Are food cravings real or only psychological?

If they are a true physical need, what makes us crave the things we do? I can’t imagine that an Aborigine living in the outback has ever got a craving for Ben and Jerry’s or a Big Mac.

I don’t know about food. Although I like it, it’s basically just fuel. I get cravings every day to go flying. Real cravings like people in my office get cravings for chocolate. Too bad I can’t afford to succumb to those cravings, but once a month!

What I remember from a discussion in my Biology class many moons ago, food cravings are a combination of the physical & psychological.

When your body is lacking in a certain mineral, protein, or vitamin, you start to crave (this is where the psychological aspect comes in) what you know to have the substance needed. The craving, of course, will be based on personal likes and dislikes, and cultural differences. This can also explain why some pregnant women crave strange things–like dirt–as something in their body says that they need some kind of mineral that would be present in dirt.

I’m sure from whereever you’re from, there’s a food to fit every craving that a body can muster.

I know when I haven’t been drinking my milk, I crave cheese; and when I haven’t had enough protein, I crave tuna salad. I’ve just never understood why chocolate is just so damn important when I’m PMSing.

JavaMaven, that’s easy. Chocolate is ALWAYS important! The PMS thing is irrelevant, except insofar as it’s a very bad idea to deny a PMSing woman a craving .