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The 6 Nutrient Deficiencies Behind Major Food Cravings

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Your decision to binge on certain food isn’t always dependent on your willpower. No, studies from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics show that magnetic draws to certain foods can be blamed on nutrient inadequacies—to be precise, six nutrient deficiencies in particular.

So don’t be surprised if your body is lagging in the following minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and macronutrients the next time you reach for sweets, fast foods, red meat, or dairy…

 

1. Iron

Iron is a very common nutrient deficiency for vegans, vegetarians, as well as women during their pre-menopausal years. And iron deficiencies can cause the major meat hungers as well as lagging energy. Even if you’re a vegan or vegetarian who’s sworn off meat—you may find yourself drawn by the scent of grilling burgers, chicken wings, or even fish and chips.

These meat cravings can stem from the fact that iron sources from plant-based foods (non-heme iron) aren’t as promptly utilized by the body as animal based iron sources (heme iron), according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. However, if you want to stick to your vegan or vegetarian oath—reach for beans and legumes, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits for good iron sources. Just eat your iron with a food rich in vitamin C.

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