It's time to get back to basics for many of us. In my family the basics have always included obeying God, church and family life, and being proactive about our health. The basics for us have not included the newest cars and the biggest house. We believe our proactivity has paid big dividends and will continue to do so in the years to come.
Food supplementation is one giant step toward wellness that can do more than just fill in the gaps of imperfect nutrition. Supplements, when taken at optimal levels, can help the body to heal itself of many adverse situations, illness, and disease.
The Lord is a miraculous healer, my own husband is an example of a true miracle healing. Diagnosed at age 8 with a brain tumor, which was caught "just in time" by an eye exam at the pediatrician's office. They happened to live near Boston at the time, home of one of the very first MRI machines which was used on him. Many truly miraculous events surrounded the whole time between the diagnosis, surgery and recovery, not the least of which was a vision of Jesus to this eight year old who had never read the Bible. The night before surgery Jesus said, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you." My future husband went to surgery with supernatural peace. His recovery astounded everyone, because due to the location of the tumor he was supposed to have had at least partial paralysis on one side. There was not a trace of this effect, nor any recurrence of the tumor or any other damage. Radiation treatments followed, and at each follow up visit Jim was declared cancer free. He kept telling the doctors he was healed and finally at age 20 he was allowed to discontinue further follow up visits, they finally admitted that God had done a miracle.
Yet, knowing many people don't get supernatural miracles, one has to wonder if God has another plan. He spoke to the prophet Ezekiel about a river of life flowing out from underneath a temple. The river was supposed to have trees on both sides of it, about which God declared, "Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing." (Ezekiel 47:12b, NIV). There has to be a way for that type of healing to exist today, but we don't live near that river.
We believe that God gives wisdom to doctors and scientists. Some of them have been hard at work developing chemicals to alter body processes and cure symptoms. Others have been working to harness nature and all of the great nutrients God created, to bless our bodies with the ability to have all they need to heal and stay strong and well. For thousands of years, doctoring, and medicine meant only herbs and nutritional healing. Rusty and June Ost are pharmacists who were trained in the "old school" where they used to teach Pharmacognosy, which is the study of each herb and its effect on the body. Only in the past 100 years or so have prescription drugs been developed and encouraged.
During these same 100 years, food supplements have become a great alternative for those seeking nutritional healing. Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee, in 1915 developed his first product, Vitalized Minerals. He did this to help his chiropractic patients increase their nutrient intake. He remembers in 1912 when Dr. Casimir Funk "coined the word "vitamine" to describe certain food factors found (apparently) essential to the maintenance of life. It was not until a number of years that the word was shortened to 'vitamin' and came into general usage." (A Study Course in Nutrition, p.30)
When asked which vitamins are the most important, Dr. Shaklee answers,
Our tissue cells are not constructed in a manner as to allow one vitamin to hold precedence over another. It is true that some types of tissue cells require more of certain vitamins than of others. . . [but] the body as a whole needs ALL of the nutritional elements nature has provided.
That is why I contend that people should not attempt to prescribe single vitamins. If you are going to protect your body against a vitamin deficiency, through the use a of a Food Supplement, make sure that it contains all of the vitamins Nature supplies.
(A Study Course in Nutrition, p. 31)
My family has found the only way we can consistently provide our bodies with all the nutrients we need is through food supplementation. Other methods we've tried, such as fresh vegetable juicing, were too time consuming to allow us to be as consistent as we needed to be. Though we still enjoy those methods from time to time and know there is no excuse for taking in poor quality foods, we feel the supplementation has been what has kept us on track in our physical health.
Dr. Richard Brouse in his book Build a Better You, lists many of the reasons why one would need supplements. Some of the reasons are well known and well publicized, such as nutrient loss due to food processing, over farming, and over cooking. I will highlight a few of the reasons he mentions through direct quotes because they can often be overlooked.
Accidents and Illness. Burn injuries lead to a loss of protein and essential trace nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Surgery increases the need for zinc, vitamin E and other nutrients involved in the cellular repair mechanism. The repair of broken bones will be retarded by an inadequate supply of calcium and vitamin C and conversely enhanced by a full daily supply. The challenge of infection places high demand on the nutritional resources of zinc, magnesium, and vitamins B5, B6 and E and other nutrients involved in the cellular repair mechanism.
Athletes. Athletes and those with high physical demand vocations consume large amounts of food and can experience considerable digestive stress. Excessive perspiration depletes athletes of needed calcium, magnesium and chromium. These factors affect their need for other vitamins and minerals, including B-group vitamins, vitamin C and iron.
Poor Digestion. Even when high-quality food intake is excellent, inefficient digestion can limit your body's assimilation of selected nutrients. Some common causes of inefficient digestion are not chewing well enough or eating too fast. Both of these result in larger than normal food particle size, too large to allow complete action of digestive enzymes. Many people with dentures are unable to chew as efficiently as those with a full set of original teeth. Stress, drugs and age can also minimize digestion.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). PMS can be a nutrient-deficient condition. Research has demonstrated that up to 60% of women suffering from symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, such as headaches, irritability, bloating, breast tenderness, lethargy and depression can benefit from supplementation with B complex, GLA, alfalfa, soy protein, calcium and magnesium. Over 50% have poor diets that lead to mineral as well as essential fatty acid deficiencies.
(Build a Better You, p. 6, 8)
I can personally attest to the fact that my PMS symptoms are gone. This is not the reason I started using food supplements but I am very pleased with this "side benefit." I thank God every day for this and for all that he has done for our family.
Dr. Brouse's information should be read in the light of Dr. Shaklee's comment that no nutrients should be left out of the supplementation process. Those with the above challenges can consider increasing the amounts of the nutrients specific to that deficiency. This should be considered an alternative but not a replacement to medical therapy if a disease condition already exists for which prescription drugs have been prescribed.
If you have had great experience with food supplementation, or if you have questions, please join the discussion in Christian Women Take Root. We're here as a resource for you, and we would also love your insights and ideas.
(c)2009 Chris DeBaggis, Nutrition: Ctrl+Alt+Delete, Take Root and Write
Shaklee, Dr. Forrest C. A Study Course in Nutrition. Reformatted by Health Education Corporation, Clackamas, OR. 2002.
Brouse, Dr. Richard. Build a Better You. 7th Edition, Bamboo Press. 2007.