Dr. Dan Siegal, a clinical Professor of Psychiatry, speaks on how to develop an internal relationship with oneself.
Say this phrase to yourself each day upon awakening. Once you are able to do so without feeling like you need to hold back, begin to direct it to someone you care for deeply. Advance this to someone you find to be difficult, and then include everyone in your small world eventually wishing well upon all beings. Most individuals find this difficult at first. This is OK. Don't be afraid to explore your mind.
May I be Happy. May I be Healthy. May I be Safe. May I be free of Suffering.
May all beings be Happy. May all beings be Healthy. May all beings be Safe. May all beings be free of Suffering.
Research has shown the average American diet is often lacking in several essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and D. Many people take supplements to replace nutrients not received by dietary consumption but also with the goal of added health benefits - a safeguard to combat disease. Although it sounds like a quick fix, supplements don't necessarily guarantee better health. In fact, some supplements can be dangerous, especially if taken in excess of the daily recommended amount.
Many studies have reported dietary supplements can help prevent various diseases including cancer, diabetes, depression, strokes, and other cardiovascular events. As promising as these studies sound, most are not based on evidence. Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School states, "Often the enthusiasm for these vitamins and supplements outpaces the evidence. When the rigorous evidence is available from randomized controlled trials, often the results are at odds with the findings of the observation studies." Additionally she states, "People who take supplements tend to be more health conscious, exercise more, eat healthier diets, and have a whole host of lifestyle factors that can be difficult to control in the statistical models." Some supplements that were found to have health benefits in observational studies turned out, with more rigorous testing, to be not only ineffective but also risky. Vitamin E, which was initially thought to protect the heart, was later discovered to increase the risk for strokes. Folic acid and other B vitamins were once believed to prevent heart disease and strokes. Later studies revealed these benefits were not confirmed and actually raised concerns that high doses of these nutrients might increase cancer risk.
The bottom line is we need a variety of nutrients each day to stay healthy. The source of these nutrients is important and the key is to eat a balanced diet. According to Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., "Nutritionists recommend food first because foods provide a variety of vitamins and minerals and also dietary factors that are not found in a vitamin or mineral supplement." Fruits, vegetables, fish, and other healthy foods contain nutrients and other substances not found in a pill, which work together to keep us healthy. If you're deficient in some areas despite efforts to eat healthy, supplements can help. It's important to remember that they are supplements, not replacements and are best taken with the supervision and recommendation from a healthcare professional. Below are common food sources of nutrients:
Calcium: Milk, yogurt, tofu, spinach, kale. Folic acid: Fortified cereal, spinach, lentils. Iron: Oysters, chicken liver, turkey. Omega-3: Salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans. Fatty acids: Walnuts, soybeans. Vitamin A: Sweet potato, spinach, carrots, cantaloupe, tomatoes. Vitamin C: Citrus fruits (i.e., orange, grapefruit), kiwi, mango, pineapple. Vitamin D: Salmon, tuna, yogurt, fortified milk, cheese