any specific changes by users, in medication, food & lifestyle, must be done under the guidance of licensed health practitioners. The views expressed by the users are their personal views and Wellcure claims no responsibility for them.


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