True Health Reform

True Health Reform–What Is It?

Question No. 261:

Does not one meet the full demands of “health reform” when he discards from his table all foodstuffs pronounced unclean by the Bible? {8SC1-12: 21.2.2}


The term “health reform” means more than abstaining from the use of such foods as the Lord pronounces unclean for human consumption (Lev. 11; Isa. 66:16). Abstention from forbidden foods is but the negative phase of the science. It is the forbidden tree in the garden of today. In its positive and more important phase, it teaches intelligent selection of foods–the clean or forbidden foods which are the most nourishing, which agree best with us, and which will give us the most of the nourishment we need. {8SC1-12: 21.2.3}

No one, however, can prescribe a diet to meet the differing needs of all; for as the countenances of individuals differ, so do their constitutions. Hence, what may be beneficial to one, may be harmful to another, especially so now in this sin-deteriorated generation: for example, an individual whose system is hyperhydrochloric should drink some water with his meals to neutralize somewhat the excessive flow of acid, while, contrariwise, one whose system is hypohydrochloric, should not drink water with his meals, lest he further reduce the strength of the acid by dilution. When, however, one’s condition is normal, water may be drunk about two hours after meals. {8SC1-12: 21.2.4}

In another case, if one’s metabolism is too rapid, slowly digesting foods can be used to help establish normalcy, but if one’s metabolism is sluggish and retarded, slow digesting foods may aggravate his condition. {8SC1-12: 21.2.5}

Likewise, if a stomach in a weakened condition cannot handle the coarse whole grain products, they should give place to refined or semi-refined ones. It should always, however, be remembered that a refined product is deficient both in nutriment and in roughage, and that the deficiency must be compensated for in some other way. One may, for example, make up for the laxative deficiency, caused by insufficient roughage, by using dates, figs, prunes, and the like, and he may make up for the nutritional deficiency by drinking the water from soaked bran or from some other soaked grain, or by taking vegetable broth and especially juices. These supplemental nutritives, though not wholly making up for the nutriment in a proper intake of whole foods, do provide maximum compensation. {8SC1-12: 21.2.6}

Going further into the remedial side of the subject, some may avoid the use of the harmful purgative drugs by using whey, some by using sauerkraut juice, others condensed milk or hot lemonade, still others the natural hydrogels (such as agar, psyllium seed, and the like), while the majority may get results by the use of any of these. {8SC1-12: 22.1.1}

The sum of the whole matter, then, is that a true health reformer eats, drinks, and clothes himself for better health, “for strength, and not for drunkenness” (Eccles. 10:17). He constantly studies how to live for better fitness and thus for more efficient service in the Lord’s vineyard, and not for self-indulgence and self-serving. {8SC1-12: 22.1.2}

The cause of health reform has been greatly injured, and its advance almost halted, by faddists on the one hand and gluttons on the other. And perhaps the former have done the greater harm of the two. Let us therefore pray for grace and wisdom to strike a balance between these two extremes. {8SC1-12: 22.1.3}

The need for health reform in its proper perspective becomes doubly urgent to us when we realize that nowhere does the importance of the proper use of our time show to greater advantage than at our meal periods. To bolt our food on any occasion, under pressure of time-saving, is false economy. And giving way habitually to this temptation is a sign of uncontrolled appetite, the continued indulgence of which must eventually wreck the strongest constitution, physically, mentally, and morally. One simply cannot save time at the expense of health, and cannot develop high morals giving way to intemperate eating. When only a few moments are available for lunching, a few bites of food thoroughly masticated, are beneficial, whereas a full amount gulped down in a wolfish manner is not only positively brutish but also positively harmful. {8SC1-12: 22.1.4}

It is likewise nothing short of abuse if we eat while under mental stress or nervous tension. Only when the mind is free from anxiety and is surrounded with an atmosphere of cheerfulness, can one realize the full benefit of a meal and sustain no harmful effect. {8SC1-12: 22.1.5}

Amazing indeed are the twisted mental processes of the sinful human mind! For example, when one should be in haste, he is not; and when he should not be in haste, he is! Ironically, the former evil is peculiar to the job, and the latter to the table–the heart of health. It is with this latter evil that we are here concerned. Reform on it will compel one to attach as much importance to the chewing of his food as to the digesting of it, and he will accordingly no more deprive his mouth of the time required for mastication than nature would deprive the stomach of the time required for digestion. Indeed, it is imperative that both be properly maintained. How essential, then, that the mastication as well as the digestion be trouble-free. {8SC1-12: 22.1.6}

The time spent in masticating should be governed by the flow of the saliva. Let the food be thoroughly salivated, for as we have seen, the result of compelling the stomach to handle it unsalivated is indigestion. So to eat fast at meals is to deprive the stomach of its proper chemical action. This delicate balance is easily disturbed when the food does not receive the right amount of saliva to blend perfectly with the gastric juices. Ignoring this principle will cause a vicious circle, and a preponderance of hydrochloric acid, and in turn bring a long train of woeful results: fermentation, irritation, constipation, abdominal disturbances, belching of gas, bad breath, ulcers, malnutrition–ill health. {8SC1-12: 22.2.1}

“Meal-time should be a season for social intercourse and refreshment. Everything that can burden or irritate should be banished. Let trust and kindliness and gratitude to the Giver of all good be cherished, and the conversation will be cheerful, a pleasant flow of thought that will uplift without wearying.”–Education, p. 206. {8SC1-12: 22.2.2}

Again: time spent in catching a few bites here and there, promiscuously between meals, is worse than wasted. {8SC1-12: 22.2.3}

Some will have to muster more than average will-power, and summon supernatural assistance, to gain victory on this front, and all must pray constantly to this end. No one can enjoy perfect health and experience maximum happiness by living on cooked food altogether. To get the fullest joy out of life, one must have the fullest development of the physical powers, and to gain this desideratum one cannot discount the importance of the daily use of the raw foods, particularly the leafy and other vegetables. Fruit cannot take the place of vegetables. {8SC1-12: 22.2.4}

The human family of this present generation are suffering more and more ill health in direct proportion to their decreasing use of the raw vegetables. Some have already gone so far in this way of wrong living, that even if they would now completely reform and start using all the greens they could eat, they could only with the greatest difficulty compensate for the nutrition lost. The best they could possibly do in such a case would be to utilize these neglected elements in their most concentrated form. This they can do best by availing themselves of the raw vegetable juices. The Health Page of the next issue of the Code will include some featured formulas for the convenient, inexpensive home manufacture of these palatable and vital liquids. {8SC1-12: 22.2.5}

Watch for them! {8SC1-12: 22.2.6}