Ayurveda: What do our food cravings mean?

Ayurveda is a complex medical system that works with the individual. While there is no quick fix to overall health and well-being, the key is to find balance.

Mindful eating

When it comes to food cravings, many of us don’t realise that they are more than “just wanting something sweet”. We explore the link between these cravings and Ayurveda and share some alternative techniques to combat cravings.

Comfort cravings

Comfort cravings are the desire for comforting, sweet, creamy foods. But this feeling we all know too well is really a desire for something warm, calming and nurturing.

The craving often accompanies feelings of anxiety, insecurity, worry or sadness. In terms of Ayurveda, it is an expression of a Vata imbalance.

To satisfy a comfort craving:

  • have a loving, memorable conversation with a friend
  • listen to “sweet” music
  • using a dab of sweet essential oils, give yourself a massage
  • drink warm fennel tea

Energy cravings

This is the desire for a quick pick-me-up; a coffee boost or a rush from a fizzy drink or chocolate bar. However, it is actually the body wanting something stimulating following feelings of fatigue, dullness, or depression.

This form of craving is a symptom of a Kapha imbalance.

To satisfy a tiredness craving:

  • listen to loud, upbeat music
  • book a “vigorous” massage
  • use strong oils, such as bergamot or rosemary
  • drink ginger or spiced tea with honey

“I need to relax” cravings

The craving for quick, finger foods such as salty crisps and crunchy nuts indicates feelings of extreme frustration and anger.

When you are feeling annoyed and stressed, your Pitta becomes unbalanced.

To satisfy a stress craving:

  • take an evening walk
  • book in for a calming massage
  • use sweet aromas, such as sandalwood or jasmine
  • drink cardamom or liquorice tea

Learn more about Ayurvedic medicine or find an Ayurvedic practitioner near you today.

This article was last updated on 30/01/23.

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Written by Ellen Lees
Head of Content.
Written by Ellen Lees
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