The Bible is not necessarily a medical textbook; nor does it serve as a behavioral constraint. Still, there are advantageous benefits from understanding the supernal view of health as expressed in the Bible. These are some of the Bible’s recommendations for good health and longevity…
“Meditate… day and night…” – Joshua 1:8
Most people are not raised to sit in solitude and mumble “mumbo jumbo.” But meditation is making a comeback from the ages. “The relaxation response [from meditation] helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing and brain waves,” says cardiologist Herbert Benson, MD. Any condition that’s caused or worsened by stress can be alleviated through meditation, he further adds. No wonder when when Joshua was assigned the weighty task as overseer over the nation of ancient Israel which was no doubt stressful due to daunting task that lay ahead, he was advised to “meditate” thereon day and night in an “undertone.” (Joshua 1:8) Isaac whom the death of his mother brought discomfort took time to “meditate” at nightfall. (Genesis 24:63) Likewise, wise King Solomon did much meditation in order to find “delightful words and writing correct words of truth.”- Ecclesiastes 12:10
“Eat honey… it is good for you” – Proverbs 24:13
Renowned for superior sweetness, honey is also known for its medical values. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used honey for treating wounds and believed honey contributed to long life.
In the Bible, John the Baptizer who was on a restricted diet ate wild honey as one of his main sustenance. (Matthew 3:1,4) The athletic or energy giving property of honey is illustrated in the case of Prince Jonathan who, exhausted from battle ate honey. It is said, his eyes “began to beam.”-1Samuel 14:25-30
Modern studies show honey is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners. It has also been studied that honey’s flavonoids and antioxidants can help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart diseases. While honey is good, the Bible warns overeating it can cause nausea (Proverbs 25:16)-a quintessence of how the Heptakometes defeated Pompeii’s Roman troops in Asia Minor during the first century BC.
“Wine makes the heart rejoice…” – Psalms 104:5
The Bible refers to wine as a “happy” stimuli, even recommending taking “a little wine” for “stomach… sickness.” (1Timothy 5:23, Psalms 104: 15) Because of the joyful spirit associated with wine, it is usually served on festive occasions, such as wedding feasts. It was at a wedding feast that Jesus Christ performed his first recorded miracle-turning water into “fine wine.” (John 2:1-11) Wine was also used for other medicinal purposes in the bible. – Luke 10:34
In a study published by the Journals of Gerontology, wine was deduced to promote longevity. Another study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds wine reduces heart risks and diseases.
What the Bible condemns is drunkenness and overindulgence. (1 Corinthians 6:9,10) So if you find yourself in a gutter at dawn after a night of drinking, you should probably abstain from wine.
“You must not eat… any blood at all” – Leviticus 3:3-17
Blood plays a major role in our body; from carrying away waste products to safeguarding the body against infection and more. Does this make it a healthy meal as some have claimed?
The chemical makeup of blood is so complex that there is a great deal unknown to scientists. What is certain is that the blood of animals carries diseases-some very harmful to humans. However, the Bible which has stood the test of time considers blood as something sacred, referring to it as “the source of life.” (Deuteronomy 12:23) Abstaining from blood is mentioned in parallel to “good health!” The prohibition included flesh with the blood in it: “things strangled.” – Acts 15:22,28,29
The fact is, blood, when ingested, is toxic. A regular consumption can lead to iron overdose and thus a vehement of diseases “as liver damage, low blood pressure, nervous disorders” amongst others. Hate to break it, but your aspirations as a vampire will endanger your health.
“Obedience is better than sacrifice… “- 1Samuel 15:22
The biblical saying, “obedience is better than sacrifice” has been paralleled to the saying, “prevention is better than cure.” How does this affect health?
The Mosaic Law solemnly required disposal of sewage in a covered hole far from settlement (Deuteronomy 23:12,13) Corpse of animals or humans were not to be touched and if touched washing with water was required. (Leviticus 11:27, 28; Numbers 19:14-16) Those with infectious diseases like lepers were quarantined until a physical examination confirmed that they were no longer contagious.-Leviticus 13:1-8.
Today, medical studies and recent discoveries have showed proper sewage disposal, hand washing, and quarantine remain effective ways to fight diseases. For instance, less than 200 years ago, physicians discovered that they infected many patients when they did not wash their hands after handling corpses. The CDC still calls hand washing “the single most effective way to prevent the transmission of disease,” that may otherwise lead to death.
“Better is a handful of rest” – Ecclesiastes 4:6
“Sleep used to be kind of ignored, like parking our car in a garage and picking it up in the morning,” says David Rapoport, MD, director of the NYU Sleep Disorders Program. In a study of women ages 50 to 80, more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours of sleep per night. No wonder the bible recommends sleep over “a double handful of hard work.”
Eight hours of sleep each night is recommended. Sleep is essential to good health and will help boost performance, feeling great, and looking better-spinning a new meaning to “Sleeping Beauty.”
“You must not eat fat” – Leviticus 3:3-17
Though some fat have been prescribed healthy in certain conditions and for certain people, “saturated and trans fats both have a negative impact on the body,” says an article on Healthy Living by Kevin Rail. Eating excessive amounts of fatty foods have been linked to excessive weight gain, increased risk of chronic diseases, depression and a lower self-esteem.
In the third chapter of Leviticus, the ancient Israelites were instructed concerning the use of fat. They were not to eat the fat around the loins and intestines and that over the kidneys, as well as the fatty appendage upon the liver of cattle or goats. In the case of sheep, the entire fatty tail likewise was not to be eaten. The Law specifically said, “You must not eat any fat… “
“A calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism.” – Proverbs 14:30
Calmness is not a popular virtue because many confuse it with weakness and delusion. Despite so, this virtue is essential for emotional balance, thought organization and focus. Yes, calmness is next to coolness. Chemically speaking, it decreases stress hormones while increasing soothing endorphins through frequent exercise and meditation. No wonder the bible states that “a calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism.” The Journal of the American Medical Association reports: “Men who experience outbursts of anger have twice the risk of stroke as men who control their tempers.”
“There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” – Acts 20:35.
Apart from giving, the bible also warns: “One isolating himself will seek his own selfish longing; against all practical wisdom he will break forth.” – Proverbs 18:1
Research reveals that strong friendships and generosity can improve health. A ten-year study in Australia found that elderly people who had “better social networks with friends and confidants” were more likely to live longer. Researchers in Canada and the United States learned that “spending money on others promotes happiness more than spending money on oneself.” Yes, feel free to leave me a donation, it’s good for your health!
“Be modest” – Micah 6:8
Modesty is as closely associated with moderation as much as it rhymes with the word itself. Moderation in every good practice is recommended. For instance, the Bible condemns harmful excesses, including drunkenness, gluttony, and oversleeping. – Proverbs 23:20; 20:13
Even when it comes to spirituality – “Do not be overly righteous, nor show yourself excessively wise. Why should you bring ruin to yourself?” the Bible notes.