Health to thy Navel, Marrow to thy bones
- Proverbs 3:8
Dr. Kyle D. Christensen, DC, ND, MH
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, taught over 2000 years ago that "all disease begins in the gut". This sentiment is also echoed by the writer of Proverbs, in that we can be blessed with Health in thy navel - or in other words - good digestion. Additionally, we should enjoy marrow to our bones - or a healthy immune system - as the marrow is the producer of blood cells.
Sadly in America, when it comes to food, our focus is more on taste than digestion or nutrition. We have all fallen victim to advertisers for the food manufacturing industry who tempt us towards foods that can rob us of "health in our navel and marrow in our bones".
There are intense battles raging for our dollar. And it seems to me that many in the food industry will do anything they can to get it. Just as much of the medical industry is more interested in managing illness - rather than curing it (diabetes, heart disease, etc.), likewise the food industry is more interested in getting you hooked on their product.
The most simple and direct way to get you to purchase and repurchase their wares, is to create an addiction or chemical dependency. This can be done with caffeine (soda pop and energy drinks) or with good old fashioned sugar.
Understand this about sugar. Because God loves us, he gave us taste buds. (Thank you, thank you, dear Lord!) And some of these taste buds are designed specifically to taste sweetness. In his brilliance, these sugar-tasting buds are wired directly to the pleasure centers in the brain. So when something sweet goes in the mouth, the brain oohs and ahhs with delight.
Because taste is a God-given blessing, He has provided us with the perfect foods for sweetness. Foods such as raw honey and fruit. These foods contain natural sugars but also vitamins, enzymes, minerals and are truly healthy for our bodies. On the other hand, it seems that for everything that is good, there’s a counterfeit. If Gods healthy foods for sweetness is honey and fruit, then the counterfeit would be processed sugars or sweeteners. They have the taste we are designed to love, but do not have the healthy nutrients we need. And in many cases contain harmful substances classified as "Excitotoxins" that overstimulate and damage the nervous system.
It seems to me, that the path to health is a natural one. We live in a world of shortcuts and quick fixes. These approaches are usually dressed up in fancy and attractive packaging, but they are as Christ described "whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness."(Matthew 23:27).
We have learned that our taste buds can become damaged and distorted if fed a diet of chemicals and stimulants. Changing dietary tastes and preferences can be as difficult as getting a habitual coffee drinker to enjoy the subtle nuances and complexities of an herbal tea. When exposed to and acclimated to unnatural food products, we sacrifice sensitivities to our tastes as well as our health. Not only physical health, but mental, emotional and I believe spiritual health as well.
God, in His infinite wisdom, has blessed us with symptoms. Sensations in our body that things are amiss. Of course, a symptom such as pain, or gas, or diarrhea or headaches or a rash are not pleasant, but how else is your body going to get your attention. The good news is that for most of us, simple course corrections in your lifestyle can turn things around. I said SIMPLE, not necessarily easy.
Listen to your digestive tract. Is it healthy? Are you feeding your body what IT needs or is your total focus on taste buds that have become distorted through sensational stimulants, such as high fructose corn syrup, and the plethora of chemical additives and flavor enhancers? Do you experience constipation, diarrhea or urinary urgency?
How's your immune system? Do you wake up each morning with energy? Do you suffer from frequent infectious illnesses (colds, flu, etc.)? Do you experience allergies?
If so, rather than taking something to soothe each symptom, consider healing and rebuilding the digestive tract. I've written about how to do this so much you may be getting tired of it, but in a nutshell, here it is again. Eat whole natural foods. Foods that could have been served from your great grandmothers table (that was in the days before food additives and processed foods). Re-mineralize your gut with foods such as bone broths and gelatins. Reestablish the good bacteria through food sources of probiotics such as sauerkrauts, yogurt, kefir, sourdough, kombucha and kvass. Gain a testimony or a spiritual witness of how and what you should eat. View the healing of your body as part of your spiritual journey and devotion to God.
Strengthen your immune system through herbs and mild foods (foods that are very digestible). Avoid processed sweets - which depress and ravage the immune system. Eat sweets, but only healthy ones. Make your own homemade chocolate - which by the way is better than anything you can find that is commercially manufactured.
As you are willing to take steps toward spiritual maturity, treating your body with the reverence and respect it deserves, you will be blessed with health in your navel and marrow in your bones. Healthy Gut, Healthy Immune System.
Dr. Kyle Christensen
July 29, 2014