Mormons believe the human body is a gift from God and that as such, it must be treated with respect and care. The Bible provides motivation for this idea:
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Genesis 1).
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
They have some very basic health rules that help their members to do this.
The Word of Wisdom was revealed by revelation to Joseph Smith. At the time, its guidelines on how to eat were considered odd, although today, science has come to realize the teachings are very wise. Although best known for the don’ts, it also contains many sensible things we are to do as well. It is described as a principle with a promise, meaning that if we follow it, there are specific blessings promised to us. The revelation states that it is adapted to the abilities of the weakest saints. It is easy to live it if you always live this way, which is why it is important for parents to start their children off with good habits.
Mormons are taught not to drink alcohol, coffee, or tea. Although many long believed that meant no caffeine at all, the revelation refers only to hot drinks, and in the 1800s, when the revelation was received, that referred to coffee and tea. Some Mormons still abstain from sodas with caffeine as a matter of personal choice to avoid addictive substances. Herbal teas are not really tea, despite the name, and so are not included. In fact, the Word of Wisdom encourages the use of herbs.
Herbs, fruits, and vegetables are also encouraged as a regular part of the diet. Meat is acceptable, but sparingly. Whole grains, today seen as essential, are to be an important source of nutrition as well.
The promises, accompanied by a promise of protection from Satan, include:
18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. (See Doctrine and Covenants 89.)