When I was growing up, it was normal at breakfast time for my mother to have a variety of vitamins on the kitchen table for me to take each day. She was convinced this regime would make me smarter, healthier and prettier. Not necessarily in that order. I dutifully forced them down but rebelled when she tried to disguise Cod Liver oil in my juice. Not happening!
Now-a-days, instead of vitamins, in the early morning I have a daily regime of prayer. I quiet my thought and think about my spiritual relationship to the divine. Establishing my connection to God strengthens me and gives me peace of mind. I’ve found, over time, that it also maintains my well being. It helps sweep away those cobwebs of fear that collect in the morning, dragging me down, and puts my day on higher ground. I’ve learned that my health doesn’t actually come from vitamins. I’ve come to trust that my health and well being are spiritually grounded.
But, I’m not necessarily your average person. Almost half of Americans, take some form of a daily vitamin and one-third take a multivitamin resulting in a $28 billion per year industry in the US. Like my mom, they hope vitamins will improve their health and safeguard them against disease. But, there is growing evidence that vitamins and mineral supplements may not be all they are cracked up to be.
Some experts believe, if you are in good health, without any nutritional deficiencies, it’s probably better not to take any at all. These might include vitamin C to ward off colds; vitamin B6 to improve metabolism; or vitamin D to strengthen bones. In fact, some supplements such as Beta carotene, vitamins A and E might actually be harmful and fatal in high doses. Many physicians now say that the recommended daily allowance for vitamins found in a normal diet is sufficient for well being.
So where does this leave someone with a cabinet full of vitamins if all that is needed is a well-rounded diet? Clearly, most people take supplements based on the fear they will be sick or they need something extra to maintain their health. But, if those supplements are ineffective or even harmful, maybe it’s time to try something different.
More people are looking at new approaches, including exercise, yoga, meditation and prayer. Health researcher and spirituality writer, Mary Baker Eddy pointed out the mental nature of health and how we can take care of our bodies best: She wrote: “The body improves under the same regimen which spiritualizes the thought;…” That’s what I feel I’ve experienced.
If indeed health comes from spiritualizing our thinking, perhaps taking quiet time to establish your connection to the divine would be a useful regime. One day, vitamins may just be as uncommon as, say, Cod Liver oil!