Know before you reach for the soda.
Have you ever been hit really hard with a craving for a carbonated beverage? And we don’t mean a hankering for that sugary sweetness that accompanies the fun fizziness of the drink like with traditional soda. We’re talking about simply desiring that carbonation itself — maybe even dreaming about a can of ice cold, plain seltzer water because it lets you enjoy what you’re looking for most without a distracting (not to mention unhealthy) megadose of sugar or artificial sweetener.
Well, there’s a potential scientific reason for why your brain and taste buds all of a sudden start demanding that you give them the carbonation they want, and it has to do with your body’s calcium levels.
Carbonating drinks — yes, even seltzer water — contain phosphoric acid, and that acid is known to leach both calcium and magnesium from your bones. So if you already drink a fair amount of carbonated beverages on a regular basis and struggle to accumulate enough of these two nutrients in your diet throughout a given week, you’re likely calcium deficient and perpetuating the cycle by reaching for even more soda water when those mean cravings strike.
The key to curbing those cravings is boosting your body’s levels of calcium and magnesium so it doesn’t hit that low point in the first place. Here are a couple of healthy ways to go about it.
Load up on the right produce.
Dark leafy green vegetables like mustard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, turnip greens and broccoli can work wonders for your body’s calcium needs. And if you’re not lactose intolerant or opposed to including dairy in your diet, fortified organic milk could be helpful as well. Just make sure you eat your calcium-rich foods alongside vitamin D-rich foods like fish and eggs to help your body absorb as much of this key nutrient as possible. And when it comes to upping your magnesium, dark chocolate, avocados, almonds and beans are your best friends.
Look for the right supplements.
If you want to know that no matter what ends up on your plate on a given day that your body is getting what it needs, it can’t hurt to take a few vitamin supplements. Similar to the combinations you need from your food, take a calcium, vitamin D and magnesium supplement with your breakfast in the morning. But be mindful of those labels. Some products boast 500 percent of your daily value (or more), which isn’t always ideal for vitamins that aren’t water soluble (AKA flushed out of your body on a daily basis). If you’re coming back from a deficiency, it’s okay to up the dose, but once you’re where you need to be, either take your supplements every other day to even things out or buy new ones that give you 100 percent of your daily value instead.