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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chilies, Health and Pregnancy Cravings

Craig harvested all his chilies yesterday and spent the day with my mother making chili paste and "juice".
The jar next to them is from a from a friend's batch of Crab Apple Jelly with chili, very enticing and moreish. 
I recently read a post over at A Joyful Chaos titled "Cravings" where the writer is experiencing pregnancy cravings.
The comments were very enlightening and there were definitely some common cravings.
Many could be grouped into dairy; milk, cottage cheese, yogurt etc.
Tinned tuna I was surprised to find was common too.
Right up there though in first position was the chili group; tobasco, salsa, chili sauce, Mexican chili dishes and so on.
It's pretty easy to understand the dairy and various protein cravings but what about the chili?
Commonly known is the "high" and rush of endorphin from eating chili and that they are very high in Vitamin C. There is also lots of research being done suggesting that chilies are beneficial for boosting circulation, preventing blood clotting and reducing heart disease.
It has shown to reduce the amount of insulin required by diabetics and reduce carbohydrate cravings they experience and assist with weight loss due to lower insulin levels.
It raises the bodies metabolic rate and also provides pain relieving properties for many conditions.
There is even a study that suggests chilies reduce cholesterol levels.
So they seem to be rather more than just a bit of a flavour hit and in fact a really healthy vital part of our diets. For many reasons it's no surprise that chili tops the pregnancy cravings list.
I remember eating tins and tins of tomatoes smothered in tobasco or cayenne pepper while I was pregnant. Tomatoes and chilies are high in the natural mineral lithium so I must have been a very chilled out expectant mother with great circulation and well controlled blood sugars!
Was chili one of your cravings?


5 comments:

  1. Hey Tanya, silverbeet and raspberry cordial were the only cravings I had when pregnant and it happened only a couple of times............

    I feel like I was missing out !!

    'Twas a bit chilly here this morning, foggy and grey but turned out to be a beautiful sunny day, hope it was sunny in Launceston.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend,

    Claire :}

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  2. Wow, I never knew chilies had so many health benefits, thanks for sharing this information Tanya, especially on it preventing the blood from clotting. Very interesting.

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  3. No I did not like chillie but now I wished I did!

    No cravings really with any of the boys actually.. Maybe for very short periods there were likes but no cravings that stand out... THough between you and me I used that as an excuse a few times to convince the husband to go and get icecream or etc etc (evil grin)

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  4. Hi, I have just found you via another blog and a comment you made on the live cattle trade etc.. I just had to come over, so glad I did. I think we must have been separated at birth!! I share so many of your ideals, just haven't written about them as well as you. I have become a follower and look forward to more..

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  5. I just found this post- yes! Even as a midwife I couldnt explain why I was craving chilii, esp singapore prawns as my local Vietnamese cafe, the hotter the better! back to not being able to eat much at all now, but I do try and add some to food now, as I was sure they must be good for you!

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