Hi Three to Five Tribe! We all have food cravings from time to time. It’s a completely normal part of being human. Some of us ignore food cravings, while some of us give in to them. Then there is me. I research them. I have treated my body like a science experiment for years, so when something pops up that seems out of the ordinary for me, I dive in full force to get to the bottom of it After a serious hankering for peanut butter recently, I did some research that I found fascinating and maybe you will too. Here are three reasons why you may be craving peanut butter.
Peanut Butter Cravings
#1 You Aren’t Eating Enough Fats
This may be the most obvious reason, but if you aren’t eating enough quality fats, you may crave fatty foods like peanut butter. If this is you, then make sure you are adding quality fats to your diet. Foods like avocado, avocado oil, coconut, coconut oil, nut butters, nuts, seeds and seed butters. Remember to always read your labels and make sure you are choosing quality fats with whole food ingredients. Nothing artificial. Oh and if you are hesitant to eat more fat, remember fat is your friend.
#2 You Aren’t Eating Enough Carbohydrates
This reason may not seem as obvious as the former, but if you aren’t eating enough carbohydrates, your body begins to crave sweets. When you aren’t filling your plate with quality carbohydrates, the sweeter and carb-ier foods, like nut butters, begin to taste. This is why one spoonful of nut butter can turn into an entire jar of nut butter. (Been there before. Where do you think I got the inspiration for this blog post?)
Time out: Do you notice a theme here or is it just me? If your body isn’t getting enough fat, you will crave something. If your body isn’t getting enough carbohydrates, you will crave something. Needless to say, if you are experiencing any form of a dietary imbalance, your body will find a way to balance things out on its own, even if that means getting your attention with crazy cravings. As my father constantly reminds me, “Everything in moderation.” (I hate when parents are right).
#3 You Are Stressed
Stress is completely arbitrary. What may be stressful to you may not be stressful to me and vice versa. In a sense, stress ultimately depends on how you specifically perceive something. When we are stressed, we tend to crave fatty, high-calories foods like chips, cookies, ice cream and pizza. If you find yourself craving peanut butter in particular, it may be because peanut butter contains a specific compound that actually fights stress, beta-sitosterol. A plant-sterol, beta-sitosterol has been shown to normalize high cortisol levels and bring them back into balance with other hormones. Isn’t that crazy?! Your body knows what you need even when it may not make specific sense to you. It’s incredibly fascinating. (Don’t mind me, just having a nutrition nerd moment right now).
The next time you have a food craving, take some time and do some research to see why. You may be surprised with what you find! Now excuse me while I go to Trader Joe’s to replace the entire jar of peanut butter I just ate…
Enjoying peanut butter three to five days a week,