Imagine the next time your car got low on gas, you decided to fill up by dumping a 2-liter bottle of Coke and a melted gallon of ice cream into the tank.
You know your car needs a certain kind of fuel to run correctly. But what about our physical bodies? We fuel our bodies every day. Many people, however, think about “filling up” with whatever tastes good, and fail to consider whether it is actually the right kind of fuel.
Why is good nutrition important? Why should we study it? Why should we practice good nutritional habits—and why today?
Honestly considering these questions is important in order to build and sustain the motivation to learn and practice the principles of good nutrition.
1. For Yourself
One of the most obvious reasons to get good nutrition is to feel better and look better. Good nutrition leads to being more productive and more efficient, doing things faster, thinking more clearly, being more alert and energetic. It can also lead to simply looking better—having good coloring, shiny hair, whiter teeth, brighter eyes, clearer complexion, appropriate weight, better muscle definition.
This combination of benefits can potentially lead to a whole slew of other benefits: more focused prayer and study, fewer sick days, a better job, higher wages, greater achievements.
Herbert W. Armstrong listed good health as the third law of success in The Seven Laws of Success. “If the bellows we call lungs do not keep inhaling and exhaling the oxygen-containing air, man won’t live to achieve any goal,” he wrote. Failing health can limit you in accomplishing your goals (though God can use health trials to accomplish great things spiritually).
In that booklet, Mr. Armstrong stressed the importance of right diet, as well as other laws of health such as sufficient sleep, exercise, plenty of fresh air, cleanliness and proper elimination, right thinking, and clean living.
2. For Your Family
It’s important to be educated in how to feed our families. Many women cannot feed their families well simply because they don’t know how. Others know intellectually, but they have never practiced it—so generally they simply do what they’re familiar with.
The sooner in life we can learn and practice good habits, the better. Even if you are single, it is still very important. If you are blessed with family later in life, the good habits you establish as a single will be a blessing to your future family in a multitude of ways. The more you learn and practice now, the easier it will be to establish your future family on a good foundation.
For the most part, it is the wife’s responsibility to feed her husband and children. Her habits—even those she develops as a single—have a huge impact on their health, happiness and future success in life.
Providing good nutrition for your family means you’ll have a healthier husband. If he feels good, he is more likely to remain actively engaged with the family, to be better able to fulfill his role as a protector and provider, and even to be more playful and fun. How many men have been limited in how well they can provide because of physical sickliness, exhaustion or injury? How many men have lost jobs because of poor general health?
This is a huge responsibility! Every child’s foundation of health is laid before pregnancy, and continues through pregnancy and childhood. Eating healthy when young prepares the body physically for pregnancy and bearing children. Pregnancy takes a lot out of you. It is vitally important to start with a good foundation—especially if you struggle with morning sickness during pregnancy. Much of what a baby takes while in the womb is from your reserves—your bones, your organs, etc. Having a well-nourished foundation is of prime importance, and the sooner that preparation starts, the better.
As your children grow, your example will do much to establish their eating habits. (Did you know that many “hereditary” problems are not actually hereditary? They simply occur because children eat the same way their parents do.)
The blessings of healthy children are endless. Caring for sick children consumes a lot of time and money, and it is exhausting. Anything you can do to give your children the best start in life is well worth your investment. And that is exactly what it is: an investment.
In a future article, we’ll look at some spiritual reasons why good nutrition is so important.