Eating to Live- Or How My Cravings Improved my Health

All my life, I’ve had specific food cravings when I needed something. If I was having a serious hankering for raisins, if I would go to the doctor, blood tests would confirm I needed iron, something that raisins provide. If I needed protein, I would start eating eggs non-stop. I would often crave specific things based on my body’s needs. I always have.

Lately, in the past two or three months, I started desiring blueberries. I purchased a pint of them when they were in-season and on sale. I ate the pint before the day was out. The next day I went to the store and bought two more pints. They were gone within a few days, as well. Since then, I have been buying about four pints a week, except while I was in the hospital. In addition to that, I’ve wanted foods that included blueberries… muffins, smoothies, pastries… anything with that little blue ingredient. But mostly, I loved them plain. Raw, fresh blueberries… delicious.

Yesterday, after eating a full pint yet again, my mother and I were talking about my intense love for blueberries. In particular, we discussed this moment at the dinner table.

My mother said “There aren’t many berries left. Would anyone like to eat them?” I stared at the berries. She pushed them closer. I continued to stare lovingly at the berries, as I said “I’m so full… I don’t want them…” I just kept staring. Looking, longingly. At berries.

My mother said later that she had never in her life seen a person stare at food with such love and desire as I stared at those berries last night. She said that I should figure out why I wanted berries so much, why I desired them so intensely.

It didn’t take a lot of research last night before I discovered that blueberries actually lower blood pressure. For those of you who have been around the blog for the last… week… you know that I had some serious cardiovascular problems during the end of my pregnancy, including high blood pressure, as well as congestive heart failure. A quick talk with one of my hospital nurses made it clearer that eating blueberries in such large quantities could have helped to save my life by keeping my blood pressure just low enough. I still, of course, rely on blood pressure medications and other medications to keep my heart problems in check, and yes, eating too many blueberries can make a person very sick, or even cause death. BUT, the right amount of blueberries each day can do a significant amount of good to the heart, and to other parts of the body. Blueberries even lower the risk of certain types of cancers and promote healthy digestion!

I know that the food is going to be a staple in my diet. I also learned that certain cravings for food can really fill a need you may not even know your body had. In the future, I’ll spend a lot more time listening to those healthy cravings my body has, and fill those needs… and maybe even find out what’s causing me to need those foods in the first place!

What are you craving today?

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