Have you ever craved one food over and over again? I hear it from people all the time…
“I just crave ice cream. I can’t help it!”
“I want salty snacks like chips and popcorn all the time.”
“I must have low iron because I crave red meat at least once a week.”
Now, you know what I’m going to say about all of those foods, right? They’re all highly ACIDIC!
The truth is, your body does not crave acidic foods. It just doesn’t.
So when it seems like you’re craving foods like these, there’s actually something deeper going on, and TRUE DEFICIENCY in your body, and we’ll get into that.
More importantly, when you eat these acidic foods, you’re not really satisfying your craving. That’s why you keep craving it! If it was satisfying, you wouldn’t crave it again 24 hours later (or two hours later for some of you!).
Let’s take a look at some of the most common foods I hear people say they crave, what’s really going on, and what you want to eat to truly satisfy your craving instead.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I’m all about swaps.
What can you swap to satisfy your craving, really satisfy it, and feel satiated rather than deprived?
Deprivation is unsustainable, and that’s not going to lead to lasting change for your health.
So for each of the foods below, I’m going to tell you what to swap to really meet your needs.
What you’re craving: CHOCOLATE
This is a big one, right? So many people crave chocolate.
But let’s get real. There’s no such thing as a chocolate deficiency!
Wouldn’t we love it if there were, and we actually needed chocolate for our health?
What’s really going on: Chocolate is high in magnesium. Craving it often indicates that your body is DEFICIENT in magnesium.
It’s actually really common to be deficient in magnesium because the Standard American Diet, ironically nicknamed the SAD diet, just does not supply enough of it.
In fact, its been estimated that 90% of the American population is deficient in this vital alkaline mineral. It is important to the heath of nearly every one of your cells, playing a role in over 600 different reactions in your body, reducing your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, migraines, and so much more.
In addition to magnesium, chocolate also contains theobromine, a compound shown to reduce levels of stress hormones and promote muscle relaxation.
Of course, there’s another thing going on, and that’s hormones.
If you’ve ever wondered why women crave chocolate when they’re experiencing PMS, it’s because getting enough minerals can decrease some PMS symptoms like irritability, fluid retention, and headaches.
What to swap: Your body is crying out for foods high in minerals, and especially magnesium. Load up on:
- Dark green leafy vegetables like kale, chard, and spinach
- Green juices and smoothies
You can also enjoy raw, natural cacao, the unrefined nutritious part of chocolate, which is high in magnesium, other minerals, and antioxidants. Add nibs to trail mix, smoothies, or use them in desserts like Avocado Chocolate Mousse.
You’re also going to want to add in Alkamind Daily Minerals every night to ensure you’re getting enough magnesium, as well as a balance of calcium, potassium, and sodium bicarbonate. Being a powder that adds to water, this is the most bio-available form of magnesium you will find, getting absorbed into your blood within 30 seconds, at an absorption rate of 98% and higher.
This is unlike a magnesium or mineral tablet, which is literally expensive urine. Did you know that when you take a tablet of any kind, your absorption rate is between 10-30% at its best, and that’s assuming your digestive system is functioning at 100% – and no one’s is!
Magnesium should ALWAYS be combined in a 1 to 1 ratio to calcium, and I never recommend taking magnesium by itself, as this can offset and decrease the other minerals in your body.
Getting your Daily Minerals is going to make a huge difference in cutting back on your chocolate craving.
What you’re craving: CHEESE
If you’re constantly craving cheese, I wouldn’t be surprised if you say you’re also having issues with concentration and memory.
One study found that people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were twice as likely to crave cheese as people without a diagnosis.
What’s really going on: Cheese is high in fats, so craving it is often a sign that you need more fat in your diet. As always, though, you want to choose healthy fats.
If you do have any issues with concentration or memory, it might be because the brain is made of 60% fat. Interesting, right?
So it’s important for your brain power that you supply all of that good fat, which is going to curb your craving.
What to swap: The first thing you’re going to want to start with is a good quality Omega-3 fish oil, which will supply what your brain is really missing.
Our new supplement, Alkamind Daily Omega-3, is the world’s best fish oil
(I know I am a little biased, but this REALLY is true!).
We are the first fish oil to market that has been formulated to provide the ideal 2:1 ratio of EPA to DHA, that has been TRIPLE ORGANICALLY PURIFIED to highly-concentrate and purify the supplement. This means you need to TAKE LESS to GET MORE!
You can also add in more healthy fats to your diet such as:
- Raw nuts, including almonds, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, and walnuts
- Hemp seeds
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, black cumin seed oil, MCT oil, and one of my favs, coconut oil.
What you’re craving: SODA, SELTZER, OR COFFEE
There are a few things happening with this one, and we’re going to address each of them.
First, there’s the placebo effect – you drink it at the same time every day, whether it’s coffee in the morning, seltzer at the office, or soda with dinner. That ritual is often all you need to disrupt.
Your body doesn’t actually need what you’re drinking. It’s psychological. Now that doesn’t mean it isn’t a strong craving. It’s real, but you can get past it if you break up the mental game going on.
The next issue is energy. You’re craving the caffeine in the coffee or soda. One serving of Coke provides 30 mg of caffeine. Coffee can easily be as high as 95 mg of caffeine per serving. That’s real and it’s an addiction. It can be hard to break, but you can do it. I recommend a gradual approach by switching to decaf or tea slowly over time.
And last but not least, there’s the effect of the carbonation in soda and seltzer, which is highly acidic. The phosphoric acid in carbonated drinks leaches calcium and magnesium from your bones, creating a vicious cycle of minerals depletion and craving.
The more you drink, the more you crave.
What’s really going on: Whether it’s coffee, seltzer, or soda, this craving is an acid problem.
Having low energy is a symptom of too much acid, and in drinking coffee or soda, you’re getting more acid, so the problem only gets worse. Same with carbonated drinks, as we just discussed.
So what you need is natural sources of energy, and that means more minerals, iron and calcium, especially.
What to swap: So first you need a placebo swap to replace the ritual of drinking these beverages at the same time every day. Switch to herbal teas, detox tea, green juice, or just plain alkaline water with lemon.
And then to address what’s really deficient, you’ll want to add into your diet more:
- Chlorophyll from bright, green veggies like leafy greens, snap peas, and green beans
- Beans like chickpeas and white beans, lentils, and adzuki beans
What you’re craving: SALTY SNACKS
Whether it’s potato chips, pretzels, or French fries, craving salty snacks mean one thing.
You’re deficient in key minerals!
According to a study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, women who reported the highest amount of salt cravings were found to have the lowest levels of calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Other studies indicate that women on low-calcium diets crave salty foods.
What’s really going on: In addition to your need for more calcium and magnesium, your salty snack food craving might be a signal that you’re low on healthy fats, particularly if you lean more toward fries and chips, and are less interested in popcorn and pretzels.
Like the cheese cravings above, make sure you’re getting plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids via a good supplement.
If you’re craving salt and vinegar variety snacks, or vinegary foods in general, that’s a slightly different issue with the same prescription. Vinegar means there’s a yeast problem, and it’s the yeast bacteria craving the vinegary food, almost like a parasite. This is also a sign of a magnesium deficiency.
What to swap: Satisfy your crunch craving with healthy alternatives like raw veggies and hummus, kale chips, and roasted chickpeas.
Make sure you’re getting plenty of healthy fats by eating organic, wild-caught salmon and other cold-water, wild-caught fish, avocados, raw nuts, and healthy oils.
Get plenty of calcium from these alkaline sources:
- Sesame seeds
- Collard greens
- Chinese cabbage
What you’re craving: ICE CREAM
It’s not just pregnant women craving ice cream. This is really common.
And yet there’s almost no food more acidic. Ice cream is a combination of a lot of sugar, unhealthy fat, dairy milk (it takes 12 pounds of milk to produce 1-pound of ice cream), and usually a lot of other nasty, processed ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils (which cause inflammation), and food coloring.
What’s really going on: You need additional calcium in your diet.
In addition, since ice cream is a high-fat treat, containing 7 grams of fat in just one-half cup, you might be craving fat.
What to swap: Check the list above under salty snacks for calcium-rich foods and enjoy steamed leafy greens such as spinach or kale to get plenty of calcium. Notice if your ice cream craving subsides after eating that.
Plenty of plant-based sources of calcium are much better than milk, such as broccoli, chia and sesame seeds, Chinese cabbage, raw almonds and collard greens. There is more usable calcium from these plant-based sources than there is in any type of dairy.
Nut butters are equally high in fat to ice cream, but good fats and protein instead, so a spoonful of raw almond butter makes a great swap.
And don’t skimp on the frozen goodness, just do it the alkaline way!
What you’re craving: RED MEAT
A red meat craving is a sign of iron deficiency, especially for women during their menstrual cycles, which can lead to more intense PMS symptoms.
You also might be craving the fat in meat, which has a high content of unhealthy fats. If you crave red meat, opt for healthy fats, including medium chain triglycerides such as coconut oil, which is a healthy saturated fat and a good alternative to the fats in meat.
What’s really going on: If you’re low on iron, here’s what I don’t recommend; taking an iron supplement. Does that sound crazy? Here’s why… This picture shows the chemical structure of chlorophyll that’s found in plants like spinach and that of hemoglobin, or a red blood cell.
They’re identical. And that’s no coincidence. When you’re low on iron, you need more chlorophyll. That’s what’s going to give you energy and kick the craving for red meat.
What to swap: When it comes to protein, opt for healthy, alkaline choices:
- Adzuki beans
- Lima beans
- Raw almonds
- Chia seeds
And to satisfy what’s really behind your meat craving, aim for dark, green, leafy vegetables such as watercress, kale, spinach, chard, and romaine lettuce to make sure you are getting enough chlorophyll.
You might also want to add in a dehydrated alkaline green powder like Alkamind Daily Greens, where one scoop gives you 5 servings of organic alkaline greens high in chlorophyll.