What nutrient am I missing?

by 613 · May 08, 2012 at 05:03 PM

For the past two weeks, I have been craving dried fruit (in particular, apricots and peaches) like I've never craved something before! I am assuming I must be missing some kind of nutrient because this is not a normal craving for me. Any ideas as to what it might be?

Other info: I eat moderate carbs (in the form of fruits and veggies) and plenty of protein and fats. I CF 3x per week.

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4 Replies

60 · May 08, 2012 at 05:16 PM

I would guess that you may be needing a bit more potassium, Vit A, and/or Vit C. But this could have nothing to do with a missing nutrient. Perhaps it's a sweet craving, dried summer fruits are VERY sweet. . . especially for those of us eating a natural diet! Maybe it's a need for more carbs. . . maybe your body just likes fruit right now! I know I crave sweet coffee and when I have it, I crave it more!

Good luck! I'd love to hear if you figure it out!

6045 · September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Unlike one responder, I do buy the notion that cravings can be induced by nutrient depletion, so I like your question.

When I look at the nutrition information for peaches and apricots, I don't see very much, which doesn't surprise me, as most fruits aren't as nutritious as vegetables. Yes, they have Vitamin A and C (just like practically every vegetable/fruit). They have only very modest amounts of potassium, and small amounts of various minerals and other vitamins.

I compared 100 calorie portions each of peaches, apricots, dried peaches, and dried apricots. Unsurprisingly, there wasn't much difference between 100 calories of dried vs. fresh, though fresh was slightly better.

However, the fact that you're craving dried ones is suggestive, because it's much easier to eat very large amounts in a small volume of food. And when you start getting into larger portions of these fruits, you start seeing significant values for things like iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus, etc. 100 grams each (this would be ~7 oz, total) of dried apricots and dried peaches yields 79% RDA for copper, and 84% of iron, as well as numerous B's, A, and both E and K, which aren't always easy to get.

I would never ask, but I might wonder if, 4-5 months after starting paleo and eliminating all those fortified processed products, a (possibly) young (and possibly menstruating, or maybe pregnant) woman's body might require repletion of nutrients that could induce cravings like this. It makes perfect sense to me. However, I'm surprised the craving doesn't include other foods more dense in these nutrients, like kale.

Perhaps this is where our evolutionary preference for sweet foods, as well as the sheer economy of consuming it, urges us to choose the dried fruit. You'd need 4-5 cups of kale to get that much copper and iron, and that would come at a cost of much energy chewing and digesting. A handful of dried fruit is not only tasty and sweet, but large quantities are easily consumed quickly, and digested quickly as well.

18 · May 08, 2012 at 05:57 PM

I recently had Nutrient Response Testing done and was found to be deficient in several areas. I'm now taking a few special supplements to replenish my body. If you have a good Naturopath or Chiropractor near you, I would suggest this. It's very enlightening.

I too have weird cravings sometimes, who knows why it is! Hope you get some answers.

20222 · May 08, 2012 at 05:44 PM

a) How could we possibly know the answer to such a vague question?

b) Why would you try to figure that out on an internet forum, instead of say, plugging your food into FitDay (or something similar) or getting labs done.


3) I really don't buy into the logic of "I'm craving x, so I must be deficient in y." I mean, what are the nutients in Fritos that I am clearly SO deficient in?

-- Deep Breath --

Okay, sorry for jumping all up in your grill, but these questions are asked CONTINOUSLY on PH and I would like to put a stop to it. Or at least have someone PROVE ME WRONG. Go ahead, prove me wrong. I can take it like a big boy.

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