If someone you love is ill, you know what it means to yearn for healing. If you are injured, you know what it means to crave health. But many of us do not have full health. In the Western world, where more wealth, abundance, doctors and technology are available than ever before, we are plagued with a wider variety of deadly diseases and sicknesses than ever before.
In America, for example, millions suffer from cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and other terrible ailments. Why?
One of the most important reasons is that our health-care system deals with the effect instead of the cause. We are breaking the laws of health and then dealing with the effects. It is not working.
God expects us to do everything possible to choose life and avoid the cause of sickness. None of us have been perfect in this area of character development. But we must all improve. Perfection has to be our ultimate goal.
If we are ever going to steer clear of infectious disease, debilitating aches and pains, and terminal conditions like cancer, we have to stop them before they start.
The best way to fight illness is to never contract it in the first place! Here are three indispensable principles for healthful living: fresh air, pure water and good food.
1. Get plenty of fresh air.
God made man out of the dust of the ground: physical matter. To sustain our temporary existence, we need a constant supply of food, water and oxygen. You can live for many weeks without solid food and for many days without water. But without a continuous supply of oxygen through the air you breathe, you will die in a matter of minutes.
Inhaling oxygen cleanses the blood. When the body delivers the blood to the lungs, it arrives in a dark purple color due to the impurities it contains. When it leaves the lungs, it is bright red, having exchanged its poisons for oxygen. The carbonic acid is released when you exhale.
That’s why Leviticus 17:11 states, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (see also Genesis 9:4). The purer the bloodstream, the less likely a disease will be able to survive. Health is a matter of cause and effect. Elbert Hubbard once said, “Disease comes only to those who have been preparing for it.”
Whenever possible, step outside and breathe as deeply as you can. Even while inside, breathe deeply, expanding your lungs, and you will have more energy, more color and more alertness!
Exercise, especially outdoors, significantly increases the amount of fresh air your lungs take in. Just walking will increase oxygen intake threefold; vigorous exercise, even more!
Paul wrote that bodily exercise profits for a little while (1 Timothy 4:8). We need regular exercise and a continuous supply of fresh air for it to profit over the long haul.
Open the windows more. Spend as much time as possible outdoors (especially so for children). Breathe deeply and exercise regularly. Apply these simple maxims and you’ll not only strengthen your resistance to contagious bugs and common ailments, you’ll notice an immediate uplift in vibrance and energy.
2. Drink plenty of water.
Next to fresh air, there is no other element of creation more important to sustain life than pure water. Your blood is close to 80 percent water. When you take in a good supply of water, your blood volume increases and your circulation accelerates. More water then reaches waste matter, which is what we need for a good house cleaning!
Like oxygen, water cleans the body. After the water has served its purpose, it is discharged through the skin, the kidneys and the lungs.
Water also dissolves and transports nutrients, lubricates membranes, regulates body temperature and constitutes the structure of body cells and fluids.
In addition to the water God provides through rain and streams, we receive water through much of our food. Many fresh foods contain 15 to 90 percent water.
The problem with many Westerners is we simply do not drink enough fresh water or eat enough fresh foods, like fruits and vegetables.
The average American drinks more than 40 gallons of soft drinks per year, consuming preservatives, sugar, caffeine and other impurities rather than the pure, cleansing water that their bodies need.
Make the extra special effort to have a jug of ice water out at the work site, or a glass of it at the office. It makes a difference. Drink water—and plenty of it. And work to acquire the habit of abstaining from artificial drinks overloaded with sugar and caffeine. If you do, your energy level will shoot up and your body will be more apt to fend off infectious diseases and steer clear of terminal illnesses.
3. Eat the right foods.
Our Creator designed us to sustain our lives through eating food. When we keep the laws of health and nutrition, eating is good, wholesome and enjoyable. But we can easily use eating to instead satiate carnal desires and lusts. Too often we eat it because it tastes good.
Numbers 11:4-5 show that when the Israelites left Egypt, one of their first sins was lusting after food. This was a sin, and they were lusting for healthy food (fish, cucumbers, melons, onions).
At least 90 percent of all sickness and disease is either directly or indirectly related to what we eat! Yet most physicians do not tackle this cause of poor health.
Keep it simple. Listen to the Creator of the human body, rather than the opinions and commercials of doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Genesis 3:19 states, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
We came from dust—the ground. There are over 100 elements in the ground. Some of the elements are organic (living) matter. The human body is composed of 16 living elements. Those 16 elements are supplied by foods that grow from the ground. You grew from a tiny ovum to a full-size adult because of food from the ground. And your body is sustained when those 16 elements are replenished—again, through food from the ground.
Herbert W. Armstrong wrote, “So it is literally true that you are what you eat—and ‘dust you are.’ Since you are merely food converted into a human body and mind, is it not plain that whatever food you put into your mouth has a very great deal to do with what you are—and with your health or lack of it?” (Plain Truth, December 1967).
The 16 organic elements that comprise food come in two forms: acid and alkaline. Twelve of the elements are alkaline (like iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium). The other four elements are carbohydrates—the acid-reacting elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen).
Your body requires two to three times as much of the alkaline elements. But the average American eats two or three times as much of the acid (carbohydrates). He consumes more than 150 pounds of sugar per year and more than 100,000 milligrams of caffeine.
White flour, sugar and caffeine are only a few of the problems in the affluent Western diet. Certainly, a steady diet of greasy, fatty foods, or foods full of additives and preservatives, are also very harmful to healthful living. Hundreds of articles and books have been written on a variety of harmful food products. But surely, we could call white flour, sugar and caffeine the big three. If we could just cut way back on those three ingredients and use them only occasionally, in moderation, what a difference that would make! Instead of white flour, use whole wheat. Instead of sugar, use honey and eat fruit for desserts. Instead of caffeine, use oxygen for that lift. What a difference it would make.
If you have been consuming too much of the wrong types of foods—and most of us have—make a concerted effort to cut way back on those harmful ingredients. Expect temporary discomfort and suffering. You might feel sluggish or have a headache. But it will only last for a few days or maybe a few weeks, and you will soon be feeling much better—possessing more of the health your Creator designed you to enjoy!
Do You Have Time to Live?
You might be surprised to realize how many Americans depend on sugar, caffeine and nicotine to jump-start their day because they have “no time” to sit down and eat a healthy breakfast. Living life to the full does take time. It takes time to study what is required for good health. And it takes time to prepare healthy foods.
We owe it to ourselves, our children and most of all God to eat to live—not to live to eat junk. Eat foods that are fresh. (By fresh, I mean a food that would spoil if left out, as opposed to foods with long shelf lives due to the fact that they are filled with preservatives and other chemicals that are poisonous to the body.) Learn to appreciate the whole foods for their natural God-given flavor, not man-made inventions added to make everything taste really sweet, fatty or spicy.
Look forward to a more active, productive, radiant life in a matter of weeks! You’ll find that you will be more awake in the morning, be able to concentrate more through the day, will sleep better, and will get sick far less!
God blesses us for observing the laws of health. Why should we think healthy, vibrant living is impossible? “Health is within our reach,” Elbert Hubbard wrote. “It costs nothing—only the effort which soon grows into a pleasurable habit.”
Start today. Breathe deeper than you normally do. Drink one extra glass of water and one less caffeinated beverage. Go to the grocery produce aisle rather than the chip aisle. Your Creator designed you to live a full, vibrant, robust, active life. Follow His laws of health, and really live!