Since ancient times, people had a strong love for salt. Our ancestors would not have survived without salt since this substance is vitally important for maintaining body fluid. But today, salt is found in almost all food products and our body doesn’t suffer from its deficiency. But what if you constantly want to eat salty foods? This may be a sign of certain health conditions. Let’s review the common causes of salt cravings.
If you don’t drink enough water or have lost too much fluid in a relatively short period of time, the body will find ways to restore it. The easiest way to do this is with salt which is able to rehydrate. We often confuse thirst with hunger, therefore, if you want to eat something salty, first drink a glass of water.
2. Intensive Training
If you sweat a lot, for example, during an intense workout, the amount of salt in the body decreases. But sometimes your body may lose too much salt through sweat. Sodium deficiency often observed during training in a humid environment for 60 or more minutes.
3. Stress Overload
If a person is too stressed, the body will react to this not only emotionally and cognitively but also physically. One of the physical symptoms of stress overload is cravings for salty foods. The reason is that due to stress we lose a lot of sodium and the body naturally wants to compensate for this loss. Breathe deeper, drink a cup of hot tea and spend 20-30 minutes on cat videos or a random series of “Friends”. This will help you relax.
If you notice that a sudden craving for salty foods occurs every month, perhaps it’s caused by your menstrual cycle. And if you notice that salt cravings occur within a week before the onset of menstruation and are accompanied by dysmenorrhea, then this is due to premenstrual syndrome. Experts explain that this happens quite often and the reason for this is a change in the hormonal background.
5. Too Salty Diet
Like other flavor enhancers, salt gradually dulls the natural taste of food and this leads to salt addiction. Spices including black pepper don’t overload the body and don’t increase the risks of chronic diseases, unlike salt which affects the heart and vessel health. If you often crave salty foods, try to minimize the amount of salt intake for a week and see what changes will happen to your taste buds.
6. Mineral Deficiency
If even the world’s most salty french fries can’t help you, then you may be suffering from calcium and potassium deficiency. Therefore, your salt cravings are a body signal that it has a significant mineral deficiency.
7. Poor Sleep
Science says that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to eat more unhealthy foods than those who get enough sleep. One reason for salt cravings is an increase in cortisol levels when a person becomes tired. The body interprets it as stress and needs salty and unhealthy foods. Lack of sleep also increases ghrelin which is known as the hunger hormone.
8. Thyroid or Kidney Disease
In general, the craving for salt in itself doesn’t indicate any serious disease. But if it’s accompanied by certain symptoms, it may be a sign of thyroid or kidney disease. If you also experience fatigue, abdominal pain, muscle, and joint pains then you should visit a doctor.