Cravings/Addictions on a Raw Food Diet?
By Don Bennett, DAS

You might be tempted to think that when you eat the healthiest of diets, and pay attention to getting enough sleep, sunshine, exercise, etc., that you wouldn't be subject to cravings and addictions. But this is not true.

I lump cravings and addictions together because their definitions vary depending on who you're speaking to, but the results are the same: you desire something that you know you shouldn't be eating or doing.

Cravings for certain foods fall into two basic categories: physiological and psychological. And it's important to know which is the cause because the way to deal with each type of craving is different. And if you assume your cravings are for emotional reasons when they're not, obviously your efforts to resolve them will likely be futile.

Physiological cravings can be caused by not getting enough of certain nutrients that your body requires for proper operation. This scenario would have been difficult many millennia ago because of the way food was grown and the way we obtained it. But today most of us don't eat food that grows naturally, we eat food that was grown for us as a business. So if your food comes from the agri-based food industry that grows for yield, size, appearance, growth-rate, pest-resistance, shelf-life, and sugar-content, but not for nutritional content, you could be eating the most perfect diet, but the foods of that diet will have you bumping up against some nutritional deficiencies – especially if you're not as active as you're designed to be (you'll eat less food when inactive, and that means less overall nutrients even if you are consuming an appropriate amount of calories for your level of activity).

This first category of cravings is responsible for raw food vegans desiring salty things. If your sodium requirements are not being met, your body remembers what had been great sources of sodium, and you'll get a craving for some of those salty snacks you once ate (even though that form of sodium is not nearly as bioavailable as the sodium we get from plants).

The other form that cravings take are emotional in nature. Many people associate certain foods with good times, and thus good feelings, and some "foods" like chocolate can even make you feel loved. So it's no wonder that when you're blue and down in the dumps, you desire certain "good mood foods."

The physiological category of cravings is best dealt with by bolstering your nutritional intake. I add some green powder to my smoothies every day, and this does help a lot, and it has for the many people I've counseled. Daily Green Boost is my green powder of choice; and don't let anyone tell you that something like this can't provide nutrition, because this would demonstrate their lack of understanding and a possible bias against nutritional supplements.

It's also important to know that there are some "problematic" nutrients; ones that are not normally provided by food, like D and B12. And there are those that even the best green powder won't supply enough of especially if you're already dealing with an insufficiency or deficiency… iodine is a good example. Looking at it from a "Supply and Demand" perspective, the supply of iodine is extremely poor, and many people's demand is higher than it would have been many millennia ago due to environmental assaults, and if you have a deficiency, this temporarily increases demand... a triple whammy, and why so many people have sub-par functioning thyroids (which affects mood and weight), and increased odds of getting cancer.

The second category – emotional desires – can be dealt with by:

* Having a good social life. See the fascinating article "Raw Food and Addiction".

* Making sure you're eating a nutritious diet (yes, a lack of enough of certain nutrients can affect your hormones and thus your emotions). More on this important issue here.


Related reading:

What Causes Food Cravings

Raw Food and Addiction


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