Do you sometimes feel like a slave to specific food cravings? And like most people, you need to eat that particular food – preferably in the shortest time possible to satisfy that craving. Many factors contribute to the sudden urge or need to eat a particular food. Understanding them is the first step to controlling that pesky appetite.
This article looks at the causes of your garlic and onion food cravings and the health benefits of eating garlic and onions.
What is Craving?
A craving is an intense urge or desire to eat a specific type of food item – ideally right away. This urge can feel uncontrollable, and you may feel like you cannot satisfy your hunger until you eat that specific food.
You may feel increasingly excited as you imagine how it will taste and how you will feel eating it. Most people crave foods high in fat and calories, which they naturally tend to avoid. But what happens when you crave healthier foods like garlic and onions?
Why Do I Crave Onions and Garlic?
An onion or garlic craving is a common issue that most people find hard to understand. While the reason why people crave it is still up for discussion, some theories try to explain what the real cause is. For instance, some people believe that an onion and garlic craving is a sign that your body lacks sulfur compounds found in these foods. Others think the craving is simply because of the natural taste and fragrance of onions and garlic.
Why Do I Crave Garlic and Onions Simultaneously?
This is because when the compounds found in onions and garlic interact, they create a more potent flavor. These flavors tend to be more intense compared to those in individual herbs. This is why it is not abnormal to crave both garlic and onions simultaneously.
What Causes Garlic and Onion Food Cravings?
Contrary to popular belief, food cravings are not always a sign that your body lacks a particular nutrient in the food you are craving. It is not also always a sign of a lack of self-control or lousy eating habits. While these may be true to some degree, cravings involve a complex interplay of factors. While nutrition and diet play a significant role in cravings, the root cause of craving goes way beyond the food you put in your body. Here are some of the most common causes of cravings:
To live well, you need the liver function to be at optimal levels. The liver helps the body get rid of toxins and heavy metals from the body. For proper functioning, your liver needs a few vital nutrients, especially sulfur. A lack of adequate sulfur nutrients in the body can cause liver problems. Fortunately, onions and garlic are rich sources of sulfur. So when you are craving these foods, this could be a sign that your liver is finding it hard to break down toxins due to a lack of sufficient sulfur compounds.
Some people tend to eat onions when they are feeling sick. This is mainly because onions help ease nausea and vomiting, which can cause feelings of sickness. Also, the strong taste and scent of garlic and onions can remind them of home-cooking when their mother would make them onion soup. Finally, onions and garlic may taste good when someone isn’t feeling well.
So it is not uncommon for people who are feeling sick to crave onions and garlic. These people may crave these foods because they contain nutrients like vitamin C, which the body needs to fight infections. An onion or garlic craving may also result from zinc deficiency which these foods contain.
Women are twice more likely to experience food cravings than men. For instance, they experience heightened food cravings during pregnancy or before their menses. During this time, their bodies undergo different hormonal changes which cause these cravings.
There are times when people use food to fill the void of relationships, career, spirituality, and sometimes even exercise. For example, when you are bored by your job, unhappy in your relationship, or participating in an exercise routine harmful to your body, you may experience specific cravings.
Food tends to ease emotional troubles and reduce anxiety and stress in some people. It is said that eating carbs under stressful situations releases the calming hormone serotonin. Also, our bodies release the cortisol hormone when under a lot of stress. This hormone triggers cravings for salty and sweet foods. For example, garlic and onions are both sweet and salty. So they tend to be appealing to people under stress or pressure.
Lack of adequate water consumption may manifest as a mild hunger, or rather, a craving. This is because when you are dehydrated, it becomes hard for your organs like the liver to release glycogen and other components of your energy stored due to a lack of water. So you can get food cravings as a result. So whenever you are craving something, drink a glass of water to see if the craving will subside. If it does, your body was trying to tell you it needs water in the form of a craving.
When your glycogen stores run low or are anticipating indulging in a meal, you might start to feel hungry. Hunger can make you crave certain foods like garlic and onions. One reason you may crave onions or garlic is that they are both rich sources of carbohydrates, which tend to alleviate hunger. Also, garlic contains compounds like diallyl sulfides which reduce hunger by increasing the feeling of satiety.
This means that eating highly expansive (ying) or contractive (yang) foods can cause cravings for you to maintain a balance. For instance, if you eat a lot of cooked foods, you may experience a craving for raw food and vice versa.
During pregnancy, women experience a heightened sense of smell and taste, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal changes, leading to specific food cravings. During pregnancy, your body might crave garlic and onions to balance your hormones.
Sometimes, the body craves food that balances the elements of the seasons. For instance, in the summer, you might find yourself craving foods like ice cream, raw foods, and fruits, while in the fall, you may want more grounding foods such as nuts, squash, garlic, and onions. In addition, it is common to crave foods like meat, fat, and oils, which help warm the body in the winter. Some food cravings are also associated with holidays.
Lack of Certain Nutrients
When we think about what causes cravings, the first thing to mind is usually that they result from a specific nutrient deficiency. Typically, when your body lacks a particular food element, it signals the brain about foods that could provide it, hence a person’s tendency to crave it.
If you are not giving your body all the necessary nutrients, it may start craving odd foods. For instance, a salt craving is a sign of deficient mineral levels. An onion and garlic craving may be caused by a nutrient deficiency such as the lack of chromium. Chromium is essential for the metabolism of glucose and the regulation of blood sugar levels. Your body may also lack minerals like magnesium or zinc or an amino acid deficiency such as the L-tyrosine compound.
If you follow a foodie on Instagram or have saved a couple of mouth-watering recipes on Pinterest, or you keep encountering the food billboards and commercials all day long, these can all have authentic effects on your appetite. Yes!
Sometimes, food cravings are simply a reflection of the food messages that have been bombarded into your brain all day long. In such a case, these cravings have nothing to do with your nutritional deficiency.
What Happens When You Eat Onions and Garlic Daily?
Onions contain a lot of minerals and vitamins – vitamin C. They are vital for our immune system function; craving them is not a problem. However, the only natural negative effect of eating onions and garlic daily is that the pungent garlic odor can cling to your breath. This
How to Control Your Garlic and Onion Craving?
Just like any other thing, too much of something is poisonous. This statement is also true regarding the consumption of garlic and onions. While both vegetables are healthy, consuming too much can lead to other issues. As such, it is essential to try and tame your cravings. You can do this by:
Get Enough Sleep
A study conducted in 2013 found that lack of sufficient sleep can alter the body’s hormonal balance. This hormonal imbalance may contribute to hunger and food cravings. The researchers found that getting adequate sleep helped participants lose weight, bringing their hormones back into balance.
Chewing gum keeps the mouth busy and may help reduce your garlic and onions cravings.
Drink More Water
Hunger and thirst produce similar sensations. Most often, people confuse the feeling of thirst for hunger. Some people find that staying hydrated throughout the day reduces food cravings. Also, drinking a lot of water offers many health benefits.
Feelings of stress and anxiety can promote emotional eating and craving for comfort foods. As a result, most people end up putting on more weight, not only from indulging in comfort foods, but stress results in higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that promotes abdominal fat. Instead, try relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga to reduce stress.
If your cravings are caused by boredom, find something fun to do, like going for a walk or spending time with friends and family.
Get the Right Nutrients
If mineral deficiencies cause your onion cravings, ensure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins.
Why You Should Eat More Garlic and Onions?
Garlic and onions are a great way to flavor food and get added health benefits. Here are four reasons why you should eat more of these vegetables:
Improves Heart Health
Garlic and onions are both excellent sources of many healthy minerals and vitamins. These vegetables help improve heart health by reducing bad cholesterol and preventing plaque formation in arteries. Garlic also helps regulate blood pressure.
A Good Source of Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber is vital for maintaining optimal digestive health. Eating fiber-rich foods like garlic and onions can help regulate bowel movements and reduce your risk of developing conditions like hemorrhoids and constipation.
Garlic and onions contain high levels of sulfur compounds which help improve digestion. These vegetables help stimulate the flow of bile, which aids in fat digestion. They also help break down food in the stomach, making it easy for the body to absorb nutrients.
Prevention of Cancer and Other Diseases
Various studies suggest that garlic and onions may help protect the body against certain diseases. These studies found that garlic and onions contain phenolic compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help protect against cancer and other diseases.
Can You Eat Too Many Onions and Garlic?
Garlic and onions are both healthy vegetables that add flavor to many dishes. They are high in vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. However, overeating garlic and onion may have some negative consequences. Eating large amounts of garlic and onions may cause gastrointestinal issues like bloating, gas and diarrhea.
It can also irritate the intestines and stomach. In addition, eating large amounts of garlic and onion can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. So while both vegetables are healthy, it is essential to eat them in moderation.
How to Satisfy Your Onion and Garlic Craving?
Garlic is an herb that is enjoyed by millions of people across the globe. This vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked and is an excellent addition to many cuisines. If you are looking to satisfy your garlic and onion craving, here are a few fun ideas to do that:
Eat a garlic sandwich: This is one of the easiest and most common ways to enjoy raw onions. Slice onion thinly and add it to your sandwich bread alongside your favorite toppings.
Make garlic and onion soup: This classic soup is easy to make and extremely healthy and delicious.
Add it to your salad: A simple vegetable salad with tomatoes is excellent but adding two to three garlic cloves or slices of onions can take it a notch higher.
Fry up some onions and garlic for breakfast: Add them to your oatmeal or eggs for a quick and tasty breakfast.
Onion and garlic cravings are entirely normal and natural. So if you are craving onions, no worries; you can blame biology for this. But if you have these cravings regularly, it might be a good idea to speak to your nutritionist or doctor to figure out what is happening and how to fix it.