Physicians are an important asset to any society. The Bible even testifies to this truth about life (Jeremiah 8:22; Luke 5:31; Colossians 4:14) and it’s important for us to consult our doctors for regular exams to make sure we’re healthy. But doctors were never meant to do everything for us. We have the responsibility to take care of ourselves and do the right things for our bodies, which are the temple of the living God, the temple of his Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16).
Speaking by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, the apostle John said, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth,” 3 John 2. If that’s what God and his apostles wished for us, that’s something we should wish for ourselves also. And the Bible mentions some excellent foods to help us on our way toward that goal centuries before our modern science verified it. But, of course, when one considers these foods today, we have to consult doctors about food allergies and man-made alterations to them, such as genetic modifications (GMOs) and chemical modifications (additives, preservatives, pesticides, hormones, etc.). One must also consider that these foods were not promoted to make us righteous and they were part of agricultural societies where lots of physical activity was the norm.
In their natural state the following things mentioned in the Bible for consumption have proven benefits:
Apples: The Song of Solomon tells us a lot about this fruit. They’re a great comfort food according to 2:3, 5 of the book and are good for physical development in 8:5. We know it does this with it’s many vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, fiber, complex carbs, and other nutrients to help our bodies fight cancer and bad cholesterol by purifying our circulatory and digestive systems.
Barley: helps maintain good blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), increases good cholesterol (HDL), helps control appetite, among other things.
Beef: same nutrients as lamb and veal, including carnosine. It was the main meat of the priests and Levites.
Cheese: packed with energy-producing and strength-producing proteins, calcium, good bacteria, and vitamins. This explains why a young David was told by his father Jesse to take 10 cheeses to his older brothers’ commanding officer in their war with the Philistines (1 Samuel 17:18) and why King David, fleeing from Absalom, was given it among the other foods by townsfolk who aided him (2 Samuel 17:29).
Cucumbers: The Israelites ate these in Egypt, complaining to God in Numbers 11:5 how much they missed them in the wilderness. They’re packed with vitamin K for bone and brain health, fiber, electrolytes like potassium, and antioxidants like vitamins A and C.
Figs: This fruit has a myriad of benefits to help the body internally and externally. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals, especially antioxidants, and can even heal sores and some skin diseases (see 2 Kings 20:7).
Fish: A popular staple of Jesus and his 12 disciples. Depending on which type you eat, they can be good for the heart.
Frankincense: Smells good when used as incense, but is also edible. It was used as a spice on meats sacrificed to God in the Old Testament, which were then eaten by the priests. It aids digestion, eases arthritis and heals wounds.
Fruits, vegetables, edible plants of all kinds: This was God’s original diet for us (Genesis 1:29). Even when God cursed the ground with weeds after the fall, oddly enough some of those weeds are edible and good for us (like dandelions and pineapple weed), a testimony to God’s grace and mercy.
Goat: lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol than beef and chicken, but has more protein than both along with iron.
Honeycomb: Not only is honey good by itself, but if you include honeycomb in it, it helps your bones just as Proverbs 16:24 says because it’s packed with Vitamin D to help your bones absorb calcium. It also fights fat, helps your skin, fights allergies, heals wounds, and gives you an energy boost (as Jonathan found out in 1 Samuel 14:27).
Milk and Honey: when separate, these two foods are powerful. But when they’re combined, they’re even more powerful and helpful for the skin, stamina, and are a great remedy for insomnia. No wonder the Promised Land was so blessed since it was flowing with milk and honey.
Pomegranate: “more antioxidant power than cranberry juice or green tea.”
Veal: iron, B vitamins, protein, low cholesterol. This is what our preincarnate Lord and his two angels ate in Genesis 18 with Abraham right before he warned him about Sodom & Gomorrah.
Venison: Isaac’s favorite meat (Gen. 27:4) is lower in fat and cholesterol than beef and is a good source of iron, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and other minerals.
Wheat: this whole grain, as you probably know, keeps our circulation system and digestive system healthy–among its many other benefits.
Wine: both unfermented and fermented (alcohol) have health benefits when consumed in moderation. Paul was spot on when he told Timothy to take wine for his stomach ailments since wine keeps stomach and intestinal bacteria in check, fighting off the bad ones that can sicken us.
Harry A. Gaylord