Understanding why we are craving certain foods helps us make an educated decision when it come to answering our urges.
Many of us, myself included at times, are hankering for salty or sweet foods however, will a little understanding as to why, we can make better choices that support our health goals.
Our bodies rely on an array of Vitamins and Minerals (Micro-nutrients) through diversity of foods to regulate bodily processes and function.
Vitamins are complex organic elements created by living organisms, plants and animals.
They fall into two sub groups; fat and water soluble. As their names suggests, the vitamins can be found in foods containing either fats and oils or lot of water.
Fat Soluble Vitamins; A,D, E & K
A- Milk, cheese, eggs, fatty fish, orange coloured vegetables (contain beta-carotene and convert into Vit A), spinach and broccoli
D- Sunlight on skin allows body to produce Vitamin D however foods with some Vitamin D are; salmon, mackerel, eggs and fortified food
E- Oils, Animal fats, fish, nuts and seeds, spinach and wheat germ
K- Spinach, green vegetables,milk and eggs
Water Soluble Vitamins; C & B Group Vitamins
C- Guava, Red Chilli's, capsicum, parsley, broccoli, blackcurrants, oranges, kiwi's, sprouts, grapefruit
B Group- Whole-grains, legumes, beans, dairy products, muscle and organ meats, eggs, Brussels sprouts, split peas, some fruit and fortified cereals
The B vitamins works closely together to facilitate energy production, metabolism, cell multiplication and production of red blood cells among other daily processes within the body.
B Vitamins are likely to be deficient within vegan and vegetarian diets are they are more bio-available through ingesting animal products.
Minerals are inorganic compounds derived through the earths crust. They are equally as important and are vital to our health. They form two sub groups; Major and Trace Minerals.
Major Minerals refer to the the amount stored in our body, over 5 grams whereas Trace Minerals are requires in lessor amounts, less than 5 grams.
Major Minerals Include & can be found in;
Calcium- dairy, bony fish, legumes,broccoli, fortified cereals
Chloride- seaweed, tomatoes, radishes, olives, broccoli, cabbage
Magnesium- cocoa powder, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, seaweed, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat groats
Potassium- Leafy green, cucumbers, zucchini, root vegetables, avocados, bananas, beans, peas
Phosphorus- dairy, meat, dried fruits (no added sugar people), eggs
Sodium- Cheese, condiments such as soy sauce, miso, bacon and deli meats, olives
Sulphur- Vitamin B1 Thiamine, contains sulphur in their structure and these are essential to body function therefor sulphur is required.
Trace Minerals Include & can be found in;
Iron- Red Meat, oysters, seaweed, pumpkin seeds, parsley, tofu ,leafy greens, nuts and seeds offer smaller amounts
Zinc- Oyster, beef, cocoa powder, pumpkin seeds, Greek yoghurt
Copper- Organ meats, seafood, nuts and seeds, wholegrain
Manganese- tea, vegetables
Iodine- Shellfish, seaweed, iodized salt, vegetables (from soil where grown)
Selenium- brazil nuts, seafood, meats, eggs, nuts and seeds
So with science class out of the way and with the hope that you haven't fallen asleep in the back row, I'll make this last bit easy and give you a picture to look at. A quick reference point for what your cravings are telling you!
Stick it on the fridge and next time you feel like fatty chips, it might just be a gentle reminder to grab a big bowl of salad.. Enticing i know but a healthy body is a healthy mind and who knows, you might just rewire your chemistry!
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