Why Do I Crave Fish? Top 5 Explanations

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why do I crave fish

When you crave seafood, it can be difficult to understand why. For some, the desire for fish is a craving that they cannot control.

Why do I always crave fish? What does your body need if you crave fish?

These are common questions people ask themselves when they start feeling an urge to eat more fish than usual.

There are many different reasons why someone might develop this obsession with eating fish.

What do cravings mean your body needs?

Before we begin this exploration into cravings, let’s briefly consider the two main reasons people get cravings:

  • Physical hunger
  • Emotional void

In the case of fish cravings, we can actually have a mixture of both reasons! I know we usually only think of sugary foods as being eaten in response to emotional issues, but that’s simply not true.

Many times people will actually feel anxious and seek a desire to eat healthy to manage their feelings of anxiety. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with eating healthy but it’s important to know where your craving is originating.

Are you lacking a nutrient? Are you deficient in minerals? If so you may be craving fish for physical reasons.

For example, if you are craving fish for physical reasons like hunger, then fish cooked on an electric smoker will exude an attractive smell and trigger your cravings.

But what if you’re already full? What if you know you’re craving fish for emotional reasons, but you aren’t sure which emotional reasons?

Let’s explore both the physical side and emotional side to fish cravings. Here are the top 5 explanations why you may have these cravings!

1 – Omega 3s

omega3 fatty acid

The Omega 3 fatty acids are essential polyunsaturated fats, which means they cannot be synthesized by our bodies and must, therefore, come from dietary sources like seafood!

People who consume more Omega 3s tend to have lower risk of cardiovascular disease. One study suggests people with high fish consumption had 40% less chance of dying from cardiovascular disease than those with low intakes. See another Harvard Omega 3 Salmon study here.

Omega 3s also help fight against depression because it helps maintain cognitive function, especially in older adults where brain health can decline as we age.

This is why Omega 3s and their benefits could be a possible explanation why you always want fish.

If your body is low on Omega 3s, one easy explanation is that you’re craving fish to replenish your body’s levels of Omega 3s.

Overall fish are a great source of Omega 3s and can explain your cravings.

2 – Protein

food salmon display

When you eat fish it’s a great way to get protein into your diet.

Protein helps with muscle recovery after workouts and keeps you satisfied and full for longer periods of time, which means it can help fight against cravings!

As to why does your body crave fish? Protein could be a great explanation why.

Fish is also rich in minerals that play roles in your body’s ability to metabolize protein – zinc, selenium and iron. It makes sense that people who eat more fish have a lower risk of developing anemia than those whose diets are low on seafood intake.  

(Fish is also a great alternative to red meat. Red meat is way worse for your heart!)

So if you’re getting food cravings for fish because you want the health benefits, this one definitely applies too!

Of course there are many different other foods that contain adequate amounts of protein too:

  • Milk, eggs and yogurt are all great sources of protein. Read here for milk cravings info.
  • Meat can be a good source for those who eat it
  • Nuts and seeds are awesomely packed with protein too

3 – Iodine

iodine fish

Iodine is an essential mineral that your body needs to produce thyroid hormones.

These in turn regulate metabolism, energy and how the cells of our bodies grow and develop.  So why do you crave fish? It could be linked with iodine deficiency!

A study found women who consumed more than 12 ounces of seafood each week had 40% lower risk for developing hypothyroidism compared to those who ate less than four servings a month.

If you’re experiencing low levels of energy while also craving fish, a deficiency of iodine may explain your cravings too.  

Because fish are high in iodine!

Other ways people get iodine include:

  • iodized salt (salt has added potassium iodide)
  • kelp supplements

4 – Texture

Some people just love the soft, smooth texture of seafood.

Sea critters and fish in particular have long, smooth muscles because of their watery home environment.

This gives fish meat a unique texture, meaning it might actually be the texture of fish that you’re craving!

Sometimes textures are comforting and can help soothe us when we’re feeling down or upset. If you have a desire for this kind of food during these moments it’s likely you’re looking for some novel or unique texture in your mouth to distract you from whatever is ailing you.

This craving for novel textures also applies to fruit cravings!

Sushi & Craving Something Healthy

People love sushi because it’s a great source of healthy fat, protein and carbs.

If you’re getting fish food cravings it’s possible you are actually craving sushi!

Sushi is usually made with white rice (which turns into glucose in our bodies), but also contains nori which has lots of iodine and Omega 3!  

For more info about sushi, you may also visit BoatBasinCafe.com

Of course sushi also very frequently contains raw fish. Raw fish can be a novel taste experience and another reason behind why you are getting fish food cravings. Your body just wants that raw fish flavor and burst of magnesium and other great benefits!

It’s no wonder why people crave sushi when they do –  it’s packed with nutrients and often raw fish that make us feel good inside and out!

The last explanation for why you crave certain foods like fish could come down to what else your meals typically consist of.

If all your dinners contain meat or if the only fruit choices are apples then chances are you’ll start craving something different – like maybe more veggies or seafood- just to get a bit of variety into your diet!

5 – Comfort

We all know that fish is the perfect comfort food.

It’s warm, filling and has an amazing texture, which can be why people crave it!

If you’re feeling down or upset but don’t quite understand why, there are many reasons why your body might want to eat something comforting like fish even if you aren’t hungry.  

Eating certain foods when we feel bad can soothe us because of their associations with happy memories or times in our lives where they were enjoyed – this could explain why some people only crave things like ice cream when they’re lonely, for example…

It reminds them of joyful moments spent eating it with friends at a picnic!  Or perhaps seafood was always served at important events growing up – such as birthdays or Christmas dinners.

Whatever the case, why do you get fish food cravings? It might be because of an emotional connection to it.   

Why am I craving seafood?

There could be a few reasons why you’re experiencing a sudden craving for seafood. Maybe you’ve been watching cooking shows that feature seafood dishes and your mouth is watering.

Or, you could be pregnant and craving fish because of the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood, which are beneficial for both you and your baby.

Whatever the reason, there’s no need to feel guilty about indulging in your seafood craving! Just be sure to choose fresh, sustainable seafood options to get the most health benefits.

In general the reasons you crave seafood are the same as fish. However, with seafood there is more variety.

Craving Fish Vitamin Deficiency – Beyond Omega 3’s

Omega 3 vitamins are commonly associated with fish cravings. However did you know fish contain other vitamins and minerals which could help explain your cravings?

Let’s remember that most cravings are because of hunger, lack of protein, etc. For most hunger cravings you just need some great healthy foods to eat.

However, in terms of vitamin or mineral deficiencies causing hunger then there are a few possibilities (and these usually point to bigger issues):

  • A hunger that is actually thirst in disguise- our bodies can often mistake thirst for hunger so we end up eating when really we should be drinking water! Sometimes people crave ice because they’re thirsty!
  • If you’re deficient in iron then this could also lead to cravings as well as feelings of tiredness and fatigue. Iron is found in dark leafy greens, red meat, chicken, fish, beans, lentils and tofu. If you’re vegetarian or vegan then it’s important to include foods which are high in vitamin C at the same time as this helps with the absorption of plant-based iron.
    Read my ‘best iron supplements’ review article here.
  • A deficiency in magnesium can also lead to food. cravings as well as fatigue, muscle cramps and restless sleep. magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, legumes, fish, whole grains and avocados

If you’re noticing that you’re constantly craving fish or other seafood then it’s worth considering if you might be deficient in one of the above nutrients. However, it’s always best to speak to a qualified health professional before making any changes to your diet!

Why Do I Crave Fish Conclusion

We all have our favorite foods, but why do we crave them so much? There are many explanations for why people crave certain things – from texture to nutrition.

Whatever the reason behind your craving for fish or other seafood, you can find a way to indulge without harming yourself by overindulging in unhealthy options. 

Let us know what you think of these explanations and feel free to share why you’re craving something specific too!

If you are specifically craving tuna, read here to learn more about tuna cravings.

Finally, if you want to know the meaning of other food cravings like chocolate be sure to read this food chart here.

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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