Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2
In John’s letter to his close friend, the first concern that John expressed was the hope that Gaius’ physical health equaled his spiritual health. Gaius was living faithfully according to the truth, which indicated that he possessed excellent mental and spiritual health.
There is a relationship between the mind and the body; it is one of co-dependence. A healthy mind usually produces a well-maintained body that enables us to have a productive life. And optimal physical health empowers us to achieve the highest level of mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The WHO states that “there is no health without mental health.”
Our bodies are interdependent; all internal systems function in a perfect state of homeostasis unless disease processes exist. Most chronic illnesses such as Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Hypertension are a direct result of inadequate or unhealthy nutritional intake. There are exceptions such as congenital defects, and diseases that arise secondary to adverse reactions from prescribed medications or other co-morbidities.
Another collaborative relationship exists between proper nutrition and the strength and functioning of our Immune System. In 1997, RK Chandra published an article, Nutrition, and the Immune System: An Introduction, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. According to Chandra (1997), the Immune System depends on dietary intake and proper nutritional status to function effectively against disease.
To translate in simple terms, we have been aware since 1997 that eating healthy keeps our Immune System in peak performance to battle against diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, etc. While there are no guarantees, we do know that fast food, high calorie, high sodium, and sugary foods are junk foods that contain little to zero nutrients, produce insulin resistance- a precursor of Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart disease.
We will not ask why the education of healthy foods/nutrition has not been the primary focus until the last decade. Nor will we wonder why eating healthy has not been emphasized as a measure to boost our Immune Systems during this pandemic. No, we will not criticize or place the blame on others, we will empower ourselves by researching credible websites and learn the needful nutritional required to strengthen our Immune systems.
The following are some easy to research questions on dietary foods.
- What is the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables?
- Name 3 green leafy vegetables.
- Name 1 vegetable from each color group- red, orange, and yellow.
- How much is considered a serving size of fruit?
- Which lettuce has the lowest nutritional value?
- True or False Nuts are an incomplete protein.
- True or False Cows milk is necessary for the growth and development of children
- True or False Beans, legumes, and fish are part of a plant-based diet.
- True or False “My Plate” has replaced the traditional Food Pyramid.
- True or False The Food and Drug Administration has provided Americans with food guides and food pyramids.
Disclaimer: If you have congenital or chronic diseases and take prescription medications, Call your Primary Care Provider (your Doctor) before making any changes in your diet.
Of course, we believe in God, and we will pray daily for His protection from COVID-19 and other diseases. We will pray for the physical healing of those who are battling the infection from the coronavirus. We will pray for God to place a hedge of protection around all frontline workers regardless of their occupation. And we will pray for God to give us the strength to change our diets and care for our bodies.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Corinthians 6:19
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020
Links to pertinent nutritional information:
Promoting mental health: concepts, emerging evidence, practice: summary report / a report from the World Health Organization, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in collaboration with the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), and the University of Melbourne. (2004).
Chandra R.K. (1997). Nutrition and the immune system: an introduction. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Aug;66(2):460S-463S.