Why Am I Craving Carrots?

Anemia has been linked to a strong desire for carrots, which can be fixed by eating more iron. But carrot addiction is a rare but real condition that can lead to hypercarotenemia. This is thought to be caused by chemicals in beta carotene that we don’t fully understand.

Since the early 1900s, doctors have written about what happens when you eat too many carrots. The most well-known side effect is hypercarotenemia, which causes the skin to turn yellow or orange. However, the British Journal of Addiction has found that some people become psychologically dependent on carrots, showing withdrawal symptoms like nervousness, cravings, insomnia, and irritability when they stop eating carrots.

No one knows what the science behind carrot addiction is. Some doctors think that beta carotene is the cause of the addiction, but others have looked at the people who start eating carrots as a distraction while trying to stop smoking. Carrot eating and withdrawal is a mouthy act that gets linked with nicotine withdrawal.

Most people think that food cravings have more to do with the mind than with the body. They are often a way to deal with stress or a side effect of emotional eating.

But when people have cravings, they tend to want foods that are high in fat or sugar, which makes serotonin levels rise. In 1996, a woman who was addicted to carrots tried to treat it with antidepressants, but they didn’t work.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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