You already know that some of today’s healthiest foods – olive oil, pomegranates, grapes – were a staple in the Bible. Jesus ate fish more than once for sure (Luke 24:42-43). The Bible has weird accounts involving food too – like when God asked Ezekiel to bake bread on a fire lit by dried human excrement (Ezekiel 4:10-17). Unlike the rare refills miraculously provided to Elisha and the Widow in 2nd Kings, here are 4 foods common in the Bible.
Fruits, nuts and vegetables
Jeremiah, Nehemiah and Jesus all made references to figs. Four days before his crucifixion, Jesus cursed a fig tree on his way back to the city after noticing that it hadn’t borne any fruit. The Bible suggests that the fig tree had great social and economic benefits to the Israelites as the prophets would warn Israelites that their vines would be destroyed.
Fun fact: Did you know that the fig was the first fruit to be mentioned by name in the Bible?
In Genesis 3:7, Adam and Eve covered their nakedness (after eating the forbidden fruit) with sewed fig leaves.
Grapes without doubt are the most mentioned fruits in the Bible. Except for their products – wine, raisins and vinegar – all other parts of the vine are worthless and this is what Ezekiel 15 speaks of. Vines should be pruned periodically for optimum yield. The phrase “prune a vine” is metaphorically used in the Bible to refer to cleansing. In fact, the words prune and cleanse have the same meaning in Greek
Herbs and spices
Aloe vera – in John 19:39, Nicodemus brought about seventy-five pounds of myrrh and Aloe. Traditionally, it was a perfume used in embalming the dead. Today, this succulent herb finds application in the beauty industry especially in acne creams and in sunscreen. Internally, it’s rumored to relive constipation, stomach upsets and heartburn. Psalms 45:8 suggests that Aloe was used as a perfume too.
Scholars argue out that the bitter herbs featured in the Passover were lettuce, horehound and coriander seeds – though there’s no substantial evidence backing these claims. Today, nutritionists recommend them for treating joint pain and urinary tract infections. Cook and Brown features creative recipes.
Healthy grains were a staple in the Bible times with wheat being used to make bread referenced in almost all books. Flour and corn were featured in 1st kings and in 2nd Samuel too. The unleavened bread in Exodus and in Genesis was certainly made from wheat too. Both leavened and unleavened bread were eaten in the Easter period too.
Jesus fed 5,000 men with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. However, not all seafood was clean for eating. According to the exhaustive list in Leviticus 11:9, only fish that had scales and fins were considered clean. With technological advancements, we’ve come to learn that tuna is rich in protein and that cord liver oil promotes heathy brain development.