The Real Reason You're Craving Soup

When you crave a certain food, nothing else in your pantry or refrigerator will do. Popular food cravings include pizza, burgers, and chocolate, but have you ever found your mind wandering to a warm bowl of soup? Whether it's Japanese ramen or homestyle chicken noodle, the combination of salty broth and carb-loaded noodles makes many types of soup undeniably appealing. But there may be more to your craving than taste alone.

According to BBC News, soup provides deep emotional satisfaction. For centuries, humans have been eating soup when they felt sick or under the weather. This food is known to have soothing anti-inflammatory properties, according to Ken Albala, a food historian at the University of the Pacific in California. But even those benefits may stem more from how we think soup will make us feel than the nutritional properties alone. "It seems that rather than foods scientifically determined to help recovery, these are mostly comfort foods...they stem from long custom rather than any empirically verifiable nutritional facts," he said.

Because it has been the go-to food when feeling down for centuries, soup is undeniably comforting. If you find yourself craving soup, it might be because you're feeling sick, sad, or depressed and are seeking some comfort. Grab a warm bowl the next time you feel down and see if it helps.

Why do we have food cravings?

Soup isn't the only food we sometimes find ourselves thinking about. Food cravings are incredibly common and have many causes behind them. According to Healthline, the causes behind food cravings typically fall into two categories: physical and mental. There are many physical causes of cravings. Some of the most common ones include hormonal changes from pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and leptin and ghrelin imbalances. Other physical causes include a poor diet, lack of sleep, and poor hydration, which can all lead your body to crave more nutrients.

Some mental factors can also cause food cravings. Stress has been linked to increased cortisol levels, which can make you feel more hungry. Certain moods, like anger or sadness, can also make you seek out foods that are comforting. Even individual personalities have been connected to food cravings. Not all food cravings are necessarily bad, but you should seek the help of a healthcare provider if you experience frequent cravings. They can help you determine the cause of your cravings and find the best solution.