What Your Food Craving Might Actually Be

Do you ever stumble out of bed in the middle of the night craving some chips? Or maybe chocolate is more your go-to. Or maybe you stand in front of the white light of the fridge in your boxers, chowing down a couple of pickles or some shredded cheese. If you said yes to any of the above (and we're not judging) then you're definitely not alone. According to WebMD, a whopping majority of nearly 100% of young women and almost 70% of young men reported having food cravings in the past year.

And actually, those food cravings aren't so bad. It's a way your body communicates with you that it needs certain foods to stay happy and healthy, while also letting you know you might be low on some essential vitamins. This is why you actually shouldn't ignore your food cravings because it gives the body some reassurance and helps you practice intuitive eating while avoiding overeating triggered by not giving your body what it wants.

If you find yourself craving some weird and unusual foods, however, there might actually be other reasons for it.

Confusing food cravings

Have you ever woken up first thing in the morning starving? You might immediately jump to the fridge to help subside those early-morning cravings with food. In actuality, it could be your body telling you that you're thirsty. According to Medical News Today, the body can confuse hunger and thirst with the same "empty stomach" sensations. If you find yourself regularly hungry, it could be your body trying to tell you that you're dehydrated and you need more water.

The same is true for other emotions and feelings in the body. When you're more stressed, the body naturally craves more unhealthy food (via Medical News Today). 

Craving certain foods can also be an indicator of various vitamin deficiencies. A craving for chocolate could indicate a magnesium deficiency, while a craving for sugary soda could signify a calcium deficiency. A need for salty foods could be your body telling you it needs more chloride or it's having stress hormone fluctuations (via Better Me). 

While indulging in food cravings is okay once in a while, there are often reasons for cravings that can be treated with more healthier and optimal solutions to fuel your body with what it needs.