Would the God who loves us, do anything to harm us? Discipline yes, but He is a loving father who only wants what’s best for us. Therefore, when He tells us that any food is fine in moderation, (1 Corinthians 10:23) it basically means eat anything as long as we don’t idolize it. (Of course, one wouldn’t purposely consume poisonous mushrooms for example, so let’s not pose foolish observations.)
Naturally, in Biblical times the world didn’t have fast food and I avoid it as much as possible. We arrived home after six years in Europe in 1983. We were shocked by the overweight American population. Why? Fast food abundance! Sure, I’ll purchase fast-food once in a while. But mostly, I’ll follow the plan God set down from Genesis 1:29 & 9:3.
We can certainly learn a lot from the Bible about what is beneficial.
When we think of the biblical diet of Jesus, we think of loaves and fishes. The bread during biblical times contained healthy nutrients like barley, wheat, and flax. Today’s white bread makes a better eraser than food. (Hardly any fiber and useless carbs.) Fiber allows insulin to be released more slowly into our system, keeping our blood sugar stable.
A few decades ago, creating one’s own Ezekiel bread was the rage. Ezekiel bread contained all of the original bran, germ, and endosperm of the grain. Today it’s hard to find nutritious bread but wholesome fibrous bread with 3+ grams of fiber is acceptable. The fact is that 80%+ of everything we consume should be nutrient-dense. That keeps our bodily machine running efficiently.
In Daniel 1, Daniel followed a vegetarian diet and remained healthier than the others in Nebuchadnezzar’s court.
Most vegetables create an alkaline environment which prohibits cancer cells and other diseases from festering. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale all contain these powerful chemicals. Dark leafy vegetables contain chlorophyll which detoxifies and protects the body from aging.
With a vegetarian diet, few vegetables contain Vitamin B12, needed for brain function. Try mushrooms, potatoes, and butternut squash. Otherwise, take a vitamin or add eggs, fish, or cheeses to your diet.
Occasionally I hear, “I don’t eat any fat.” You should. One needs good fat to energize the fat vitamins, A, D, E, and K. In biblical times, people consumed primarily olive oil. It’s anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants. (Great for arthritic conditions, as well as the heart, bones, digestive system, and brain.
We also need omega-3s. Remember fish was touted as brain food. It improves short-term memory and staves off dementia! Any fish is great but especially eat salmon, shrimp, oysters, mussels, and tuna.
God also instructed Adam to consume nuts and seeds. Add milled flaxseed and walnuts to Greek or any other good-quality yogurt. (“But Ellie, nuts are fattening!!!”) Sure, too many might be, but remember everything’s fine in moderation.
All nuts contain good healthy fats and other nutrients that benefit the heart, eyes, brain, and skin, and prevent chronic disease. Nuts also contain protecting chemicals that prevent bad cholesterol from absorbing into the bloodstream.
I urge you to use lots of herbs and seasonings: garlic, turmeric, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, rosemary, lemon, and thyme, instead of salt. These are all beneficial. I use lots of cinnamon which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and antimicrobial properties as well. It’s great on cereals, and yogurt, and even makes coffee enriched.
Eat for enjoyment but always remember God’s encouragement: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)