Here’s what it really means when you crave cheese

Craving cheese might not be an uncommon occurrence for many of us, but sometimes, these food cravings may come from a lack of certain nutrients. Since cheese has a healthy amount of fat, for example, it may signal that your system needs more of these components. Indeed, as nutritionist Tamar Samuels explains to HuffPost, “We’ve finally started to recognize that certain fats are actually beneficial for weight loss, heart health and balancing hormones.” When your system needs more fats, then, you may find yourself reaching for your favorite cheese to balance out your hormones in times of high stress.

Loaded with protein, cheese also provides a healthy amount of energy for your body to use. So if you’re craving it, your body likely needs a boost of sustenance from this delicious diary source, per Insider. However, it may mean something you might not have thought of: Cheese actually contains natural milk sugars that your body may be craving. According to Cosmopolitan, if you’re on the hunt for this full-fat, protein-packed snack, your body also may be asking for more sugar.

What else could your cheese craving mean?

Craving cheese may mean that you need more Vitamin D

Since Vitamin D isn’t readily available in many foods besides dairy, your cheese craving might stem from this source, as well. That’s why cheese may be a staple in your house during the winter — it packs a healthy amount of Vitamin D when you aren’t receiving an optimal amount of sunlight, as noted by Insider. Beyond just Vitamin D, however, your calcium levels may be low if you’re reaching for the mozzarella. When you find yourself feeling sluggish, you might need more calcium. According to Healthline, this mineral plays an important role in heart health, nerve signaling, and muscle functioning, just to name a few. Because calcium-deficiency is relatively common, craving dairy products may be the body’s way of getting the nutrients that it needs. 

But perhaps the most convincing reason that so many of us love cheese is that it contains a stimulant called tyramine. Plus, the milk that cheese is made from offers a healthy dose of tryptophan, which “triggers the release” of serotonin, as Everyday Health explains. If cheese makes you feel better, the release of serotonin may have something to do with it, especially since cheese also contains the soothing benefits of choline, as well.

Giving into your cheese cravings might be doing more than just satisfying your taste buds — it may be providing your system with vital nutrients you didn’t even know you needed.

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