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Your stockpile of M&M’s or chips may be your body’s way of telling you that it needs a certain nutrient, fat, or mineral, say Nan Kathryn Fuchs, Ph.D, author of The Health Detective’s 456 Most Powerful Healing Secrets.  Here, what your food desire might signify.

If you’re craving “Gummy Bears”…You may need:  Protein

“Having a hankering for sugary carbs is a signal that your body wants energy,” says Fuchs.  For a longer-lasting boost, try to get at least 15 grams of protein at every meal from fish, beans, or lean meat.

If you’re craving “Chocolate”…You may need:  Magnesium

Chocolate is high in heart-healthy magnesium.  “Levels dip during your period,” says Fuch.  Aim for at least 300 milligrams of the mineral a day- about the amount in a cup of black beans and a cup of cooked spinach.

If you’re craving “French Fries”…You may need:  Good Fat

Jonesing for greasy foods?  You’re likely coming up short on healthy fatty acids.  Incorporate them into meals by drizzling a tablespoon of olive oil over your salad or veggies, or eat several servings of fish a week.

If you’re craving “Salty Pretzels”…You may need:  B Vitamins

When your adrenal gland, which produces stress hormones, goes into overdrive, so does your desire for salt.  To avoid too much sodium, snack on bananas, or whole-grain crackers, which contain stress relieving B vitamins.

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