Why Am I Craving Salmon? Discover 7 Surprising Reasons

Now and then, we experience cravings that seem to mysteriously appear out of the blue. And while craving something sweet or spicy is more common, you might be surprised if you find yourself craving raw fish, especially salmon.

But then, salmon does have a rich, buttery flavor and tender texture apart from the undeniable health benefits. You can’t blame yourself for being irresistibly drawn to it every once in a while.

If you’re wondering, ‘Why am I craving salmon?’ there are some potential reasons causing this desire.

Why Am I Craving Salmon? Potential Reasons

Salmon is a nutrient-dense food that contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamin D. If you’re craving salmon, it may be because of a deficiency in these nutrients or an overall lack of variety in your diet.

So, why are you craving salmon? Here are the different reasons for those bizarre cravings.

1. For the Omega 3s

One of the primary reasons for craving salmon is that it’s a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential polyunsaturated fats our bodies cannot produce. These must be obtained from dietary sources, such as seafood.

Salmon is abundant in the marine omega-3s – eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), essential for brain function and heart health.

Those who consume more omega-3s have a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Moreover, omega-3s help improve cognitive performance, memory, and mood regulation. This helps fight depression and is vital for older people, considering brain health may deteriorate with age.

Omega-3s also help reduce inflammation in the body, which may be why you crave salmon if you have joint pain or other inflammatory conditions.

2. For Protein

Protein helps maintain and repair body tissues, including muscles, and fish is a great way to add protein to your diet. 

Salmon is high in protein, which helps you feel full and satisfied after a meal. Your salmon cravings might likely be your body requiring more protein.

Minerals like zinc, iron, and selenium in salmon aid in protein metabolization. Those who eat more salmon have a reduced risk of developing anemia than those with a lower seafood intake.

Did you know that fish is also an excellent alternative to red meat? Red meat is way worse for heart health.

3. For Iodine

Iodine is an essential mineral that your body uses for thyroid functioning and the production of thyroid hormones. These hormones help regulate your body’s metabolism, energy, and growth.

Hypothyroidism is a more prevalent condition in women than men. And women who consume at least 12 ounces of seafood in a week are at a much lower risk of developing hypothyroidism than those who consume less than four servings a month.

Fish are high in iodine, so if you’re feeling low on energy and craving salmon, your body is likely experiencing a deficiency of iodine.

4. You Love the Texture

What’s not to love about salmon? From its visually striking pink-to-orange hue to its tender texture, salmon appeals to the eyes and tastebuds. Maybe you’re craving salmon simply because you love its moist and juicy texture.

After all, marine species, especially salmon, tend to have long, smooth muscles because of their watery environment. This gives its meat a unique texture, which might be what you’re craving.

Interestingly, textures help provide comfort and reassurance when feeling low or upset. It isn’t uncommon to crave textured foods like salmon during these moments, mainly as a distraction.

5. Comfort Food

You’re probably one of those people who simply enjoy and crave the taste of salmon.

Yet, salmon also makes the perfect comfort food. Not only does it have a fantastic texture, but it’s also warm and filling. Some studies suggest that regularly eating salmon may improve mood and cognitive function. 

When you’re feeling down or upset without an evident reason, your body might crave something comforting like salmon, even if you aren’t hungry.

Probably, you associate salmon with happy memories or times when you enjoyed it. Was salmon served at picnics, parties, or dinners? It’s probably why you would like to relish the taste of salmon and feel nostalgic.

6. Hormonal Imbalance

Women often blame their cravings on hormonal imbalances – PMS, pregnancy, or menopause. The hormonal fluctuations, like a drop in estrogen or progesterone levels, can result in cravings. While the more common cravings are for chocolate or ice cream, craving seafood, like salmon, is also possible.

However, an imbalance in neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and GABA can also contribute to cravings.

7. Pregnancy Cravings

During pregnancy, cravings of all sorts, even the most unthinkable ones, set in. It isn’t uncommon for pregnant women to experience cravings for certain types of fish due to their increased need for nutrients during pregnancy.

The omega-3 fatty acids are essential for a baby’s brain development, and protein is vital for pregnant women.

Surprisingly, while you might not be fond of seafood usually, you might suddenly crave it during pregnancy.

Craving Salmon? Some Things to Keep in Mind

Eating salmon can have numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving brain function, and lowering the risk of heart disease.

If you’re craving salmon specifically (rather than any other fish), it could be because your body is low on certain nutrients in salmon, like vitamin D or selenium. Certain health conditions like iron deficiency anemia or thyroid problems can also cause salmon cravings.

Alternatively, your craving for salmon could also be because you’re bored or emotionally stressed (a common factor for most cravings) or because you’ve previously had positive experiences with salmon dishes.

As much as possible, choose wild-caught salmon over farmed salmon, as it tends to contain fewer contaminants and higher levels of beneficial nutrients.

Try incorporating other sources of omega-3s, like flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and algae-based supplements to help satisfy your salmon cravings.

If you’re experiencing intense and persistent cravings for certain foods like salmon, consider consulting with a healthcare professional to rule out nutrient deficiencies or underlying medical conditions.

What Does It Mean if You Crave Salmon? Summing It Up

Now that you know the reasons for ‘Why am I craving salmon?’, there’s no need to worry when this less-common craving hits you. It’s probably your body signaling some nutritional needs, like omega-3 fatty acids, protein, or vitamin D.

Although there’s no denying — grilled, baked, or pan-seared — salmon will make an incredibly satisfying and filling meal.

Jude Uchella

Jude Uchella is a passionate research writer whose work has been published on many reputable platforms, including MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and more! He prioritizes research, writes comprehensively, and only shares factual and helpful content. He is a reader’s delight!

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