Your cravings can give you important clues about what your body is needing to keep it healthy. These messages could be from your hormonal system, your gut, your emotional state or elsewhere.
Last week we talked about Sugar Cravings. This week we’ll look at Salt cravings as it’s the second most common after sugar.
Do You Reach For Chips, Salted Nuts Or The Salt Shaker?
If this sounds more like you (more than reaching for the sugary foods) then you could think about some of the possible causes of what your body is ‘really’ trying to tell you. See below…
~ You’re suffering or you’ve suffered from grief or depression lately
~ You have Adrenal Fatigue which is caused by too much ongoing stress e.g. bring up young children and putting others before yourself all the time.
~ Addison’s disease which is a stress related condition causing low Cortisol
~ Kidney disorders, weakness in this area e.g. Kidney stones or infection (past/present)
~ You over-exercise which makes you mineral deficient
So Why Do We Reach For The Salty Foods?
Salt can actually make us feel calm and work a little like an antidepressant by quietening down some of our stress hormones. Research shows that salt (sodium) actually increases our feel good hormone, Oxytocin (which is our ‘in love’ hormone.)
Yes as we have heard time and time again, there are health risks with having too much salt BUT only for SOME people. Not all people and this is really important to know.
Much like everything to do with health and nutrition, it’s a personalized approach always.
For example a large study has shown that a low intake of salt is linked to heart attacks and strokes, however if you have high blood pressure, salt will usually keep it up there or increase it. So it’s a good idea to monitor your blood pressure if you feel that you need more salt.
TIP: Every household should have a blood pressure monitor which is just a small digital battery operated device that you can buy at your pharmacy for around $30. Knowing your blood pressure is very important and it’s a good way to start taking back control of your health.
Ways To Stop Your Salt Cravings
~ Have some pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt in ever few glasses of water during the day. This will help your hydration by taking the water into your cells rather than just flowing straight through you. It may also give you instant energy!
~ Address your stress! Salt cravings is a classic sign of adrenal fatigue (caused by ongoing stress.) So add some stress-less tools to your day e.g. yoga, meditation, more sleep, exercise and belly breathing rather than chest breathing.
~ Increase your Potassium (eat bananas, avocados and sweet potatoes.) We tend to have an imbalance between potassium and sodium that effect blood pressure and cause health problems. You could take some potassium salts to correct this imbalance.
If you know someone who piles the salt onto their food before they even taste it, or who reaches for the salty chips more than they should, you may want to share this post to help them out.