All life is a precious gift from a loving and grace-filled God (Gen. 2:7). Healthy, biblical, lifestyle principles are foundational to the Seventh-day Adventist health message and germane to who we are, and as Seventh-day Adventist leaders, we know how we should live.
Sometimes, however, knowledge does not equate into practice. As we move forward, I encourage you to live wisely beyond the pandemic, by following the health principles we all know well. “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2, NKJV).
Essential Nutrients and Immunity
- Needed for normal development of the immune system
- Helps keep immune system healthy
- Helps with the repair of DNA
- Stimulates production/activity of immune cells
- Antioxidant functions
A balanced vegetarian diet supplies all these needed nutrients.1
- Zinc – legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains
- Selenium – Brazil nuts, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, beans and lentils, eggs, sunflower seeds
- Iron – legumes, whole grains, nuts, leafy greens
- Copper – nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, avocados, leafy greens
- Folic acid – legumes, vegetables, fruits, wheat germ
- Vitamin A – leafy greens, bright-colored vegetables, yellow fruits, eggs
- Vitamin B6 – chickpeas, potatoes, carrots, bananas, edamame, spinach, avocados, green peas, tofu, pistachios
- Vitamin C – fresh fruit, especially citrus, papaya, apples, peaches, fresh vegetables, tomatoes, leafy greens, broccoli
- Vitamin D – safe exposure to sunshine daily, dairy, certain mushrooms, fortified foods and cereals; supplementation as needed to maintain healthy blood levels (at the discretion of your healthcare provider)
- Vitamin E – almonds, hazelnuts, wheat germ, mangoes, avocados, peanuts, spinach, soy foods, plant oils
- Vitamin B12 – For ovo-lacto vegetarians, dairy used as a condiment (modestly) is a good source. Total vegetarians (vegans) need to take a supplement – plant food is not a source of vitamin B 12
Note: Supplements should be taken in consultation with your healthcare provider – one should supplement what is deficient, not what can be adequately sourced in a healthy, balanced diet.
We Recommend Walking!
Ongoing research yields robust evidence that many health outcomes are improved by walking 8-10,000 steps per day. There is a clear and significant decrease in mortality and improves many health conditions including the prevention and control of diabetes type 2, maintaining weight loss, and delaying/preventing dementia onset.
“There is no exercise that can take the place of walking. By it the circulation of the blood is greatly improved. . . . Walking in all cases where it is possible, is the best remedy for diseased bodies, because in this exercise all of the organs of the body are brought into use” (3T 78).
- Exercise daily.
- Liquids: pure, fresh water
- Sunshine: careful, regular exposure
- Rest: seven to eight hours each night
- Fresh air
- Balanced nutrition
- Positive, informed choices
- Optimistic, hopeful outlook
- Positive supportive relationships and connectedness
- Trust in God—foundational
Monitor Your Health
- Know your numbers: weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol
- Act on your numbers
- Regular health checkups, at least annually
- Do not ignore symptoms
Regarding Covid Immunization
Sanitation, clean water and immunization have been key in improving longevity over the past century. As we witness the global magnitude of the pandemic, the deaths, disability, and long-term COVID-19 effects that are emerging in all age groups, we are encouraging (NOT mandating) our members to consider responsible immunization and the promotion and facilitation of the development of what is commonly termed herd immunity.2
“The decision to be immunized or not is the choice of each individual, and should be taken in consultation with one’s health-care provider. Personal research on the subject is important. We ultimately rely on following biblical health practices and the Spirit of Prophecy, and following God’s leading in our lives, which will bring us peace and assurance in our decision making.”3
1“The Nutrition Source: Nutrition and Immunity,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.Harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-and-immunity/
2Herd immunity is the pre-existing community immunity of approximately 80 percent of individuals as a result of previous infection and/or vaccination.
3From “COVID-19 Vaccines: Addressing Concerns, Offering Counsel,” GC Department of Health Ministries, Biblical Research Institute, Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy and School of Public Health, https://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story15816-covid-19-vaccines-addressing-concerns,-offering-counsel