Health Beliefs

I’ve titled this “health beliefs” when you may have expects “health facts”, or to be more click baitable, “Amazing Health Facts you Never Guessed are True!!!!!”

Why health beliefs? And not a more assertive title?

In the main this is as many “facts” are debatable even in the realm of science, without moving to the realm of supposition, confirmation bias and all the rest of things that makes us humans devinely uncomprehensable and yet highly successful as a species.

‘We all know the feeling of having learnt something is good for you, then a few years latter research comes out that says it’s bad for you, then a few years after that something comes out saying, no we did not quite understand the mechanism properly relax, it’s good for you.

The human body is complex and I am sure for many years yet to come there will be many discoveries and rediscoveries going on. Some of that will like you, change my mind. Some I will be more sceptical of. We each choose what we will believe in the end.

Sure there are some incontrovertible facts, but there is also a lot to learn,and some people’s bodies do work differently than others.

So I am going to try set out here what I think makes one healthy. It is my beliefs and as such they may develop over time as new fact come to my attention. Sometimes I will share some of these discoveries and others I will set out what in half a century on earth and interested in health has bought me to believe.

Half a century interested in health may be a bold claim. However my earliest memory on health was a lesson my Mum taught me on the value of calcium for a growing child. I was 5 or 6 years old.

I think the idea may have been to get me to drink my milk as I had developed a habit of giving it to my brother. He is 3 years younger than me and loved meat and milk. I got the habit when traveling. As we had been given horrid powdered milk, which he nevertheless-less loved.

Being curious as children are I asked what other foods had calcium in. In fact just about every food I ate I would ask “Does this have calcium in?”

One morning eating eggs my harried mother said I don’t know but the shells must have.

I then set on a course of crushing my eggshells in my mouth, crunchy at first then more and more grit like as the pieces got smaller. I convinced my (2-3 year old) brother he should eat the shells too.

My mother came back in the room, kept folding washing and spotted what we were doing. She questioned us why and I said for the calcium. Being a good mother she did not tell us to stop, but I could see on her face she was struggling with something.

A black hen sitting on top of a large pile of eggs.
Would you eat eggshells? Image from Library of Congress, Digital Collection.

After several times of eating shells I saw a light on my mothers face. She explained to me that while it was commendable we were looking after health by eating foods rich in calcium, shells were not human food. We did not have the teeth or the digestive tract for that. She said if we continued eating egg shells it was not bad for us but that it would wear down our teeth and we should probably stop. So we stopped.

I like that she tried to give us knowledge and work out from that what was good to do. That she trusted us to learn and make right choices.

It was from her I learned my first lessons on health and anatomy.

I remember her answering my questions on pregnancy even showing my photos of what my sibling looked like in the womb. Entrancing me so much that my drawings could be of my sibling in the womb, rather than more regular childhood subjects.

My mother was a pioneer, not only in learning about nutrition, anatomy and health while raising 7 children. But in introducing us to food from other cultures, ensuring we ate a wide range of foods.

Yes I have been interested in health for round 50 years, and for that I thank my mother for the great foundation she gave me and the infectiousness of her interest.

So with a devotion to my mother I now seek to set out what I believe is most healthy for us humans.

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