Food craving is intense wanting for food, which may lead to altered nutrition, which is more than the bodily requirements. As a result, a person may become overweight or obese, which is a risk factor for a number of chronic disorders like diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disorders, and digestive disorder like cholecystitis. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and remedies for food cravings.
Food craving has five causes, according to Kiss Carr. As per the publication, one is resistance to the hormone leptin, which the body produces in the fat tissue. In high amounts, leptin is capable of making the brain feel hungry, even the person is not really hungry. Increase in leptin is due to excess fat in the body; the fatter the person, the more the leptin. Another cause is low serotonin levels. Serotonin serves as a feel-good neurotransmitter and low levels make the brain that eating will resolve the feeling of hunger. The third is the body’s endorphins, which make the body relaxed. As per the publication, endorphin levels rise when the person eats sweet and salty food; as a result, the person feels relaxed. The fourth one is poor gastrointestinal or gut function related to imbalance between the good and bad bacteria present in it; an unhealthy gut alters healthy serotonin levels in the body. Finally, emotion is the fifth cause of food craving and it is called phantom hunger. As per the publication, a person tends to eat following an unfortunate event, such as losing a job or a painful breakup.
Signs and Symptoms
While food craving is not a disease, it also presents symptoms. According to Web MD, these include headache, irritability, insomnia, mood changes, and depression.
The following are the remedies for food cravings.
Water is essential to the body since 60 to 70 percent of it is made up of water. In terms of remedies, water helps the body achieve a sense of fullness. According to Authority Nutrition, thirst is usually confused with hunger or food cravings, so being thirsty may trigger the brain to tell the person to find food. While the brain dictates hunger, consuming water will eventually resolve the craving. As per the publication, drinking water also helps reduce the person’s appetite and assist with weight loss.
Having an adequate sleep is another remedy for food cravings. According to Prevention, a University of Chicago study found that sleepless nights increased the levels of appetite trigger ghrelin by 30 percent. As per the publication, this means an increase in appetite, as well as starchy food selections like bread and cookies. The study found that such cravings increased by 45 percent. Therefore, having a good amount of sleep will help control the action of ghrelin.
Calcium Food Selections
Foods rich in calcium also serve as remedies for food cravings. According to Home Remedies for You, studies learned that lack of calcium in the body is associated to food cravings. Examples of calcium rich food choices include milk, cheese, dairy, anchovies, and green leafy vegetables. Greens are also low in calories, so they really help prevent food cravings.
Cheat day is usually part of the vocabulary of people who are on a diet, but it also serves as a remedy for food cravings. According to Natural Living Ideas, the person may schedule a cheat day per week, in which he can eat what he what without becoming guilty about breaking the diet for a while.
Craving for food is not a problem; however, a person should have self-control and discipline to limit himself on how much he eats to prevent heart disease risk factors like being overweight or obese. The aforementioned home remedies can be done to manage too frequent or excessive food cravings.