Researchers believe that having an imbalance of serotonin in the brain contributes to the development of depression. When you're craving carbs, you're usually being drawn to foods that encourage serotonin production. 5 In a sense, reaching for sugary, carbohydrate-rich foods can be a way of self-medicating depression.
Craving is an overwhelming emotional experience that takes over your body and produces a unique motivator of behavior - wanting and seeking a drug. Wise (1988) describes craving as the memory of the positively rewarding effects of drugs.
Cravings for salty, crunchy foods might indicate "frustration, anger, stress, or resentment,” she adds. “Crunching down with your jaw is cathartic, almost like punching a wall. When I got stressed before, I would often turn to pretzels.” Then again, you might just really want something salty.