Monday, December 1, 2008

Spice it Up!

Genesis 43:11 Then their father Israel said to them, "If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift - a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh...
Isaiah 39:2 Hezekiah received the envoys gladly and showed them what was in his storehouses the silver, the gold, the spices, the fine oils...
Revelation 22:2 ...On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yeilding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Some people have taken Revelation 22:2 to mean that we should not eat meat. However, it's clear Jesus ate meat and fish as well as whole grains and I believe a true Biblically-based diet includes the clean animal protein set forth in Deuteronomy 14. That being said, rather than resorting to pharmaceutical drugs, I believe we should begin with what God has already provided.

This verse in Genesis highlights an aspect of our nutrition we have overlooked for far too long. Researchers are studying the health benefits contained in spices such as turmeric, cumin, rosemary and cinnamon. They are merely scratching the surface of understanding the various chemical components they contain and how they can impact and improve our health.

God Himself created and provided these foods. Cinnamon not only makes my oatmeal tastier, it has been proven to help regulate and lower blood sugar. Turmeric gives my vegetables a delicious flavor and is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory. We've all read about the many health benefits green tea provides.

I want to encourage you to experiment with a variety of herbs and spices and make teas your drink of choice, after water, of course! Dr. Eric Braverman says by simply flavoring our meals with a variety of different herbs and spices we can increase the nutrient content by 1,000%! What a simple way God has provided to make clean, whole foods even more nutrient dense.

Spices are mentioned throughout the Bible and are always included along with silver, gold and fine oils as the most valuable and precious resources as the verses above illustrate. The wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus. Two of the three gifts are herbs yet they were considered valuable enough to be a gift to the King of kings!

Green tea is only one tea that has been shown to contain health-promoting compounds - use a variety of teas and even combine two or more for a delicious beverage! You can choose from white tea, oolong, ginger, peppermint, fenugreek, red raspberry, apricot, pau d'arco, roobios - the list is endless.

God never intended for our diets to be plain, boring and bland. He has provided herbs, spices and teas to add flavor to our food (and our lives!) and to bump up the nutritional value of our meals - Father really does know best!

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