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Food cravings and what they signify

Zubin Dsouza

The common curse for every man on the cusp of fatherhood has nothing to do with the impending financial disaster, prenatal yoga or finding the right gynaecologist. It is something that is much more plebian or common than that.

Every man’s worst nightmare is to be woken up by his significant other and narrated another food craving that she wants. No matter how much you prepare for it; how much you plan in advance, there are always more combinations and cravings available than your predictions. Apart from being something that can fox you totally, it also plays a weird sort of mind game with you.

Does she really need that? Is she really doing this to me to get back for getting her pregnant?

Oops! I think I revealed a bit too much back there but then there is more.

The cravings may be suppressed for a moment or a night even but they soon bob back to the surface.

And this feeling is not restricted just to the women who are journeying through the path to motherhood.

Very often you may feel the sudden urge to eat something that is way out of your normal dietary routine.

It is an inexplicable feeling; something that just wants you to consume a specific thing. It is not like you are going through a demonic possession but your resistance becomes really weak.

Don’t ignore these calls to have a food fling! These crazy urges are actually signals from your body to replace some vital nutrients that you are missing out on!

Confused? Don’t be! The rationale behind it is a simple scientific explanation.

Chocolate tops the list of food cravings. You may want to chomp into a bar of the smooth milk variety or the bitter, high cocoa types. This could be either due to an emotional need or a physical one. Chocolate gets metabolised into serotonin and is just the panacea that one needs when the brain is expressing serious leanings towards depression or trying to overcome heartache.

Chocolates are also a great source of magnesium, chromium, B vitamins and essential fatty acids. Since the high cocoa versions are great for your heart, these tend to be a better alternative when compared to a craving for sugar!

You know that feeling when you really need to stuff your face with cake or biscuits? Your body just needs the sugar to either balance your blood sugar or compensate for dehydration. Sugar also works to shore up deficiencies in chromium and magnesium. The fact is that a higher consumption of sugar is connected to a slew of health issues which may include cancer. Grab a glass of water instead and you may realise that you would end up shedding some weight in the process.

Chromium deficiency is a big thing. It leads us down the path of jelly bellies and flabby arms. Besides urging your body in the sugary direction, it could also face you towards high carb foods like pizzas, burgers and pastas.

But your craving for processed foods may signal some other serious issues. Hypoglycaemia, insulin resistance and fatigue all require your body to combat it with an overload of carbohydrates.

Wine is another item that your body uses to combat fatigue and unwind. Since it also contains a ton of antioxidants it happens to be really good for you. However, one glass is great for you but two and beyond can actually be stressful.

Sometimes folk tend to munch on ice. It is not really cooling as most may think but it in fact signals something far scarier like anaemia.

If your body truly wants you to cool down, it would veer you towards spicy food. When you eat hot food, you sweat and when that evaporates off your skin it cools you down.

And what about cravings for ice creams?

Actually your craving for ice cream deals with a cooling down of another kind. Eating ice cream works to protect you against heartburn and acidity which may be a good thing after a heavy meal.

Chinese food is often something that one craves when one is dehydrated. The high sodium content of the food increases chances for you to drink more water to compensate for that dry feeling in your mouth thus giving your body what it really needs.

And for that lovely pregnant lady kicking out the soon to be father in the middle of the night for a jar of pickles – she is absolutely right!

They are a great source of probiotics and are great for dehydration and the flavour is not bad either!

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