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Watch 2022 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Healing Foods of the Bible

John Bradshaw - Healing Foods of the Bible

John Bradshaw - Healing Foods of the Bible
John Bradshaw - Healing Foods of the Bible
TOPICS: Health

John Bradshaw: This is It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me today. Well, you know how it goes. You get sick. You need some help. You go to the doctor. And the doctor writes you a prescription. You take it to the pharmacy or to the drug store. You get your little bottle of magic. You take one three times a day, and given three or four or five days, you're back to good health. That's pretty typical for those of us living in the Western world. In Bible times, however, things were rather different. When we consider the Bible, we think of God as the Great Physician. And in the absence of cardiologists and rheumatologists and all the other ologists, people then had to deal with rudimentary methods of healing. Or they dealt with God, the Great Physician. Today, we're going to talk about healing foods of the Bible. The thought is that perhaps the Great Physician has given us medication that we can get at other places than the drugstore. Perhaps at the supermarket or right out of our garden. I'm being joined today by my special guest, Dr. John Westerdahl, a nutritionist from the Bragg Health Institute in Santa Barbara, southern California. Dr. Westerdahl, thank you for joining me today.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Great to be with you, John.

John Bradshaw: Now, this idea of health and the Christian anyway. Why does it matter that Christians look after their health, that believers in God should look after their health?

Dr. John Westerdahl: Well, you know, in the Bible it tells us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. In other words, we need to take care of it, not defile that temple, but take good care of it and put good things into it, is very important.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, but, but, I don't mind getting right into it, but it's my body. I can do whatever I want with it.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Well actually, we were bought with a price. Jesus dying on the cross for us. So it's not totally our body. God gave us this magnificent creation that we need to take care of.

John Bradshaw: As a matter of fact, it says right in that very verse you were referencing, "for you are not your own".

Dr. John Westerdahl: That's right.

John Bradshaw: So that idea that I can do whatever I want with my body because, after all, it's mine, it isn't yours really, is it?

Dr. John Westerdahl: It really isn't.

John Bradshaw: It belongs to God.

Dr. John Westerdahl: We inherited it from God.

John Bradshaw: Let me share a Bible verse here that I think is very relevant to what we're talking about. How about that? Turned right to the page.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Okay.

John Bradshaw: 3 John, verse 2. And John, who wrote Revelation and wrote the Gospels, he wrote the little Johns as well, three of them. 3 John 2: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth".

Dr. John Westerdahl: That's right. And it's connected. Because if we are healthy, we can communicate better with God. Our minds are clearer. We're enjoying life. It's kind of hard to be rejoicing all the time if you're sick. And by having good health, we're of clear mind, we can really enjoy a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

John Bradshaw: John made it very clear that there's a direct relationship between our physical health and our mental and spiritual health.

Dr. John Westerdahl: There really is. It's really a wholistic approach that the Bible's all about. Wholistic with a W. Body, mind and spirit, it is all related. And, and the things we're going to talk about today, the foods that we eat, have a direct relationship and helping us improve that health.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, this looks pretty good. I'm not sure whether to talk to you or just, just eat the set.

Dr. John Westerdahl: There's a lot food here to eat today, and all healthy.

John Bradshaw: Maybe a little bit of both. Well, it's interesting, isn't it, that the Bible talks so much about health? Why do you think that is?

Dr. John Westerdahl: This book, I believe, is one of the greatest books ever written on total wellness, preventive medicine, lifestyle medicine. God's concerned about our health. He wants us to be healthy. Within the pages of the Bible we see a lot of health principles given to us. So it's all there, and He wants us to take advantage of this so that we can live life more abundantly.

John Bradshaw: Now, you mentioned something just a moment ago. You said lifestyle medicine.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Yes.

John Bradshaw: Now, what's that?

Dr. John Westerdahl: Lifestyle medicine, it's a new, emerging type of medicine that's coming into our country today. There's actually what we call the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, where there are physicians who are specializing in treatment with lifestyle, diet, exercise, stress management, spiritual wellness, as opposed to using just medications. Not that they won't use medications for emergencies or as needed with patients. But, we are finding out more and more, that the foods that we eat are healing to our bodies. If we eat the right type of diet, we can prevent, treat, and even reverse many of the diseases that are killing us today.

John Bradshaw: Now, I have heard of people with diabetes...

Dr. John Westerdahl: Yes.

John Bradshaw: ...getting off their diabetes medications, and seeing their adult-onset diabetes going away. I've heard of people reversing heart disease. I, I must be responsible enough to say, perhaps this isn't possible for everybody.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Right.

John Bradshaw: But certainly for many people, there are some well-known physicians who have said that they can get, they can reverse heart disease without using medication in, in many instances. This is very exciting.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Yes, it is. And it's very well documented in medical literature. Lifestyle medicine, using lifestyle to treat diseases, to prevent diseases, and in many cases even reverse the diseases.

John Bradshaw: Now, it was Hippocrates that said, "Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food"

Dr. John Westerdahl: Yes.

John Bradshaw: If some of us were honest with ourselves, and we went into the pantry or the food cupboard at home, we'd say, well, you know, those chocolate cookies aren't going to be much in the way of medicine. So when Hippocrates said that, what foods was he referring to?

Dr. John Westerdahl: He was talking about natural, whole, unprocessed foods. That's what he promoted with his own patients. He used nutrition with his patients. He used lifestyle medicine.

John Bradshaw: You know, there are a lot of diets available today, and some of the well-known ones, South Beach, Atkins, Paleo, um, seafood, that is, see food and eat it.

Dr. John Westerdahl: That's right.

John Bradshaw: But what about this Mediterranean diet? You hear a lot about that. It's hyped as, or promoted as being very good. Is it very good? And if it is, why?

Dr. John Westerdahl: Well, the traditional Mediterranean diet is very good. And it is healing, uh, because it's a diet that's based on whole, unprocessed food, mostly from plant foods. The types of fat that you find in the Mediterranean diet are the healthier types of fats, in general, as compared to the high-saturated fats, high-cholesterol foods that we eat in the Western countries.

John Bradshaw: Well, there's a lot of food in front of us here, and I'm guessing that much of this is representative of the Mediterranean diet. I see figs, and I see dates, and I see grapes and raisins and grains, and good stuff. The healing foods of the Bible. We'll find out what they are specifically, and how they can be a blessing to you, with Dr. John Westerdahl, in just a moment.

John Bradshaw: This is It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me today. With me is Dr. John Westerdahl, a nutritionist from the Bragg Health Institute in Santa Barbara, California. And today we are talking about healing foods of the Bible. I'm interested in the idea that foods can actually heal, like medicine. So in front of us here, there's all kinds of different foods. Let's talk about what you have, and how and why it's healing.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Well, here you go. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. You've heard that.

John Bradshaw: That's good for, good for non-doctors, not so good for doctors though, I suppose.

Dr. John Westerdahl: That's right, because an apple is an amazing food, because when you eat these apples, you can lower your cholesterol. They are high in soluble fiber that actually binds cholesterol and helps you remove that from the body. And studies have shown that people who have a couple of apples a day in their diet can reduce their cholesterol by as much as 10 percent.

John Bradshaw: That's pretty good.

Dr. John Westerdahl: And the other amazing thing about apples is they're high in what we call polyphenol antioxidants. These are substances that are naturally occurring, primarily in the skin of the apple, that have anti-cancer properties, heart disease prevention properties. They prevent the oxidation or the aging of the cells in the body. There's some wonderful things. And, you know, this is true: an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

John Bradshaw: Very good. Apples. Wonderful. And an apple is certainly biblical. We read about apples in the Bible many, many times. Okay. A healing food of the Bible. What else we got?

Dr. John Westerdahl: So the next one is apricots. And, by the way, when you read in the Bible, when it talks about golden apples, it's probably an apricot. They're very rich in the, what we call carotinoids, beta keratin, which makes it that bright yellow color. These pigments that you find in apricots also have anti-cancer properties, and it's a great food for overall health. It's great, and delicious too.

John Bradshaw: Now, let me ask a question about color. You should eat foods of different colors, correct? And, if I'm right, why is that?

Dr. John Westerdahl: I recommend eating a rainbow of colors, of food, because all these different colors in food, God has put these colors in all these different foods, and they all have special benefits. The more colorful the diet, the better it is for you, as opposed to the white bread and the white sugar, and all those white refined foods, where all the color has been taken away. Well, a lot of those nutrients have been taken away. So most scientists and nutritionists will tell you to eat a colorful diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.

John Bradshaw: All right, good. Okay, what else we have?

Dr. John Westerdahl: The other is a Bible grain: barley. And barley, in the Holy Land and in the Middle East, is considered a heart medicine.

John Bradshaw: No kidding.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Amongst the common people. Because it is high in soluble fiber, which can actually help you lower your cholesterol. Barley has been shown to lower the bad type of cholesterol, what we call the LDL cholesterol, and actually help and increase the good cholesterol, the good-guy cholesterol, called HDL cholesterol. The high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

John Bradshaw: Now, isn't that also true of oats? Oatmeal.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Yes.

John Bradshaw: Porridge, where I grew up.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Oats is another grain that has some similar properties as far as cholesterol-lowering benefits.

John Bradshaw: So when the Bible was talking about barley, it was talking about something that didn't just make a good biblical point, but it was good for you.

Dr. John Westerdahl: It was. It is.

John Bradshaw: And can help to reverse significant disease.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Yes. And it's a very rich source of antioxidants, particularly what we call tocotrienols, which is related to vitamin E.

John Bradshaw: How do you eat barley? Many people are wondering, what do I do with this? Do I put it in a stew, do I fry it? Can I...

Dr. John Westerdahl: You could...

John Bradshaw: Can I bread it and deep fry it?

Dr. John Westerdahl: No, you don't want to do that!

John Bradshaw: All right.

Dr. John Westerdahl: But you can use it and make a flour with it, and use it in grains and different types of healthy bakery-type products. Also, just cooking barley up is really good. It's very good to add, just as a cereal. And you'll find, of course, barley a lot in vegetable soups.

John Bradshaw: What's next? What have we got?

Dr. John Westerdahl: Well, the next one is nature's candy: dates. Well, dates, of course, are very high in calories from natural sweets. But they're very high in nutrients as well, like potassium, magnesium. They're a very good source of dietary fiber. This is a healthier sweet than candy.

John Bradshaw: Healing foods of the Bible. So far, apples, they're good. Um, apricots, they're wonderful. Barley, that's good stuff. Dates, they're magnificent. This all tastes good. And it's extraordinarily good for you, even to the point of being healing. Healing foods of the Bible. We'll be back with more in just a moment.

John Bradshaw: This is It Is Written. Thanks for joining me today. In the Bible the wise man urged us to eat for strength. And the same book, the Holy Bible, reveals to us that there are healing foods, foods that you can eat that taste good and are good for you, even to the point of helping you combat some pretty significant diseases. Dr. John Westerdahl, tell me about some more healing foods of the Bible.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Well, another one is figs, and that can be dried like this, or also fresh. These figs are, of course, very sweet. They're almost like a candy as well. But they're a very good source of potassium. They're a very good source of the soluble fiber, to also lower your cholesterol. And they're a wonderful food. They can be incorporated in many different types of food.

John Bradshaw: Jesus cursed a fig tree, but I'm sure many times He ate figs and blessed other fig trees as well.

Dr. John Westerdahl: I believe He did.

John Bradshaw: These are real good things. Okay, so figs: biblical, good for you. What else?

Dr. John Westerdahl: And then garlic, one of my favorite vegetables. Garlic actually was a food and a medicine with the children of Israel long before Moses led them. And, uh, what's exciting about garlic is it's a heart-healthy food, been shown in a number of studies to help you lower your bad LDL cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol. It prevents blood clotting, has antibacterial properties, and is listed as one of the top anti-cancer foods.

John Bradshaw: Fantastic. I like that. All right.

Dr. John Westerdahl: And then we have grapes, and also raisins.

John Bradshaw: Do you think that grapes that were brought back from the Promised Land were that size, or a little bit bigger?

Dr. John Westerdahl: I think they were a lot bigger.

John Bradshaw: A little bigger.

Dr. John Westerdahl: And it's amazing how big some of these grapes are.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Dr. John Westerdahl: But grapes, uh, are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. One of the ones that we know of, particularly in the red grape, in the skins and even in the seeds, is resveratrol, which is considered a very healthy antioxidant that you find in grapes.

John Bradshaw: So, so far, you know, out of everything we've talked about, you have to cook the barley, and you probably wouldn't want to eat too much raw garlic, but all the rest of these things are not very expensive, some of them positively inexpensive, and they taste good.

Dr. John Westerdahl: And they taste good, and they add a lot of great flavor to food as well.

John Bradshaw: Now, there are many people who are not convinced that leafy green vegetables can taste good. I beg to differ. You've got there collard greens and curly kale.

Dr. John Westerdahl: That's right.

John Bradshaw: And spinach, by the look of it. And, you know, Popeye showed us, all you need to do is eat that stuff and get big muscles.

Dr. John Westerdahl: That's right. And the, in the Holy Land they ate a lot of green vegetables with their diet. And these things are high in antioxidants, they're high in lutein, which is the antioxidant that's good for your eyes, also. You can put it in different types of recipes and flavorful soups, and get all these healthy nutrients from the greens. And what's popular now is, a lot of people are putting these in smoothies, mixed with apple juice and a little bit of banana, and they're getting their greens in their diet that way, in a nice, flavorful way.

John Bradshaw: Drinking their greens.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Drinking their greens.

John Bradshaw: All right. Now, I know there's more. There are more healing foods of the Bible.

Dr. John Westerdahl: There's a lot more to share.

John Bradshaw: Okay, we'll be back with those healing foods of the Bible. We'll find out exactly what they are and how you can enjoy them and be blessed by them. More in a moment.

John Bradshaw: This is It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me. In the last couple of minutes, my guest, Dr. John Westerdahl, has rushed off to the grocery store and rushed back again, with more healing foods of the Bible. And they look great. I see hummus, and pistachios and honey, and olives; some of my favorite foods. How are these healing foods of the Bible?

Dr. John Westerdahl: Well, they're all great, and they're delicious and nutritious. And we're going to start off with the first ones, and these are beans, peas and lentils. These are the fava beans from the Holy Land that were used quite often, and the white beans that were used often in biblical times, as well as the lentils. And these beans, peas and lentils are very rich sources of vegetable protein, high levels of protein, without all that cholesterol and saturated fat you get from meat products and so forth. And, uh, they are also, one of the other benefits with this is they're high in the soluble fiber. So, not only do they have no cholesterol or saturated fat in them; they have a fiber that helps you lower your cholesterol, because of the soluble fiber.

John Bradshaw: Something about fibrous foods, too: you eat them and you feel more full than if you're eating foods that lack fiber and they're just kind of empty.

Dr. John Westerdahl: That's right. And the one thing they're finding out more in the research today is eating more beans is very helpful for diabetics trying to keep their blood sugar under control.

John Bradshaw: Correct.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Now, one of the foods that, uh, another type of bean, actually, a legume, is, is garbanzo beans. And, of course, you make hummus with them. And that's one of the traditional Bible foods, healing foods, that was used in ancient times as a, as a garnish, or a relish, I should say, to use with, like, that whole-wheat pita bread.

John Bradshaw: Now, in some places we call these chickpeas.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Yes. Chickpeas is another common name for them.

John Bradshaw: But as long as you can call the end product hummus, you're doing okay.

Dr. John Westerdahl: That's right.

John Bradshaw: This is fantastic stuff.

Dr. John Westerdahl: It really is.

John Bradshaw: Okay, and it's not hard to make. It's easy to find. Not too expensive to buy by any stretch of the imagination. Add to that some pita bread, and you're good to go.

Dr. John Westerdahl: You really are.

John Bradshaw: And this is good for you.

Dr. John Westerdahl: And it's good for you as well.

John Bradshaw: In Bible times, and in the Mediterranean part of the world, they eat this.

Dr. John Westerdahl: They eat that all the time. It's just, it's a staple.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm. Let's go to the next one.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Okay, the next one is a grain, and this is millet. When someone tells you they eat like a bird, they're probably eating millet, because that's what bird seed is.

Dr. John Westerdahl: But millet is used in many bread products. It's a grain in itself that you can cook up and make as a hot cereal. And it's a very good source of fiber, and provides some vegetable protein as well.

John Bradshaw: And what I can, what I can see here is that if somebody's eating stuff they know is just not real good, you can substitute some things out and some things in to take their place.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Yes.

John Bradshaw: And just simple changes result in really good benefits to the health.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Right. Getting the wide variety of foods is important. And, you know, choose the ones that you like, and try different recipes. Now, of course, since the Garden of Eden times, nuts were eaten all the time by, in the Middle East and in Bible times. You've got pistachios, as you mentioned, walnuts, almonds. All these were favorite nuts and are still used traditionally in the Mediterranean diet.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm. Very good for you, they taste wonderful. Walnuts loaded with Omega-3s, which are, uh...

Dr. John Westerdahl: Yes.

John Bradshaw: ...good in combatting cancer and other illnesses as well.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Yes. They have the healthy types of fat. And antioxidants, particularly vitamin E.

John Bradshaw: Great.

Dr. John Westerdahl: And, of course, there's olives and olive oil, when you think of the Mediterranean diet, is very important. All types of different olives were eaten. Olive oil, and olives, of course, have the heart-healthy type of fat. When you look for an olive oil, you want to make sure you get, ideally, organic, extra virgin olive oil. First cold press is really important. So it's a healthier type of fat, mono-unsaturated fat. And also with olive oil, you see this one here from Greece, has, you see it's cloudy. That means it's unfiltered and unrefined. Many of the olive oils you get in the market are filtered, so they're clear, but you're losing a lot of those important, healthful benefits when you, when you refine the olive oil.

John Bradshaw: I'll give this back to you. Is there a wrong way to use oil? I mean, should I deep-fry my candy bars in this, in this good, unfiltered Greek olive oil?

Dr. John Westerdahl: No, that would ruin this Greek olive oil. In fact, it would damage it and destroy a lot of the health properties that you find in it.

John Bradshaw: How should I eat this?

Dr. John Westerdahl: To use olive oil, first, cold pressed, lower temperatures like on your salad-type foods is very good. But if you do it with cooking, use it at low temperature cooking, because cooking high temperatures with oils really destroys it.

John Bradshaw: And clearly there's a way to eat that doesn't contribute to your overall well-being.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Right.

John Bradshaw: So that's why we're talking about healing foods of the Bible today. And these are all the good things.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Then we have leeks, and that's a famous Jewish food, right? And onions.

John Bradshaw: The Welsh love leeks.

Dr. John Westerdahl: And these have a lot of the similar properties that I mentioned earlier with garlic. They have antibacterial properties. They have heart-healthy properties. And, of course, the great thing about onions and leeks, they add great flavor to your recipe.

John Bradshaw: Oh yeah. They smell great.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Then comes pomegranate. And pomegranates are an anti-aging food that has become very popular lately. And what's nice, you can get the pomegranates and cut it open, try to get these little insides out. But now you can go to the grocery store, and they're all opened up for you, and you can buy them all peeled and all that for you.

Dr. John Westerdahl: And, of course, pomegranate juice is another concentrated way of getting it, and that's also very popular these days. Pomegranates are high in antioxidants, and particularly ellagic acid, which seems to have some anti-cancer properties as well as heart-health benefits as well.

John Bradshaw: Now, I see in front of you, you have wheats, and then bread, which is a product of wheat. So what is it about wheat that's particularly good for us?

Dr. John Westerdahl: Well, wheat has a lot of B complex vitamins. It has a lot of fiber. And you've got to get the whole wheat bread, and whole wheat, to make sure you get that fiber. And it has some other interesting antioxidants that can be beneficial to our heart health as well. And, of course, wheat provides a lot of good healthy calories to our diet.

John Bradshaw: What we know, just to reiterate here, a lot of people who are sick today wouldn't be if they had adopted a healthy diet earlier in their lives.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Yes.

John Bradshaw: So we're encouraging people today, to really preserve their health, eat well, live long, and prosper.

Dr. John Westerdahl: That's right.

John Bradshaw: All right, the Bible way.

Dr. John Westerdahl: The Bible way. And then we have honey. There's one thing the Bible talks аbout: a little bit of honey's good for you, but too much can make you sick. It adds a lot of great flavor sweetness to foods and your recipes, and putting on some food. But use it in moderation.

John Bradshaw: And in the Bible, God used honey as a symbol of good things. Even a symbol of his law. "Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb," we read in the word of God. Now, I'm fascinated because in the Bible there's actually a bread recipe.

Dr. John Westerdahl: There is.

John Bradshaw: No kidding. I'm going to read it. It's in Ezekiel, chapter 4. Ezekiel 4:9. "Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side". And he specifies those days. And the fitches is spelt, another grain. And we have it here. Lentils and millet and spelt and wheat and barley, and those beans there. And here's the bread. Uh, the recipe found in Ezekiel 4 and verse 9. Smells good, and it tastes great. Ezekiel 4:9. Who knew that God put a bread recipe right there in the Bible? Well, some did. Most people have no idea.

Dr. John Westerdahl: That's right.

John Bradshaw: And these are healing foods of the Bible.

Dr. John Westerdahl: They are, John. And we want to get as much of these types of, varieties of foods in our diet every day, so that we can enjoy good health and wellness.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm. It's important, too, because that's God's plan for us.

Dr. John Westerdahl: It is.

John Bradshaw: To live well in this world, to enjoy good health in this world, to fend off as many illnesses and diseases as we can. If we live longer, we have more time to donate and dedicate to God.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Correct.

John Bradshaw: If we live healthy, we have more energy to give to God. If we adopt God's diet, healthy body, healthier mind, we can hear God's voice better. Isn't that true?

Dr. John Westerdahl: That's right.

John Bradshaw: And Jesus, in John 10, verse 10, said one reason He came to this world is that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, not less. And too many of us are ripping ourselves off, because we're not eating the healing foods of the Bible. Dr. Westerdahl, thank you for joining me today. This has been a blessing.

Dr. John Westerdahl: Great being with you today, John.

John Bradshaw: And I'm hungry now.

Dr. John Westerdahl: I am too.

John Bradshaw: But let's pray, because some of us have got some work to do in our diet, and all of us want to enjoy the blessing of God. Let's thank Him for these healing foods of the Bible. Our Father in heaven, we are grateful, that You have put into these wonderful, natural things the very things we need to do well in this world. Right there on the shelves of the supermarket, or in the gardens that grow where we live, You have loaded into these wonderful things health and wellness, in such a way that it will bless us in this world and into the world to come. So guide and bless us, please. I want to thank You for providing that which You have provided, the healing foods of the Bible. May they bring healing and life to us. I pray with thanks in Jesus' name, amen. I'm glad you've joined us today. I look forward to seeing you again next time. Until then, remember: "It is written: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"
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