Cravings can be influenced by a number of factors, including nutritional needs, hormonal fluctuations, psychological factors, and cultural or personal preferences. When it comes to craving specific foods like garlic, there could be a few reasons. Keep reading as we explore the possible roots of your garlic craving as well as some of the many health benefits of garlic.
Reason #1 Nutrient deficiency
Your body knows what it needs even if your conscious brain doesn’t understand. Sometimes, when a person is deficient in a nutrient, they will get a craving for a food that fills that nutrient gap (1). Therefore, if you’re craving garlic, it might be because you need one or several of the beneficial nutrients in garlic. This poignant root contains the following micronutrients (2):
- Vitamin C
- Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin B6
- Beta Carotene
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
The potential benefits of garlic are plentiful as this inflammation-fighting root vegetable affects various systems throughout the body. Garlic is renowned for its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, and can even function as an antioxidant in women with postmenopausal bone loss (3). Garlic is also believed to have cardiovascular benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels, which could reduce the risk of heart disease (3). It has been suggested to boost the immune system, potentially reducing the severity of common illnesses like the cold or flu. Additionally, garlic helps the body to detox from heavy metals (4) and from uric acid which can help relieve symptoms of gout (5).
Reason #2 Psychological factors
Certain foods stimulate the reward centers in the brain and cause us to desire these foods more frequently, even when we aren’t hungry. Salty or sugary foods are often the guilty culprits behind food cravings that have nothing to do with nutrients and everything to do with wanting to produce happiness hormones (6). If you know how healthy garlic is and love its savory zing, then craving garlic might be a sign that your body wants a reason to activate the reward center and produce happiness.
The truth is, when you ask yourself ‘why am I craving garlic?’, the more important question to ask is ‘how am I going to eat some garlic?’. Whether you’re craving garlic because it contains a nutrient that your body needs or you are a garlic-lover who knows that eating garlic will give your mood a lift, garlic can provide you with a range of benefits. Garlic is a healthy food that can benefit your whole body, including your cardiovascular, immune, and gastrointestinal systems. While a healthy dose of garlic is nothing to avoid, its does deserve mention that eating too much garlic can have adverse effects. As with everything in life, moderation is key. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some garlic to roast!