By Kathy Hodorek
There are a million different diets and opinions on how, what, when, and where to eat. There are many alternatives: low-fat, high-protein, low-carb, raw, vegetarian, Mediterranean, salt-free, high-fiber, gluten-free….etc. etc. etc….It can be confusing! There are more foods available to us at the supermarket, yet, our health is the worst it’s ever been. May I suggest an alternative way of looking at those three meals (or more!) a day that we consume?
Did you know good health and nutrition originated in the Bible? Yes, it was God’s idea! He tells us that our body is actually a temple of the Holy Spirit – a sacred place. How do you treat your temple? Are you putting vibrant, fresh and life-giving food into it? A good rule of thumb is to think about how God gave us our food in its original form. The closer you eat your food in the form that it’s originally grown, the healthier it will be.
In a fresh, raw form it won’t have artificial ingredients, additives and preservatives, which are harmful to your temple. When you ingest God-designed fuel, your body uses every nutrient to ensure that you are functioning properly – your immune system is strong and your hormones are balanced. Look for unprocessed, whole foods, with nothing added and nothing taken away. Whole foods prevent disease and keep the body healthy, and are our front-line defenders against cancer and free radicals. Man-made foods – foods that are refined, altered, processed or stripped of fiber and nutrients – can cause digestive problems and promote inflammation. They have no life, but rather draw life and contribute to disease.
God didn’t create red # 2, or any other artificial colors and flavors. He put the beautiful, natural red color in strawberries, beets, and tomatoes.
Since diet directly affects weight and health, let’s look at some statistics: 2/3 of the U.S. population is overweight, 1 in 5 youths is obese, and 7 out of 10 deaths per year are a result of chronic disease. These conditions are preventable and may even be reversed, once dietary changes and exercise (fun, sweaty activities!) are practiced. Health is our privilege and responsibility.
Diet can and does cause illness. A Mayo Clinic newsletter states, “It is estimated that approximately one half of the U.S. population is medically classified as chronically ill. $400 billion is spent annually on health research. It is also estimated that 90% of all illness brought to the physician is either self-limiting or beyond the medical profession’s capability for cure.”
In 1977, the U.S. government released a report which showed that 6 out of 10 causes of death in the U.S. are due to diet. That means that not drugs, not surgery, but DIET would eliminate all those illnesses.
So what’s the difference between natural and unnatural foods?
Genesis 1:29 says, “I have given you all vegetation bearing food, which is on the surface of the whole earth, every tree on which there is the fruit of a tree bearing seed. To you, let it serve as food.” These fruits, vegetable and herbs would, no doubt, have been ripe when picked and eaten right away. Foods which are eaten immediately after harvest contain all the nutrients and live enzymes that are lost by canning, cooking, and freezing.
Man has taken some foods and stripped them down in order to make a refined (or unnatural) food. An example of this is sugar and beets. God gave us beets. Man has stripped it down to its most naked form and made a sweetener which actually robs the body of nutrients. Americans consume about 135 pounds of sugar a year!
Additives are used in small amounts, but it’s estimated that the average American consumes about 5 pounds of additives ever year. These add no nutritional value to food, and could be a detriment to your health. MSG, aspartame, artificial sweeteners, and sodium nitrate are just some additives that are in foods you should avoid.
Buy fruits and vegetables that are fresh and wash them well to get rid of any chemical residues. If waxed, peel them, removing as thin a layer as possible. Most fruits and vegetables should be eaten in their entirety, including the skin (if edible) since the skin contains valuable nutrients. Eat fruits and vegetables raw as much as possible since most vitamins and all the enzymes (which aid in digesting the food) are destroyed with cooking. Obviously, there are some foods that must be cooked, such as potatoes or brown rice. If it must be cooked, try steaming lightly instead.
The following is a basic nutritional guide of foods to help keep your temple in the best shape possible:
|Food YES NO|
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