The Real Reason You're Craving Tacos

People often preface their declarations of desire for a particular food with a phrase like, "I don't know why, but I'm craving ____." As common as food cravings are, they can have a somewhat mysterious air about them. Sometimes, they might feel like little internal subliminal messages. Other times, they have the tone of a rather persistent inner child, emerging from the shadows of our psyche and demanding satisfaction.

According to MedicalNewsToday, cravings come from the brain regions responsible for pleasure, reward-seeking, and appetite. Healthline explains this further, asserting that cravings can be a result of physical factors, like hormonal imbalances or a poor diet that leaves your body wanting certain nutrients. Emotional factors, like stress, can lead you to lean on the foods you enjoy for comfort and serotonin.

Now, if there's ever a bad time for a taco, we certainly can't think of it. However, on some days, you might find that bossy inner child absolutely jonesing for the satisfying crunch of a perfectly spicy taco — so what is your body trying to tell you when you can't stop dreaming of tacos? Let's find out.

Why you might be craving tacos

When it comes to tacos, there are a few very crave-worthy elements at play. If it's the heat you want, your body may actually be telling you that you're overheated. While it may seem counterintuitive, a 2015 article published in Temperature reports that capsaicin — the compound that makes peppers spicy — may play a role in the regulation of your internal body temperature. Capsaicin can trigger sweating, which in turn helps you to cool off. Maybe your temperature is just fine, but you're feeling a little down in the dumps. The Daily Meal says that your body might be doing you a favor by craving spicy food, since consuming things with a little kick releases endorphins.

If it's the meat you want, Shape notes that it may be your body's way of telling you it needs iron, zinc, or B12. Your body knows that a healthy dose of red meat will quickly satisfy those nutritional needs.

If you're in dire need of that glorious taco-related crunch, it may have something to do with your internal landscape. Registered dietician nutritionist Amy Gorin explained to Everyday Health that when we have feelings of frustration, anger, or stress, we might crave crunchy foods. This is because chomping down on something with our jaw can offer an almost cathartic release, similar to wailing on a punching bag.