7 Reasons To Seek Addiction Treatment
Substance use disorder, which is more colloquially known as drug addiction, is a serious mental...
Food cravings can be most commonly associated with pregnant women who crave odd or large amounts of very specific foods. (Pickles and ice cream, anyone?) Some people crave specific foods, seemingly for no reason at all. Others crave nostalgic foods tied to special memories or comfort foods to ease stressors. Scientistic research on food cravings proves that there is more to cravings than we originally thought. Even cravings for certain foods can mean different things for your body.
A craving is defined as an intense desire for a certain food or drink. Hunger, on the other hand, is the absence of food in the stomach. Though any food can satisfy our hunger, only particular foods that are desired at that time can satisfy a craving.
When it comes to dieting, food cravings are often inevitable because so many foods are likely “forbidden” when dieting. Both mind and body may crave extra nutrients if a diet is highly restrictive, which can cause intensified cravings. According to research published in Current Nutrition Reports, food cravings can be conditional rather than being based on a need for deprived nutrition.
Humans generally crave energy-dense foods, which are often high in calories, as well as sweet or savory foods. This is a cultural phenomenon, with certain cultures around the world craving the sweetest or most savory foods over others. The most common low-calorie craving observed in humans is fruit. The timing of most cravings was observed to be in the afternoon and early evening. Researchers also found that the desire to eat high-calorie foods increases throughout the day, as low-calorie cravings decrease.
The research published in Current Nutrition Reports outlines several different reasons for food cravings, many of which have a psychological background. Though it is logical to think that a craving must solve some sort of a nutrient deficiency – and this does happen – this is not the answer to most food cravings. Instead, most food cravings are conditioned into the brain. Consider these research findings:
All this research proves that food cravings can be intensified and created through psychological conditioning. That being said, there are some outliers. People experiencing strong hormonal changes may crave specific nutrients or sweet and savory comfort foods to fill a psychological need. Pregnant women tend to experience cravings for the same reason.
People may also experience cravings for nutritional reasons, such as a person craving a salad when they do not usually eat vegetables. The body experienced the need for nutrients found in the salad, and the person’s craving satisfied that need.
Here are some foods that can help fulfill certain needs for you:
Don’t worry, food cravings are not all bad. Sometimes these cravings can be beneficial – they are your body’s complex way of telling you that you need something. Most of the time, a craving is a psychological event that cannot be satisfied just once and will be intensified by restrictive eating. Many people crave alcohol or addictive substances in times of stress, also due to psychological conditioning. If you’re overusing alcohol or other substances and need help with your cravings, call RECO Intensive. At RECO Intensive, we understand how intense the cravings that accompany addiction can be. Getting sober isn’t easy, but it’s necessary for future success. Our professional staff and experienced alumni can create a treatment plan that is specifically catered to you and helps manage your cravings. We will also work with you on any co-occurring mental health disorders, so you can overcome your addiction. Call us at (561) 464-6533 today. Let’s get back to a brighter future.
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