Have you noticed an unusual craving for salty foods? It turns out there is likely a simple explanation for your craving. Your body is designed to want salt, since it is essential to your survival – in smaller amounts than many people consume.
Most guidelines recommend that adults consume less than 2,300 milligrams of salt per day (this drops to 1,500 if you are over the age of 51). If you find yourself drawn to potato chips and other salty snacks, or if you tend to pour salt on your meals, then you should take the time to look at the top 5 reasons we crave salt and learn how to fix it.
#1 – Your Body Needs Minerals
The first reason that you may be craving salt is that your body may not be getting enough minerals. Your body needs zinc, magnesium, calcium, and other helpful minerals in order to ensure your digestive system, blood flow, and other body systems operate correctly.
A lot of different minerals have a salty flavor, which means that you will start craving salt when your body lacks these essential minerals. Eating a larger variety of fresh fruits and vegetables could cure this problem.
#2 – Dehydration
If you are dehydrated, you may end up wanting more salt. One of the reasons that your body depends on salt is that it keeps the water in your body. As you become dehydrated, your body begins requiring salt in order to keep your cells hydrated.
When you get too much exercise, do not drink enough fluids, drink alcohol, and consume too much salt, you may become dehydrated. Keep yourself hydrated when drinking alcohol or exercising.
#3 – Adrenal Glands are Underactive
If your adrenal glands are not active enough, you may also crave more salt. Along with the increased demand for salt, your body will also warn you about underactive adrenal glands in the form of low blood pressure.
#4 – You are Getting Older
As you age, you may notice that your taste buds are not as sharp as they used to be. When this happens, you might end up adding more salt to your meals. A little bit of salt is not an issue, but if you notice that you are constantly dehydrated, or adding salt to all of your meals, you may want to start cutting back.
#5 – It is an Old Habit
The final major reason that you might be wanting more salt is that it has become a habit. If you reach for the salt every time you make a meal, it can be hard to simply put the salt down. You may want to think about finding new recipes to make or coming up with other ways of flavoring your meal. Look into the use of herbs and spices, instead of salt, to flavor your food.
How Can You Stop Your Salt Cravings
The best way to curb your salt cravings is to determine the major reason your body seems to need salt. For example, if you desire salt due to a lack of minerals, then make sure you start including more fruit and vegetables in your daily diet.
Make sure that you stay hydrated and that you do not have low blood pressure. Drinking plenty of fluids and getting regular exercise can help combat low blood pressure and dehydration.
If you are simply craving salt because it has become a habit, then you need to actively try to cut back your salt intake. The easiest solution – get rid of the salt. Most recipes that call for salt only use it for seasoning and not as a major ingredient. After several weeks, you probably not even notice that it is gone from your diet.
Salt cravings are typically the result of some type of deficiency. Identify the reason for your craving and tackle it head on. Making small changes to your daily routine, you should have no issues curbing your cravings.