Why does our society seem to seek every way to overcome sickness and disease other than looking in the best Instruction Manual that's been around for thousands of years? Why do we avoid the simplicity of the basics when it comes to our health? The "basics" I refer to are eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise and adequate sleep.
Of course, the best instruction manual I am referring to is the Bible and there must be hundreds of books out there educating us on the importance of adequate exercise and sleep. Yes, there are scads of books on what to eat, too, but if they tell you to eat something that seems to contradict what the Bible says is OK, you probably should do some serious research before incorporating it into a regular eating plan.
There are actually some diet/eating plans being promoted that in the long run, may not be very healthy. What a shame if you lose weight, for example, and then have a heart attack because you were eating way too much meat or didn't get adequate nutrition.
Do I even need to mention some things you should obviously avoid if you want to experience optimum health? Folks, as much as I hate to list anything, this is what I see around me in abundance: fried foods, sugar in just about everything it seems, artificial sweeteners, meals heavy in meats with few vegetables and fruits, almost all cooked,( very little raw foods), and diet drinks.
The foods listed in this report are by no means all the "healthy" foods mentioned in the Bible. They should, however, provide you with some guidance in your food choices.
1. Apples. Song of Solomon. Apples are considered to be the "all around health food." They are high in flavonoids, fiber and Vitamin C. Some of the apple's healing powers include:
A. They lower both bad cholesterol and high blood pressure•B. The juices in apples are highly effective virus fighters
C. They help stabilize blood sugar, an important factor in controlling diabetes
D. They suppress the appetite without robbing the body of necessary nutrients
E. Depending on the need, they prevent constipation or help treat diarrhea
One caution: conventionally grown apples may be highly sprayed with pesticides and coated with wax. Purchase organically grown apples when possible.
2. Barley. Deuteronomy 8:8, Ezekiel 4:9. Barley's high fiber content can help keep us regular, relieve constipation and ward off a wide variety of digestive problems. It also may help block cancer. Barley is full of beta glucans, a type of fiber that can lower the risk of heart disease by reducing the levels of artery-clogging LDL.
3. Coriander (Cilantro). When the children of Israel wandered in the desert and received manna from the sky, they described it as looking like coriander seed. Since then coriander has been called "the healer from heaven." Coriander is recommended for indigestion, flatulence (excessive gas) and diarrhea. Externally, it's used to ease muscle and joint pain. Recently, scientists began looking at coriander as an anti-inflammatory treatment for arthritis. Other research has demonstrated that it reduces blood sugar levels, an indication that it may prove to be a useful sugar management tool for diabetics.
4. Fish. Luke 24:42-43. Fish is low in cholesterol and contains healthy polyunsaturated fats. Fish is a rich source of protein, potassium, vitamins and minerals with only a moderate amount of sodium. Eating fish:
· Thins the blood
· Protects arteries from damage
· Inhibits blood clots (anti-thrombotic)
· Reduces blood triglycerides
· Lowers LDL blood cholesterol
· Lowers blood pressure
· Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke
· Eases symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
· Reduces risk of lupus
· Relieves migraine headaches
· Fights inflammation
· Helps regulate the immune system
· Inhibits cancer in animals and possibly humans
· Soothes bronchial asthma
· Combats early kidney disease
The key to the healing powers of fish lies in the omega-3 fatty acids. These are particularly concentrated in cold-water fish such as anchovies, bluefish, herring, lake trout, mackerel, sable fish, whitefish, flue fin tuna, salmon and sardines. Note: in deciding between "healthy" and "unhealthy" fish, you can get specific instruction from Lev. 11:9. Eat only fish which have both fins and scales.
5. Garlic. One of the world's oldest healing foods. By the time of Moses, garlic was already being used as an anticoagulant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agent, as well as a relief for flatulence, a diuretic, a sedative, a poultice and as a cure for internal parasites. Research suggests that garlic may help protect against heart disease and stroke by lowering blood pressure. It contains allylic sulfides, which may neutralize carcinogens. In fact, garlic has been linked to lower rates of stomach cancer, too. It is heart-friendly, with scores of studies showing its astonishing ability to fight hypertension, prevent blood clots and lower cholesterol.
6. Fruits, Berries, Grapes. Numbers 13:23, II Samuel 16:1-2. Grapes were the first thing Noah planted after the flood. Grapes were eaten fresh, dried and eaten as raisins just as we do today, and pressed into cakes. However, most of the crop of the vineyards was made into juice, wine and vinegar. A cup of raw grapes contains only 58 calories, 0.3 grams of fat, zero cholesterol and vitamins A, B and C. Grapes also contain important minerals such as boron, calcium, potassium and zinc.
Grapes may be helpful in preventing osteoporosis, fighting tooth decay, heading off cancer and fighting off viruses. Other health-giving fruits include figs, melons, and pomegranates.
7. Legumes. 2 Samuel 17:28-29, Genesis 25:34. As reported in the book of Samuel, beans were among the highly nutritious foods sent to feed King David's hungry army and restore their strength for the hard times ahead. Beans have a lot of soluble fiber, which helps lower LDL and reduce blood pressure. The fiber also helps keep blood sugar levels stable, stave off hunger, and even reduce the insulin requirements of people suffering from diabetes.
Beans are a great source of protein as well as being packed full of vitamin C, iron and dietary fiber. Beans help lower blood pressure and reduce the "bad" cholesterol that today's research has shown to be the cause of so much devastating heart trouble --- a rarity centuries ago. Beans contain chemicals that inhibit the growth of cancer. They help prevent constipation, can stop hemorrhoids and other bowel-related problems from developing, and help cure them if they do.
8. Nuts, including almonds, pistachio nuts and walnuts. Song of Solomon 6:11, Gen. 43:11. Botanists today believe that Solomon's "garden of nuts" referred to in Scripture was a rich grove of walnut trees. At the time, walnuts were prized for the oil they produced, which was regarded as only slightly inferior to olive oil. The fact that walnuts were a delicious treat and highly nutritious was an added bonus. Nuts contain the right mixtures of natural ingredients whose benefits include cancer prevention, a lower risk of heart disease and help for diabetics. The oil found in walnuts is considered helpful because it is one of the "good guy" polyunsaturated fats and tends to lower blood cholesterol levels. Note: it's best to avoid roasted nuts since they have been found to carry carcinogens, which could lead to cancer growth, so buy your nuts raw.
9. Olives. The olive was one of the most valuable and versatile trees of biblical times. It is mentioned frequently throughout the Bible. Probably the most famous reference to olive oil and its healing powers is in the parable of the good Samaritan, in which the Samaritan cares for a beaten and robbed traveler, treating his wounds with oil and wine. Olive oil, mixed with wine, was even used to soften and soothe bruises and wounds. Known benefits of olive oil include:
· Lowers blood cholesterol
· Reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
· Retards cancer growth
· Reduces the wear and tear of aging on the tissues and organs of the body and brain
· Reduces gastric acidity
· Protects against ulcers and aids the passage of food through the intestines, helping to prevent constipation
· Reduces the risk of gallstones
· Aids normal bone growth
One CAUTION: olive oil has a slight laxative effect, so add it to your diet gradually.
One TIP: the more pure the olive oil, the better, so spend a little extra and get Virgin Olive Oil.
10. Onions. Numbers 11:5. Like its cousin, garlic, the onion is noted as a cure-all. And the folk healers hold it in high regard as far back as 6000 years or more. At least 3000 years before the birth of Christ, onions were treasured both as food and for their therapeutic value --- particularly in the treatment of kidney and bladder problems. Some facts about onions:
· Taken internally as a tonic to soothe intestinal gas pains
· Taken internally to alleviate the symptoms of hypertension, high blood sugar and elevated cholesterol
· Some people attribute their long life to a diet that includes high concentrations of onions and yogurt
· The juice of an onion and a syrup made from honey has been used to treat coughs, colds, and asthma attacks
· A tonic of onions soaked in gin has been prescribed for kidney stones and to eliminate excessive fluids
· Modern herbalists recommend onion syrup as an expectorant (it helps eliminate mucus from the respiratory tract)
· Onions can raise the good and lower the bad cholesterol
· Onions can slow blood clotting, regulate blood sugar, break up bronchial congestion and possibly prevent cancer
· Onions possess a strong antibiotic that kills a variety of bacteria
· Have been used externally as an antiseptic and a pain reliever
11. Wheat. Jeremiah 41:8, Ezekiel 4:9. Wheat was the "staff of life." Biblical people ate their grain boiled and parched, soaked and roasted, and even ate it green from the stalk. It was pounded, dried or crushed to be baked into casseroles, porridges, soups, parched grain salads and desserts. Ezekiel's bread was intended to be a survival food during the dark days of the Babylonion conquest because it contained wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt. Wheat bran is high in insoluble fiber. The fiber protects us against constipation. It helps prevent intestinal infections, hemorrhoids and varicose veins. It also improves bowel function and guards us against colon cancer.
12. Wine. I Timothy 5:23. John 4:46. Making wine from grapes is one of the most ancient arts and the beverage of choice in the Bible. According to Genesis, one of the first things Noah did after the flood was plant a vineyard so he could make wine. Researchers are now rediscovering what the physicians of the Bible knew centuries ago. In moderation, wine has a profound impact on our health and healing. Just a single glass of wine a day may be enough to raise the good cholesterol by 7% and help the body put up a barrier to a variety of cancers.
Wine appears to help stop heart disease and cancer. A study at the University of Ottawa in Canada concluded that there is a clear link between wine consumption and lower rates of heart disease. Countries where more than 90% of alcohol is consumed in the form of wine have the lowest rate of heart disease deaths.
A British study of 100 men and women discovered that a single glass of wine or sherry everyday increased the HDL or good cholesterol. When the group abstained from drinking wine, the HDL level decreased.
Red wine also seems to increase the body's defenses against cancer. White wine may carry some of the same therapeutic benefits, but research so far seems to indicate that red wine is the most effective cancer blocker. Note: be sure to drink only in moderation. Ephesians 5:18.
As you can see, the Bible lists a lot of foods, foods that are actually available to us today, that we could be consuming to prevent illness, serious diseases and many trips to the doctor. Good health is not that difficult, but you do have to work at it a bit. It's a balance of what you eat, exercise, sleep, avoiding stress, taking vitamin supplements. And strange as it may seem, the Bible is actually a complete instruction Manual for all of this.
In conclusion, the 12 healing foods listed here are only a partial list of healing foods found in the Bible. However, this report provides abundant evidence that God has placed on this earth, many health-giving foods for our consumption. A person who makes a serious effort to daily eat some of these health-giving foods, while avoiding health-destroying foods, certainly can expect to reap the benefits of a healthier body.
By Judy Thompson M.A. Health & Physical Education
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