Why do we sometimes crave a good steak?

Food cravings aren’t just for when you’re on a diet or going carb-free or some other eating regime. Sometimes your mind and body just wants to enjoy a particular food, especially if you’re going without or reducing your consumption of it. While there is nothing better than eating a fresh steak on a stone, sometimes it’s a need rather than a want.

Normally, a balanced diet will provide everything your body needs to function. Then food cravings are few and far between. However, every now and again, you just want something in particular. This happened to me the other night. I really, really wanted a steak. I could see it in my mind, I could smell it, hear it sizzling and could picture myself eating one.

Unfortunately, the restaurant had closed for the night so I couldn’t satisfy my desire, which I found quite frustrating.

I work around them every day here at The Stone Grill. I eat them often and yet I craved one at that time. Often, this is just the mind playing tricks but other times it can be more serious. Pregnancy aside, food cravings can mean your body is deficient in something particular. In the case of meat it is often iron or occasionally zinc.

Iron and zinc

We remember from GCSE Biology that we need iron for haemoglobin which gives blood it’s rich red colour. It carries oxygen to our cells and influences how energetic we feel. The average portion of iron per day is 8.7mg for men and 14.8mg a day for women.

Zinc is a trace element that is important to our body. We use zinc to produce new cells, enzymes, process carbohydrate, metabolise fat and protein and heal wounds. The average daily requirement is 7mg a day for men and 5.5mg a day for women.

What I want to know is how your body knows meat contains these things? I didn’t even know red meat contained zinc, yet my body does. How does that work? The current theory is that it’s all about texture and memory and that the body remembers the texture of a food that delivered certain nutrients. While the science is still a little woolly, it’s as believable a theory as any other.

While we all crave different foods at different times, a real craving, where all you can do is think about a particular food may signal a more urgent need. In the case of my need for a steak, a quick bacon sandwich had to do. It seemed to settle whatever deficiency my body had at the time and let me sleep in peace.

So remember, if you suddenly begin picturing yourself eating a steak on a stone and can’t get the image out of your head, don’t go without. Book a table at The Stone Grill. We’ll happily settle your need!

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