Salt Cravings

Excess cravings for specific foods is generally indicative of a nutritional deficiency, it is the bodies way of communicating to us that it is not receiving something that it requires. For example many children will crave and consume large amounts of ice, dirt, clay, sand or other non-food non-nutritive items. This situation is called pica and occurs due to minor mineral deficiencies.


The body requires a healthy ratio of nutrients to survive and salt or Sodium is needed in many different processes and body systems to sustain health. It is an electrolyte which is sweated out of the body during vigorous activity. Salt cravings can be simply a symptom of mild dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. If the intricate balance of minerals is disrupted then it requires an effort to re-establish as this means better long term health without nutritional deficiencies. For example an excess amount of Sodium in the body can reduce the amount of Magnesium, Potassium, Iron and Calcium. It is also important to ensure that adequate amounts of fluid in the form of water are increased if a high amount of salt foods are consumed.
It is not a negative habit to use salt in cooking as your body requires small amounts of it to function correctly, however over consuming it can cause problems to health just as a deficiency can. Cravings of salt may be an indication of a mineral deficiency such as Iron, Calcium and Magnesium. Over consuming salt can lead to minor health complications such as thirst, low blood pressure, dehydration, dizzyness and dry mouth. Long term over consumption of salt can cause hypertension (high blood pressure) or be indicative of adrenal disorders such as Addisons Disease.


It is important to ensure that you are consuming the correct or healthy version of salt. For example Table Salt (iodised) is not the ideal form of salt as it is highly processed and may contain other heavy metals. Alternative and healthy forms of salt are Himalayan salt (contains the highest mineral profile), Celtic sea salt, vegetable salt or rock salt.


  • ensure that adequate amounts of water are consumed
  • increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in the diet to ensure that proper mineral status is being achieved
  • consider balancing electrolytes with an electrolyte drink (one that contains low amounts of sugar is ideal) or spring water as it contains minerals naturally. Electrolytes are important as they help to balance and distribute the fluids in our bodies
  • increase Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Magnesium rich foods in the diet to help balance the Sodium regulation