MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Have you ever wondered why you crave certain foods? It might be a sign of stress or anxiety. Senia Mae, a traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, Gets Us Movin’ with ways to alleviate the cravings without ruining your diet.

CRAVING – SALTY FOODS

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• You crave: Chips, popcorn, French fries, etc.
• Might be a sign of: Muscle tension and holding stress in your body
• Explanation: Salt tenderizes muscles, like salting a steak
• Alternative: Take an Epsom salt bath. A hot bath relieves stress and salts absorbed through the skin also work to relieve tension, pain and inflammation.

CRAVING – STIMULANTS

• You crave: Coffee, soda
• Might be a sign of: Exhaustion
• Explanation: Your body may crave caffeine for a quick jolt of energy, but it also makes you crash, setting up a vicious cycle
• Alternatives: Eat protein with breakfast, herbal remedies

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CRAVING – SPICY FOODS

• You crave: Thai food, curry, hot sauce, peppers
• Might be a sign of: Severe stress
• Explanation: Spicy foods release tension quickly for instant relief but can cause increased irritability
• Alternatives: Exercise, deep breathing techniques

CRAVING – SWEETS

• You crave: Candy, pop, desserts
• Might be a sign of: Weak digestion
• Explanation: If your digestion is weak you won’t absorb your food well and you’ll crave quick energy
• Alternatives: Nap, herbal remedies, acupuncture

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For more information on cravings and how to alleviate them, visit Healing Insight online.