Relentless food cravings may be most associated with pregnancy, but they can hit any of us at any time. Turns out, a lot of cravings may be more than just a passing whim; they can be a sign of your body asking for something. If it’s the thought of eggs – scrambled, fried, hard-boiled, or poached – that you can’t get out of your head, it may mean a vitamin B-12 deficiency (via Stylecaster).

We all know that vitamins and minerals are important, but it may not always be clear as to exactly why. Vitamin B-12 does all kinds of important things for us. It helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients through our body. Plus, it keeps the nerves functioning normally in our brain, spinal cord, hands, and feet (via Harvard Health Publishing).

Since we can’t make the vitamin ourselves, we have to get it somewhere. One of those places is eggs. The National Institutes of Health recommends adults get 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 a day, and one large egg gets you 25 percent of the way there.

Not enough B-12 now can mean real problems later

It’s not just eggs that have this B vitamin, but it is only naturally found in animal products. So if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, constantly craving a sunny-side up egg, that’s something to take seriously and to check with your doctor about. Amanda Hayes Morgan, clinical nutritionist and health coach, explained the solution to Stylecaster, “It’s super important for anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet to visit their doctor routinely and get their levels checked, and supplement accordingly — either orally or via B-12 shots.”

You may not notice any problems at first if you’re not getting enough vitamin B-12. But if the deficiency goes on long enough, it can cause a veritable laundry list of not-so-good things like fatigue, weakness, depression, pale skin, nerve damage, and problems with concentration (via Harvard Health Publishing). Always remember to listen to your body, that egg it’s crying out for could be a cry for vitamin B-12.

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