What It Really Means When You Crave Peanut Butter

If you're craving peanut butter, it might be a sign of stress or an underlying nutritional deficiency. While food cravings are harmless and fairly common, they can also be your body's way of telling you that you need to be consuming more nutrients (via Healthline). Peanut butter is a particularly nutrient-rich food. A jar of peanut butter typically contains protein, calcium, iron, antioxidants, amino acids, magnesium, unsaturated fat, folate, vitamin E, and niacin.

Peanut butter also contains phytonutrients, like beta-sitosterol, which may relieve stress and anxiety by stabilizing the stress hormone cortisol. As a result, you may find yourself craving peanut butter when you're feeling stressed or anxious. Maintaining a low-carbohydrate diet can also cause you to crave peanut butter. Due to its taste and texture, people who limit their carbohydrate intake may crave peanut butter as a substitute for carbohydrates. While craving peanut butter isn't harmful to your health, you may want to talk to your doctor or nutritionist about any underlying causes.

How to treat food cravings

Although peanut butter is healthy and full of nutrients, it's also calorie dense. As a result, eating too much peanut butter may cause you to gain weight. Luckily, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to help curb your cravings (via Healthline). For instance, eating foods that contain fiber and healthy fats and carbohydrates may help reduce your peanut butter cravings. Some of these foods include apples, sunflower seeds, carrots, cheese, low-sugar yogurt, whole grain bread, dark chocolate, and avocado.

You can also try modifying your daily activities. Going for a walk may help relieve your cravings by providing you with a welcome distraction (via Verywell Fit). Exercise and physical activity can also reduce stress, which may be the reason you're craving peanut butter in the first place. In addition, getting more than seven hours of sleep per night may help reduce or alleviate your cravings. That's because not sleeping enough can actually increase your cravings for junk food. In other words, getting a good night's sleep can make it easier to fight off cravings during the day.