There are certain foods and drinks that people crave due to emotions, stress or hunger, but what makes certain foods so desirable? Peanut butter is a commonly craved food that attracts lovers of all foods -- salty, sweet, indulgent and protein rich, peanut butter satisfies them all.
Women seem to succomb to cravings more than men do, and it's all a matter of hormones. Seratonin triggers feelings of happiness and satisfaction. When seratonin is low, the body begs for a pick-me-up, and that usually comes in the form of not-so-healthy snacks or drinks.
You have significant hormonal fluctuations on a month long cycle. Depending on where you fall in your cycle, excess estrogen, or an imbalance of estrogen to progesterone can cause food cravings. That's why you get kitchen crazy when you have PMS. Those imbalances and low seratonin production causes you to crave feel good foods. Peanut butter provides a satisfying sweet treat, and when combined with the carbs in toast, bread or crackers, it is exactly what your PMS-ing body wants.
Stress and Exhaustion
You juggle a lot in a day: work, family, kids and more. These stressors can cause you to suffer from major stress and a lack sleep. Eating is a comforting act. It's what you do with friends, what you use to reward yourself, and even conjures up feelings of life when you were younger. So, getting too little sleep or being stressed will cause you to eat higher fat foods. Though peanut butter is a healthy fat, it is higher in fat than most "healthy" foods.
Why Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is a sweet but salty treat that provides enough protein to keep you full and satisfied. Some theories say that you crave what you are deficient in. In other words, if you are deficient in protein, you'll crave protein rich foods. There is little scientific evidence to back this theory, but it could explain some of your peanut butter cravings. Protein and fat-rich, these are two nutrients that many people avoid. If you are on an extremely low fat diet, maybe you need some fat! Start keeping a food diary to check it out.
The best way to cure a craving is to give in to it. Keep it within reason to avoid excessive fat and calories. At 190 calories and 16 grams of fat per serving, it's easy to overdo it. However, a serving is a generous 2 Tbsp. Keep it to 1 tablespoon, and spread it on celery, apple slices or a banana. Those choices keep the calories low and give you a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.