Craving fish? You might need to eat more protein in your diet. Other reasons you could be experiencing the need to eat fish or other seafood include underlying mental or physical conditions.
Food cravings can be a stumbling block for anyone trying to maintain a specific diet. Understanding more about why they happen and how to cope with them can make all the difference.
Food Cravings Explained
Cravings are intense desires for a certain food or type of food. While you might be craving fish, someone else could be craving pasta or chocolate. Medical News Today notes that some experts in the field thing that these desires only last for up to five minutes. Cravings are created in the same areas of your brain that handle pleasure and memory. That may explain why emotional eating provides comfort. Hormonal imbalances can cause food cravings too.
What’s Behind That Craving?
Food cravings can be physical or mental. Mentally, you could be craving food because of emotional or hormonal changes. After you eat certain foods, your body releases endorphins. These are the natural chemicals that your body produces to reduce stress and pain. These chemicals can cause intense food cravings that are similar to addiction.
Physically, you could crave specific foods that have nutrients you're lacking. For example, If you’re craving sweets like cookies and cake, you could have Type II diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome according to Bustle. Or, you could be craving it because you’re short on sleep or in need of a serotonin boost. The reasons aren’t always clear.
Why You Might Crave Fish
When you’re trying to figure out the reason behind your cravings, it helps to try to narrow down whether it’s a physical or mental craving. In either case, there could be a variety of reasons behind the desire.
You Need Protein
Sometimes cravings aren’t about the foods themselves. You might love fish and crave the flavor. Or, you might crave the nutrients that it provides. One of those key nutrients is protein. WebMD recommends fish and seafood as a good protein source.
You’re Low on Iodine
Iodine is a key mineral found in certain fish. It supports your metabolism and helps your thyroid produce hormones. Cod, shrimp and tuna are rich sources of iodine according to Healthline.
You Crave Comfort
Sushi might not be the first food you think of when you think about comfort food. NPR points out that fish aren't affected by gravity because there isn't any in the ocean. That's why fish muscles are so pliable. That's also why fish has such a smooth, soft texture when it's raw. The silky feel is similar to the textures we associate with comfort food. Mashed notes that the soft sensation on the palate is much like oatmeal or pudding. In turn, the perception boosts your mood.
How to Handle Cravings
If you can, go ahead and eat some fish to satisfy your craving. If that doesn’t do the job, consider other ways to cope. Suggestions include:n
- Amp up the protein on your plate
- Drink more water to flush toxins and hydrate your body
- Get plenty of sleep to avoid hormonal imbalances
- Manage stress for fewer emotion-related cravings