When an appliance is made, the manufacturer always produces a service manual necessary to use the appliance as intended. Most times, we discard the service manual and try to figure out how the appliance works on our own. We either get frustrated with not getting the appliance to work OR we figure out how to get it working. What we lose in the process is valuable time, energy, and sometimes, even additional money to which we could have saved if we only paid attention to the service manual.
God, the Creator of all mankind, tell us in Psalm 139:14 that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. He, being the Master Manufacturer, gave us the service manual in His Holy Word. In Genesis 1:27, 29, we are told:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”
The Original Diet for mankind was plant-based, and it consisted of fruits, seeds, nuts, trees, and herbs – a far cry from what most Americans follow as the Standard American Diet (SAD). God had something far better! In His original plan, food was in whole form, it was accessible, and most importantly, ready-to-eat. Nowadays, if we’re describing foods that are most easily accessed and ready-to-eat for most of the population, it would be more than likely be refined and/or processed.
Notice, God emphasized the consumption of whole-plant foods in as fresh of a state as possible. After sin entered the world, when Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God introduced vegetables to man’s diet in Genesis 3:18:
“Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.”
Diet is of such a vital importance in maintaining our body temple. It is absolutely true that we are what we eat, since our bodies are continually being repaired and revitalized from the food that we consume. Food is better defined as “any substance which, when absorbed into the blood, will nourish the tissues, repair waste, and furnish force and heat to the body without causing injury to any of its parts.” 1. Optimal nutrition requires good decisions in food selection, balance, diversity, and quality in the foods we consume.
There are essential classes of nutrients necessary for the body temple to be used: macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). These nutrients are needed every single day, due to the fact that there is a constant breakdown of tissues in the muscles, bones, or nerves. Therefore, a fresh supply of nutrients from the blood is required. It is a wonderful process which transforms the food we eat into a blood rich with the nutrients needed to supply life and strength to every cell. These cells in turn make up the tissues and different organs of our bodies.
Following God’s outlined plant-based diet has a myriad of health benefits for us. Research has shown how eating more whole plants while limiting meat consumption can positively affect health.2 Most notably, a plant-based lifestyle has been linked to heart health. 3 Ditching meat in favor of veggies can lower blood pressure 4 and cholesterol, and reduce the risk of cardiac events. In a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, polling more than 10,000 adults, there was a 16% lower risk of having cardiovascular disease 5 in adults following a plant-based diet as well as a 32% lower risk of dying of cardiovascular disease.
A plant-based lifestyle is full of fiber, which helps with digestion by moving things along, preventing constipation, and promoting regular bowel movements. Eating whole plant foods, which are clean sources of carbohydrates and protein, can make a huge difference in maintaining energy stores naturally. Consuming foods high in fiber 6 causes blood sugar levels to increase and decline slowly and steadily, without the sugar rush and the crash.
These scientific research results aren’t detailing a phenomenon here by any stretch. Matter-of-fact, in the Old Testament in the Bible, the character Daniel decides to avoid the rich, indulgent foods that surround him and have “nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink” for 10 days. (Some modern translations have interpreted vegetables as pulses, meaning foods grown from seeds.) Later, the Bible records the outcome in Daniel 1:15,
“And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.”
Again, if we detail closely, we can see Daniel was following the prescribed diet in those 10 days that God ordained from the very beginning – a wholefood, plant-based diet.
In future entries, we’ll discuss the more intricate details of nutrition – the specifics of essential nutrients, culinary ingredients, and even recipes! For now, though, we want to drive home the overarching message of the importance of nutrition. We strongly believe that Jesus is coming SOON! God wants us to be ready to meet Him. In John 14:1-3, Jesus tells us
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
In regards to maintaining a healthy body temple in preparation for that momentous event, the Bible reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:31:
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
Returning to the original service manual that God outlined for us in Genesis is integral in supporting our journey, both physically and spiritually, to restoration in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ.
1 Abundant Health, p. 25
2. Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets
3. Substituting healthy plant proteins for red meat lowers risk for heart disease
4. Vegetarian diets and blood pressure among white subjects: results from the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2).
5. Eating more plant-based foods may be linked to better heart health
6. 16 High-Fiber Foods and Recipes That’ll Make You Want to Eat Them