Q:

What are the reasons behind food cravings?

A:

Quick Answer

Food cravings usually result from simple conditioning, vitamin or mineral deficiency, or addiction to foods such as sugar. Physiological processes such as sweating and stress may also trigger food cravings, according to U.S. News and World Report.

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Full Answer

Cravings may emanate from multiple factors. Conditioned food cravings develop around a person's eating habits. Typically, life experiences and emotions condition a person to crave the foods that he associates with these experiences or emotions. Physiological processes such as exercise and stress impair the ability of the adrenal glands to regulate sodium levels and, subsequently, cause salt cravings. When the body lacks certain vitamins and minerals, it triggers cravings for foods that contain these vitamins or minerals, as stated by U.S. News and World Report.

Food cravings could also mean that a person is addicted to the foods that he craves. Foods such as sugar stimulate the reward center of the brain and have the same effect as drugs such as cocaine, according to U.S. News and World Report. Cravings also reflect a person's mood and personality. Cravings for chocolate, for example, can arise when a person feels depressed, claims Women's Health Magazine. Chocolate causes the body to release serotonin, which improves mood.

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