Who doesn’t love chocolate? Even the most diligent health fanatics can get cravings for this delectable treat. While a little bit is fine once in awhile (in fact, eating a small amount of dark chocolate each day is good for you!), eating much more than that is usually not a good idea for your waistline or your health.
A 2012 Australian study found that the non-food odors, such as Jasmine, can help curb chocolate as well as other unwanted cravings. A reduction in cravings can result in much less motivation to seek out chocolate – or other sweets.
It makes sense; what happens when you walk by a bakery and take in the aroma of all of those heavenly baked goods? That’s awfully hard to resist. On the other hand, smelling a non-food related product can help battle those desires. Jasmine might work because it’s considered a “clean” smell like lavender or pine.
Those kinds of scents don’t often tempt the appetite. It may be because smelling something clean sends a warning signal to the brain that it is poisonous, which reduces the craving for junk food.
Cravings may indicate nutrient deficiencies
If you find those cravings keep coming back, there could be a reason for it. Some cravings indicate you may have a nutrient deficiency.
That chocolate craving, for example, might indicate they you’re lacking magnesium, chromium, B vitamins or essential fatty acids. You can help alleviate this by increasing your consumption of nuts and seeds, flaxseed oil and fruits.
Of course, a little chocolate, especially the darkest kind, contains a mood-boosting hormone, healthy fats as well as magnesium, so you should go ahead and indulge in it a bit.
A craving for fatty or oily snacks might indicate a fatty acid deficiency or a need for more calcium. Eat foods that contain healthy fats such as nuts and seeds, coconut oil and wild-caught salmon. To meet your calcium needs, you don’t have to eat dairy – you can get plenty from foods like kale, broccoli and legumes.
Cravings for salty foods might be due to stress hormone fluctuations and a low level of electrolytes. Consume plenty of B vitamin-rich foods if you’re experiencing a lot of stress, including lots of organic fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. Salt cravings can also be the result of dehydration, so be sure to drink plenty of filtered water every day.
Many people crave sugar, but this often indicates an imbalance in blood sugar or mineral deficiencies, such as magnesium and chromium. Don’t give into refined sweets as that will ultimately throw you into a vicious cycle leaving you craving more sugary products. Instead, eat a piece of fruit and drink lots of filtered water – sugar cravings are also more common when you’re dehydrated.
Carbohydrate cravings are also common. One problem is that eating foods that contain wheat have been shown to cause a craving for more. Most processed foods have the same result. A carb craving can indicate insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or blood sugar fluctuations, fatigue or chromium deficiency.
Try eating magnesium and chromium rich fruits and vegetables like bananas, apples, spinach, avocado, beets, carrots, broccoli and chard. You might also consider eliminating wheat from your diet, which will help you to overcome the craving for more.
The bottom line? Sometimes it’s okay to give in a little to a craving, especially when it’s a healthy choice like dark chocolate that contains 70% or more cocoa. For those times when you’re tempted to indulge too much, or in something unhealthy, start sipping Jasmine tea!
-The Alternative Daily