The Real Reason You're Craving Steak

Everyone has experienced that random moment, one that sneaks up on you like a ghoulish ghost, when a serious craving strikes. It could be anything from a sweet and creamy cheesecake to a chocolatey cookie to a juicy steak. The body is overcome with this intense feeling — almost a need — for food that will quench the craving. Cravings are thought to hit when the body is in need of something, specifically a nutrient, according to The Conversation. A study published in 1991 in Appetite revealed that a whopping 97 percent of women and 68 percent of men experience cravings throughout their life.

How do nutritional deficiencies, or malnutrition, actually happen? Healthline reports that deficiencies occur when the body is either not absorbing what it needs or not getting enough of what it needs from foods, and can lead to a whole cacophony of health issues. So, who normally experiences cravings for steaks? Health Digest states that menstruating people and older folks are the most common demographics when it comes to this almost insatiable need for red meat.

What is actually missing from the body when you crave steak?

People who find themselves with a bad craving for red meat (i.e. steaks, burgers, ground beef) are likely experiencing an iron deficiency. The demographic most likely to want to indulge in a juicy steak or two throughout the month are typically those menstruating, due to the loss of iron they can experience, according to Women's Health and ovulation tracking app Clue.

What are some of the side effects of iron deficiencies? Bustle reports that people can experience bouts of tiredness, weird tingly feelings in their hands, a compromised immune system, and heavier periods (because, of course). Health Digest says that your body is well aware of the fact that it is missing some super important things, so it is sending you small smoke signals in the form of cravings to clue you in on what it might need. However, it's good to note that it's not always that simple. Registered dietitian with Real Life Women's Health, Crystal Savoy, tells Eating Well that it might come down to low food intake overall or "someone who skipped a meal or didn't eat enough at their last meal."