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What is the secret to thriving health? Is it the latest fad diet? Or the newest weight loss pill? Or perhaps the most sophisticated exercise machine? If we read the Bible, we will find that the answer is clear and simple:
"What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19–20, KJV).
To achieve good health, you have to understand and internalize the fact that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit… What this means is that you should take care of it by feeding it with the right food, which will not only positively impact your physical body but also your mental and spiritual health.
For Christians, the act of caring for the body is an act of stewardship.
We are either the OWNER of our body or the STEWARD of our body.
God has given you that body, and He expects you to feed it, give it rest, exercise it properly, and to grow in both the mind and the spirit. Your body is designed to give glory to God because He owns it. And by “feeding”, this means eating food as how God designed it to be consumed… Just like how our ancestors in the Bible ate.
Food in the Bible was simpler, more wholesome, and void of harmful chemicals. People ate food according to God’s design. There was no heavily processed, lab-made, and chemical-laden food back then. This is why the cell’s chemistry was never out of whack, allowing cells to repair themselves. As a result, health and healing occur right at the cellular level.
But it is not all about living longer. It’s mainly how to thrive in life, whether you are 50, 60, or in your 70s! You want to feel good about yourself, enjoy every moment of your life and experience that blissful feeling of actually living, thriving, and not merely surviving! When you feel great, you also radiate positivity. Your thoughts are more peaceful and calmer, your words are gentler, your actions are more sensible.
This is why healthy people are genuinely happy people. They don’t get into conflicts with others because they also don’t get into conflicts with themselves. Their minds are at peace and their bodies are at an optimal condition. This is what God wants for you - to achieve good health and to live according to His design.
So let us explore more about the life-giving wonders of the food in the Bible, which God has created for you to enjoy and feed your body to reap wonderful benefits for your health.
What Kind of Food Did People Eat in the Bible
“The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.” Exodus 16:35
Food in the Bible includes wholesome and natural foods such as grains, honey, fruits. As for their beverages, milk and wine were mentioned in the scripture but the kind of wine they had back then had none of those nasty additives that we have today.
There was no junk food, no “food” loaded with additives, preservatives, and artificial flavor and color. Food was eaten in its natural state, although our ancestors in the Bible also cooked certain food items such as bread and meat. When our Father in heaven created the world and everything in it, He blessed them all. Everything that God made is good - the trees, the animals, the vegetation, and so on.
Man and woman were made according to His own image, and these first humans were in a state of complete physical perfection. All the cells, tissues, and organs were functioning as they should. They ate what God told them to eat, and they took care of all the creations just as how a good steward must be.
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In a perfect world, that’s what the food situation was like. Today, it is still possible to achieve great health from the food you eat.
According to “What the Bible Says About Healthy Living”, a book by Dr. Rex Russell, there are three principles you need to follow to achieve the health benefits of food.
- Eat only substances God created for food.
- As much as possible, eat foods as they were created before they are converted or changed into something else (processed food).
- Avoid food addictions. Do not let any food or drink become your god.
These are basic principles you need to apply in your daily life, aside from adhering to a diet that mainly involves food in the Bible. These are also the very same principles that helped me lose a whopping 60 pounds and helped me to achieve better health, which I share in this video:
It is not about being too preoccupied with counting calories, skipping meals, or jumping into the latest diet fad. The goal is to allow the food in the Bible to work wonders to your health and weight maintenance goals by following these three principles.
Bible Verses about Food to Eat
The Bible mentioned food several times both in the Old and the New Testament. These verses about food in the Bible are meant to inspire and encourage you to make better choices of food to eat. They also serve as a guide on what food is designed by God to be eaten and which ones are not.
Let us take a look at these Bible verses:
Genesis 1:29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
Genesis 9:3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
Exodus 16:31 The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.
Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.
Ezekiel 4:9 Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side.
Psalm 136:25 He gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.
Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
John 6:27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For, on Him, God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
John 6:35 Jesus answered, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.
1 Corinthians 6:13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
The message that God brings us is simple - to delight in what you eat and to eat what God has intended you to eat. When you eat what is right and good for you, this will not only impact your physical body but also your mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being.
And this is what total wellness is all about which is brought about by consuming the right food that meets your dietary requirements, at the right time, and with the right amount. It is all about maintaining balance and equilibrium with the food you eat!
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Is There a Forbidden Food in the Bible?
Now the question is, is there such a thing as forbidden food in the Bible? Or is everything okay for us to eat? This is something that I would like to dive deeper into the next sections but first, let us discuss the foods that heal. Once we know what food in the Bible is safe and ideal to eat, based on God’s design, we can start eliminating the ones that we are better off without.
Food in the Bible - Biblical Foods that Heal (And What to Avoid or Limit)
But ten men who were found among them said to Ishmael, "Do not put us to death; for we have stores of wheat, barley, oil, and honey hidden in the field." So he refrained and did not put them to death along with their companions. Jeremiah 41:8
With all this talk about food in the Bible, it is beautiful to know that the Bible is like a cookbook. A cookbook written by God. In fact, the list of food you are about to read down below is all mentioned in the Bible. It would be good to check out the Bible verses indicated as a supplement to the information you would receive in the next sections.
Best to Eat
These are the best foods in the Bible to eat, specifically fruits and vegetables that are from an organic source. You can find these at the farmer’s market, and it would be good to know how to pick out the ones that are the best quality and free from GMO.
Personally, I use a Produce Shopping card and a GMO card that guide me when buying the best fresh produce at the store. With most conventional farms spraying their crops with pesticides and other toxic elements, it is best to be vigilant and well-informed about businesses to trust when it comes to buying non-GMO and all-organic products.
Genesis 25:34, Numbers 11:5, Numbers 13:23, Deuteronomy 23:24, Deuteronomy 28:40, 2 Samuel 16:1–2
Vegetables are a must-have in your diet. A generous serving of vegetables each day provides the body with the much-needed vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, fiber, and even protein.
All vegetables are great to eat but the most potent ones for fighting heart disease and cancer are cruciferous vegetables. These are vegetables with four petals, which resemble the cross or crucifix, hence the name “Cruciferous”. They are one of the 12 Anti-Angiogenic food, which I will explain further in this video:
The secret behind their potency against various ailments is in the phytochemicals they contain. These phytochemicals repair the DNA in the cell, which transforms a mutated cell into a healthy cell. Reminds us of how Jesus’ death on the cross repairs and removes our sin!
To receive the life-giving power of cruciferous vegetables, it is best to consume three one-cup servings each day. Raw cruciferous is even more nutritious, but you can also lightly steam them.
You need to be consuming the “Magnificent 12” each day, which are cruciferous vegetables with a high amount of protein, fiber, micro- and macronutrients. These are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish, rutabaga, turnip and watercress.
There are dozens of recipes on my Healthy Treasures Cookbook that feature these cruciferous vegetables cooked in interesting and scrumptious ways!
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Do not underestimate the size of this highly nutritious food in the Bible. They may be small but definitely a powerhouse of nutrients! Nuts are rich in protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, and other vitamins and minerals.
When eaten in moderation, nuts help reduce the risk of heart disease, regulate cholesterol levels, prevent cancer, and promote blood fluidity. If you are trying to lose weight, you can snack on nuts or cook recipes the include nuts to help keep you satiated longer.
Nuts are also excellent for athletes who are looking to increase their protein intake, as well as for expecting mothers because of the high omega-3 in nuts that assist with the brain development of their unborn child.
Almonds, walnuts, pecans, Macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts… Go ahead and enjoy these tasty, filling, and nutritious nuts that do amazing things to your body and health!
Genesis 41:56–42:2, Deuteronomy 8:8, Deuteronomy 32:14, Ruth 2, Ezekiel 4:9
Nothing beats the taste and quality of warm, freshly-baked bread. Bread reminds us of numerous events during the time of Jesus such as when he multiplied loaves to feed the hungry, the breaking of the bread during the Last Supper… And He also said, “I am the bread of life…”
Back during the time of Jesus, unleavened bread was the only bread people ate. The ingredients were simple, fresh, and wholesome. If you want to learn how to make the Classic Israeli unleavened bread, here’s a video to guide you:
Today, there are dozens of types of bread… And not all of what is in the ingredients list are even worth consuming such as additives, preservatives, and so much more. If bread has white flour instead of whole grain flour, you are better off without it. This type of flour is basically void of good quality nutrients and the only reason there is some flavor in bread made of white flour is because of the tons of sugar and additives to it.
This is why it is best to replace white flour with your very own freshly milled whole grain flour. I use a mini mill that is so handy and reliable for milling all types of grains and even seeds to make flour that’s more nutritious and flavorful. You can use this mill to make oat flour, almond flour, quinoa flour, that cater to your food sensitivities and gluten intolerance.
I have a post on how to make oat flour, and you will be surprised how very easy and simple it is to do! You don’t even need to buy store-bought gluten-free flour when you can make your own fresh. Plus, it is much cheaper, which makes it a smarter and more practical route when baking fresh bread, cooking fluffy pancakes, and so much more.
By steering clear of white flour and milling your own flour, you are sparing yourself from the possibility of consuming rancid flour that increases toxicity in the body, among other serious health consequences.
Food to Limit or Eat in Moderation
Anything in excess is not good for you. The food in the Bible listed below are among those that you should eat in moderation to help your body receive nutrients while preventing you from incurring undesirable effects linked with excessive consumption of these foods.
Job 6:6, Matthew 5:13, Colossians 4:6
The Bible mentions salt more than 40 times. For instance, salt is often synonymous with covenant, holiness, faithfulness, and loyalty. When you dissolve salt in liquid, you will realize that it really can’t be dissolved at all. In fact, the moment you evaporate all that water, you will find salt crystals settling at the bottom.
Salt cannot be dissolved. No wonder that in Biblical days, salt is synonymous to true friendship and loyalty. It is like a covenant, in which once an agreement is made, it is lasting and eternal. Just like God’s love for us! Here’s an interesting story that delves into the Biblical meaning of salt. It’s more than a flavor enhancer for your food!
In cooking, salt adds flavor to your food. It helps release the flavor of your vegetables, meats, and fruits. As you cook food, the cells breakdown and salt helps with that process and releases the wonderful flavor at the same time.But not all salts are created equal. Choose your salt well, and I personally have my favorite salt that I use for all my cooking and food preparation needs. I feel at ease knowing that my salt is free from unwanted components that do more harm than good to my body.
Numbers 14:7–8, Deuteronomy 32:13, Proverbs 24:13, Proverbs 25:16, 27, 1 Samuel 14:24–29
In its natural state, honey is perfectly edible. Up until the mid-1800s, honey was the primary sweetener. This was before the industrialization of sugar cane. In the Bible, people used honey to sweeten their food. This thick and sticky syrup was more than enough for them. And why wouldn’t it? It’s 40% sweeter than sugar!
You can also find different flavors and colors of honey such as darker ones with a more intense flavor or lighter ones with milder flavors. If you have diabetes, Tupelo and Sage honey are better for you as these are broken down more slowly in your bloodstream.
When buying honey, choose only raw and unpasteurized ones. Your body will receive more nutrients and benefits by choosing pure, raw, and all-natural honey.
Genesis 9:3–4, Genesis 18:1–8, Leviticus 7:22–23, 26, Leviticus 7:28–36, Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14, Deuteronomy 32:14, 1 Kings 4:22–23, Acts 15:22–29, John 6:11
In the Bible, God tells His people to stay away from unclean food and consume only the clean. But what exactly is clean and unclean food in the Bible? Remember during this teaching God is trying to help the Israelites remove the Egyptian influence and see His hand in all areas of their life. Even their health matters to God.
Clean and edible animals that are okay to eat are those that chew the cud and have divided hooves. These animals are sheep, deer, goat, ox, antelope, and gazelle. As for water animals to be considered as “clean”, they should have scales and fins such as salmon, cod, bass, flounder, halibut, perch, tuna, trout, snapper, herring, mackerel, and haddock. A few other clean animals include duck, turkey, quail, Cornish hens, chicken, locusts, and grasshoppers.
On the other hand, there are also “unclean” or forbidden foods, which are mentioned in Leviticus 11. These are pigs, shellfish, fish without fins, and carnivores that thrive on sick or dead animals. For instance, pigs eat anything such as maggots, mice, and fecal matter. This is why pigs carry about 200 diseases and 18 parasites that are transferred to your body once you consume them. Shellfish and finless fish are also unsafe to eat because they hold high toxic levels of heavy metals such as mercury. The same holds true with shrimp, mussels, and crabs as these are known as scavengers of the waters.
While these animals are very popular in the Western diet, that does not mean you should make it a part of yours. Just because you can eat it does not mean you should. It is important to exercise caution and prudence when choosing meat to eat, and adhering to the list of forbidden food in the Bible is an excellent guide to determine what to eat and what not to eat, according to God’s own words.
Milk, Butter, Cheese, Cream, Curd
Genesis 18:1–8, Numbers 14:7–8, Deuteronomy 32:14, Judges 4:19, Proverbs 27:27, Isaiah 55:1, Ezekiel 25:4, Joel 3:18, 1 Corinthians 4:7
Raw, clean milk sourced from thriving pastured cows is a complete food. If you had to, you could even live on it. It is full of beneficial enzymes, protein, vitamins, and minerals that are at higher levels in raw milk than processed milk. Raw milk is also highly digestible and easily absorbed by your body.
But if you have an intolerance to lactose, don’t fret - you can still get all those good nutrients from dairy without the discomfort. Lactose intolerance began when milk started to be processed by large industries and the food was altered. Yogurt is regarded for a number of health benefits as it prevents colds, reduces bad cholesterol levels, improves bowel function, helps fight breast and colon cancer, prevents allergic reactions, boosts the immune system, and prevents intestinal infections.
Just an 8-ounce of yogurt will give you 35 to 45% of the daily recommended dietary calcium requirement. You can eat yogurt on its own, add it to your muesli, use it as a topping to your baked goodies, and so much more!
Deuteronomy 8:8, Deuteronomy 32:13, 1 Kings 17:7–16, Proverbs 21:17, 20
What is the best oil to use for cooking? The answer depends on how high the heat is, and in this case, you need to consider cooking oil with a high smoking point.
I prefer to use 100% avocado oil for frying on high heat or stir-frying because its smoke point is high. Same with coconut oil, which also contains good fats such as lauric acid and MCT oils. But if you don’t prefer that coconuty taste, avocado oil is great. As an additional benefit, avocado oil contains oleic acid that lowers the bad cholesterol in your body and improves cardiovascular health. It also has lutein, a type of antioxidant that supports healthy vision.
Olive oil is much better for your salads, dips, pesto, and hummus. This oil is sourced from one of the most versatile and highly valued trees in Biblical times, the olive tree. It was even mentioned more than 140 times in the Bible, and the olive was a sign of peace, God’s blessing, and the best things in life.
Both olives and olive oil are discovered to contain healing properties as they help retard cancer growth, stimulate bile flow, strengthen cell membranes, lower bad cholesterol, reduce gastric acidity, and supplement the body with vitamin E, an excellent antioxidant for healthy skin, hair, and overall health.
When buying and using oil, be sure to choose to keep in mind these helpful tips:
- Buy cold-pressed or unrefined oils
- Stay away from hardened oils
- Avoid rancid-smelling oil
- Never reuse oil
- Store oil in a cool, dark place to maintain freshness
What Did Jesus Eat?
We have learned about the different food in the Bible and how choosing the right food can impact one’s health and longevity. But did you ever wonder what food Jesus ate?
The Bible depicted occasions when Jesus ate bread and drank wine with his disciples. It is also typical during the 1st century for a Jewish person to eat legumes such as fava beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Fruits were also consumed including figs, dates, pomegranates, and grapes. As for meat products, those that were often consumed were goats and sheep, as well as fish.
The Mediterranean Pyramid, which has one of the most solid and oldest foundations among all the other food pyramids, mainly included whole and natural foods. In Dr. Steve Parker’s book, “The Advanced Mediterranean Diet”, he stated that this diet is linked with overall better health and longevity, as well as a lower incidence of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Combined with an active lifestyle, this supported longevity.
This is why I believe in eating fresh, wholesome and natural food. When cooked or eaten raw, these foods nourish your cells, provide you with a great amount of energy, and help you thrive and feel your best - just like those centenarians in the Bible!
Eat Right, Feel Your Best
Or do you sometimes feel lethargic, heavy, or perhaps a little unbalanced and ungrounded afterward?
Your answer to these questions reveals your choice of food. What you eat greatly impacts not just your body but also your mind and emotions.
This is why if you want to truly follow God’s words, you have to abide by his commands. And, this involves the food to eat and food to avoid.
By understanding the food in the Bible and what God has gifted us to eat, you will reap incredible blessings that come with a healthy and balanced diet.
Use this guide to help in planning daily meals and be on your way to achieving outstanding health that leads to thriving and not just surviving!