Inflammation is at the root of disease. Medical studies have shown that a low inflammatory diet reduces the risk of illnesses like Heart Disease, Diabetes, Stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Dementia, and cancers. The Mediterranean diet is a low inflammatory diet that has been shown to reduce the risk of disease and consist of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes, and fruits.
The Mediterranean diet is low in saturated fat and replaces butter with healthy fats like olive oil. It is high in plant-based foods and limits red meat. If you have been following this blog, you may remember the medical study that took blood samples from research participants eating different diets looking at inflammatory blood markers. The study found that a diet high in sugar/simple carbohydrates, red meat and fried foods increased inflammation in the body. It is clear that our diet is a contributing factor to inflammation and the risk of disease. I believe that inflammation is also at the root of increase gut permeability which many are linking to disease as well. So many of us have heard how important a good diet is but why is obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other diseases on the rise?
I believe stress and our fast pace American lifestyle is a big contributing factor with emotional health close behind. Everyday, I see patients in my office with multiple physical complaints which can be traced back to stress and anxiety. At the very core of stress and anxiety is fear. Fear drives us to work too much, eat too much, drink too much, hurt others around us, become jealous of one another, hate one another, and run to multiple physicians (alternative and main stream) seeking health.
The fear of lack drives us to work long hours not getting enough rest. Fear of man drives us to hate those who don’t look or talk like us. Fear of not being accepted, can either drive us to seclusion or drive us to say “yes” to everything people ask us to do even if it drives us to exhaustion. Jealousy is also rooted in the fear, the fear of lack or loss. Synonyms for jealousy include envy, resentment, bitterness, spite, suspicion, distrust, mistrust, insecurity, and anxiety. Lastly, fear of sickness and death drives us to the doctor and to google researching every symptom and the related disease. Going to the doctor is not a bad thing, but many people are obsessed with every ache and pain. Fear of sickness and death drives many to spend thousands on medical and emergency room visit, alternative medicine and treatment, supplements, naturopathic medication, and diet plans.
As a medical provider, I see more and more patients with multiple complaints requiring labs and diagnostic test to rule out. Most of the times the labs and test are normal and can be traced back to poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, and emotional unrest. The biggest complaint I hear from my patients is “I am so tired” or “I have no energy”. Again as I dig deeper into their fatigue, it almost always points to unhealthy thought life, poor diet, and stress. Our emotions are very powerful and affect our well-being. If I am in a state of worry or stress all the time, it will eventually cause physical illness. The opposite is also true, that if I have happy or faith-filled thoughts, I will have peace in my inner being and will have health in my body. When I am stressed out and tired, I more likely to make poor life choices. So what is the answer?
Perfect love is the answer.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
There is only one who loves us perfectly. He is the one who created us in His image and who calls us by name–God. He knows our every need and wants to be involved in our day-to-day affairs. He also is Jehovah Raphe the God who heals. Sadly, very few of us are running to Him before running to the doctor or google. Asa was one of the Kings of Judah who sought the Lord and had the people do the same. Under his reign, there was peace in the land. The bible says that the heart of Asa was blameless all his days (2 Chronicle 15:17). In chapter 16 of 2 Chronicles, we read that the Baasha the king of Israel came up against Judah. Instead of seeking help from the Lord, he sought help from the Syrian King through a treaty. The Syrian King agreed to the treaty and took on the army of King Baasha defeating them. Hanani the seer (Prophet) came to Asa letting him know that he had done foolishly in this matter because he did not seek the Lord in his decision to make a treaty with the Syrian King. Hanani reminded him that the Lord had always fought his battles and had given him success. The Lord told Asa that because he did not seek Him in this matter that he would always have wars. I wonder if fear drove Asa to make this bad decision. Asa got angry with the seer and put him in prison and he oppressed some of the people as well. Then we are told something very interesting in verse 12–
2 Chronicles 16:12
In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet–until his disease became very severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but relied on the physicians.
How many of us do just this very thing? We don’t seek the Lord for direction in our physical health.
Do not be wise in your own eye; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Anger kept Asa from seeking the Lord for healing. His anger also caused him to hurt others. Could his anger contributed to his illness? A question to ponder. I wonder if he did not seek the Lord for healing because he was punishing himself. Fear involves punishment. I believe that if he had turn to the perfect love of God, that the Lord would have restored his health. We see the heart of the Father through Jesus. Jesus healed everyone who came to Him. In our current Christian culture, we rarely run to Jesus for healing or for direction in our day-to-day life. Many constantly worry about getting sick or having disease. This constant worry is tormenting. Sadly, I am guilty of not seeking him for my own healing as well. I am deaf in my right ear and I have a ringing in the left. I sought the Lord at first but when healing did not come immediately, I stopped seeking his help. We should ask the Lord for direction in our healing. He may direct us to a doctor or to stop eating sugar. He may send us to wash in a river seven times. His ways are perfect. Let His perfect love drive out all your fears. Let His perfect love heal you in mind, body, and spirit. He is faithful and trustworthy and He will not fail you.