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4 Reasons Why You Crave Pickles And What It Means

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Last updated on June 11, 2020

pinterest image with salty pickles and cravings

What does it mean when you crave pickles?

I mean, why pickles of all things? Green, salty, crunchy, strange little things. The flavors in the supermarket range from dill, zesty to brine. I mean, why not chocolate?

As an Eating Disorder Therapist I talk with people who get strong, powerful cravings for all sorts of food. But never pickles. In all my experience, I have never met someone once who binged on pickles consistently.

And this, my friend, is a good thing. This means that your craving for pickles is not eating disorder related. I believe your craving for pickles could mean 4 different things:

  • You need more salt
  • You’re dehydrated
  • Your stomach needs some more acid
  • Your appetite is craving variety

Here is a quick video I made about the topic:

What does it mean when you crave pickles? You need more salt!

Pickles are extremely high in sodium. And while sodium gets a bad rap, you may be craving pickles because you are lacking in sodium.

Now to be fair, if you are living in America or a developed country … you probably don’t lack sodium in your diet.

But hey … fasts, cleanses, and detoxes are all the rage these days. They don’t work or do much (brutal truth) but hey, if you’re on one you may be too low on sodium.

Next point.

glass of water to show that dehydration might be leading to pickle cravings

What does it mean when you crave pickles? You’re dehydrated!

This I believe is the more common situation. Doctors say that you need 8 tall glasses of water a day, if not more.

Now I don’t know about you, but I struggle to get this much water in me. I fear sometimes that if I did have THAT much water I’d go to the bathroom every 30 seconds.

Anyone else have the fear of frequently urinating? Or am I alone here?

Now me personally, I don’t drink that much water. So don’t worry if you’re not getting 8 cups of water.

But, I do make it a point of drinking water. During meals for starters, and I also carry a water bottle in my car. I’m a part-time yoga teacher so anytime I teach a yoga class I drink water.

But I’m a health nut. I’m an eating disorder therapist. I live and breathe self-care. And hell, even I don’t get enough water.

So where does this leave you? Be honest now. No shame. No guilt tripping. Just facts.

How much water do you get per day?

I’m talking water, silly, not juice. Not coffee. Not tea. And certainly not alcohol but that’s pretty obvious.

I’m talking glasses of water. How many, per day?

Now … do you crave pickles more on those days when you skip a few glasses a water? Perhaps it’s summer and you live near the equator. Or, maybe you just live in Los Angeles and it’s hot out. Or you live wherever and it’s hot out. You get the point.

You might be craving pickles because you’re dehydrated!!!!

juicy green pickles

What does it mean when you crave pickles? Your stomach is too BASE and needs ACID

So I don’t fully understand this BASE versus ACID stuff.

Someone left me a comment on my youtube channel asking about pickles so that’s why I’m making this post. I did some research. Low and behold, pickles are VERY acidic.

Acid, as I’m learning, balances out the base. What’s a base versus an acid?

Here some foods that are base. If you eat a lot of these foods you might be craving pickles to balance out your stomach base with more acid.

  • Coffee
  • Orange juice
  • Wine
  • Fruits

That’s right, you can go to the blog article and get a scientific table that tells you more foods that are high in base. I scanned the list and found 4 foods (coffee, orange juice, wine, and fruit) that are commonly ate.

So again, just take a moment to pause and evaluate. Do you drink a lot of wine and coffee?

Because I doubt that you are eating too much fruit or orange juice! I mean, maybe, but the odds are much higher you’re having too much coffee and wine.

Now notice something here. Coffee and wine both dehydrate you. Well, perhaps coffee is neutral, but coffee doesn’t hydrate you. Wine definitely dehydrates you.

So these two foods are powerful pickle craving machines – wine and coffee.

Wine and coffee both are base, which makes your stomach want the acidity of the pickle. Plus, wine and coffee dehydrate you so the pickle seems extra delicious to your stomach.

So by now we have identified the most likely combination of why you’re craving pickles.

Most likely, you are dehydrated. And if you’re dehydrated and drinking a lot of wine and coffee and craving pickles, well, we definitely know why now!

But there’s one last reason that shouldn’t be overlooked.

What does it mean when you crave pickles? You crave variety

Hell, right now I am thinking about pickles. I just want one. They are crunch and kind of sour. And they are green.

What other food is green, crunchy, and sour? I don’t know another food that tastes like pickles. Sure, maybe fermented bok-choi but I don’t see bok-choi in my local supermarket.

Basically I just might be craving something unique, something different.

And that’s ok.

Remember, I’ve never seen anyone binge on pickles consistently so if you are craving pickles you are probably fine.

Just watch the wine and coffee and drink some more water!

PS – It’s totally possible you might crave other foods in addition to pickles. Again, that may be fine. If you are worried about sugar causing your food cravings and possibly having an eating disorder, check this post out. You might not need to worry, unless you’re an emotional eater.

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