My parents were really mean when I was growing up. They were so mean that they denied my sisters and me access to essential vitamins and minerals. (OK, that might be a bit of a stretch. But as a child, I felt it was true.)
You see, my parents didn’t give us vitamin supplements when we were growing up. No, despite several of my friends and cousins being fed them on a daily basis, those lovely Flintstones Vitamins were contraband in our home. So instead of being fed delicious purple Wilmas, I was fed some cockamamie line about getting all of the vitamins and minerals I needed from the “healthy and nutritious” meals my parents provided me with every day. (Um, yeah—but we’re talking about candy here. Er, um, I mean, healthy vitamins …)
As a child, I really couldn’t understand why my parents would deny me these healthy supplements. My friends’ parents would always give them to me when I stayed over, and would even offer to send me home with some if I wanted. But I knew they wouldn’t be allowed so I always turned the take-homes down. (I always accepted the ones on the day though, because it seemed silly to pass up the sweet treats!)
But as an adult, I came to understand what my parents meant by getting all of my vitamins and minerals from my food. After all, my parents never instilled in me the habit of pills but they did instil in me the habit (and the gifted ability) to prepare healthy foods.
And as I’ve grown and matured (and educated myself on the topic) I’ve come to understand just how much of a waste of money and time vitamin and mineral supplements are (for most people under most circumstances). Not only that, but I’ve come to learn and understand the dangers of vitamin and mineral overloads, too.
I know, I know: Some of you will think that I’m crazy to not take supplements; that it’s unhealthy and that my immune system needs them. But the fact is that I don’t. (Most of the time.) The fact is that, save from a temporary vitamin D deficiency and an occasional bout of iron deficiency (both solved without supplements), I’ve never had problems. In fact, my doctors have all told me that—even with my pre-existing health problems, including a highly compromised immune system—vitamin and mineral supplements will not do me any good*. (And—like everyone else—could actually do harm if too much of certain things were taken.)
But here’s the thing, and this is the important thing:
As I’ve grown and matured (and educated myself on the topic) I’ve come to understand that vitamin and mineral supplements are, essentially, just what I thought they were when I was a child: Candy. Very expensive candy. Candy that isn’t actually doing me a gosh-darn bit of good.
So my conclusion is this:
Part one: Stop relying on (useless) vitamin and mineral supplements that don’t actually do you any good. Instead, start eating healthy foods that are full of all the vitamins and minerals you need.
Part two: Take all of the money you spend on (useless) vitamin and mineral supplements and buy candy instead! And if you get the right candy, it might be made with fruit juice. Which you can then count as part of your healthy 5-A-Day plan!
* There will come a time when this changes—but that will be when my medical conditions get totally out whack and I’m given no choice but to take lots of different pills including supplements. Further, my doctors aren’t pushing pharmaceuticals on me either, so it’s not like they’re pushing me away from “natural” stuff (it’s not really natural) so that they can make a profit on the drugs.