In the late 1980s a biologists by the name of Margie Profet, of the University
of California at Berkeley, offered a new explanation for morning sickness.
She said that morning sickness was nature's way of preventing pregnant
women from eating foods that would be potentially toxic to the growing
fetus. Of course this created a controversy. Remember the AMA (American
Medical Association) is from the mechanists school of thought and believes
that the body is just a machine, and so it would not make sense that the
body would know, much less tell the mother what the fetus needs.
Now graduate student Samuel Flaxman and his adviser, neurobiologist Paul
Sherman, have complied a review of 56 morning sickness studies covering
79,000 pregnancies in 16 countries. Sixty-five percent of the women had
an aversion to at least one food. Among those women, 16 percent avoided
caffeinated drinks, 8 percent avoided such strong-tasting vegetables as
broccoli and cabbage, and 4 percent avoided spicy ethnic food-all of which
contain natural toxins, and secondary compounds, which protect plants
from pests and pathogens. A full 28 percent could not eat meat, poultry,
eggs, or fish.
They then looked at anthropological reports from 27 societies where symptoms
of pregnancy were discussed. In the societies where animal products were
not eaten morning sickness was unheard of, but in societies where the
consumption of animal products was high morning sickness was common. Most
woman get morning sickness between the sixth and fourteenth weeks just
at the same time that the fetus is developing major organs.
Doctors still argue that your body could not crave the foods it needs
because lots of people crave chocolate and it's not good for you. But
recent studies have shown that chocolate contains nutrients that our body
needs and that are in short supply in our society. So the evidence is
growing that if we learn to listen to our body, it will tell you what
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