When we become more aware of how powerful our choices in the food we eat and lifestyle affect us—for better or for worse, then we can make changes.
People often think that advances in medicine must be a new drug, a new laser or a surgical intervention to be powerful—something really high tech and expensive. They often have a hard time believing that the simple choices we make in our lives each day—what we eat and drink, how we respond to stress, whether or not we smoke, how much we exercise and rest, and the quality of our relations with God and our fellow men—can make such a powerful difference in our health, our wellbeing and our survival.
When we become more aware of how powerful our choices in the food we eat and lifestyle affect us—for better or for worse, then we can make changes. It’s like connecting the dots. Once we are aware and understand the benefits of whole, plant-based food, we are not afraid to make big changes in our lives. Statistics show “as many as six percent of U.S. consumers say they are vegan—a 6x (500%) increase compared to just one percent in 2014.” 1
With each succeeding year, scientific research examining the link between diet and disease strengthens the argument in favor of plant-centered diets. Governments and health organizations around the world have begun promoting plant-based diets as supportive to human health. Evidence confirming the nutritional adequacy of well-planned vegetarian and plant-based diets has become too overwhelming to refute.
Dr. Mervyn Hardinge, the founding dean of the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University, has broad-based experience in the field of pharmacology, nutrition and health. He stated, “Attitude toward vegetarian diets have progressed from ridicule and skepticism to condescending tolerance, to gradual and sometimes grudging acceptance, and finally to acclaim.” 2
Why is that? In this advanced scientific age, people have become more aware that medicine is not giving total wellness or complete healing disease, but only managing symptoms. It is well documented that lifestyle diseases, including Type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, and other chronic diseases, often can be reversed by making lifestyle changes. How? By implementing a whole plant-based diet, predominantly made up of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, unrefined foods and nuts.
But what if you know how to take care of your health but haven’t brought people to the Water of Life? You are missing the key point.
I remember the story of Samaritan woman in John 4. When Jesus sat down by Jacob’s well, the Samaritan woman came seeking physical water. As she rushed back to town, forgetting her water pot, she carried with her the Living Water which gushes forth unto eternal life.
Let’s give people more than the temporal benefits of embracing their health. Let’s share with them, too, the Greatest Treasure, which is Jesus.
Yin Schaff, MS, CNP, is the Wisconsin Conference Health Ministries leader.