HFE Magazine

December 15, 2017

The Surprising Links Between Faith and Health

Filed under: Health Food Emporium — Tags: — Gail @ 10:51 am

Faith and Health

by Rob Moll

If religious faith could be packaged in a pill, the stock price of drug companies would soar. Religion, not merely spirituality, is a profound predictor of health. Spiritual practices can reduce blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, and help stave off some effects of mental illness about as well as many drugs on the market. In fact, the lack of religiosity is about as unhealthy as 40 years of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. If you care about your health, you might want to start going to church and praying regularly.

Consider these five ways that faith is really good for you.

By rob moll

If religious faith could be packaged in a pill, the stock price of drug companies would soar. Religion, not merely spirituality, is a profound predictor of health. Spiritual practices can reduce blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, and help stave off some effects of mental illness about as well as many drugs on the market. In fact, the lack of religiosity is about as unhealthy as 40 years of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. If you care about your health, you might want to start going to church and praying regularly.

Consider these five ways that faith is really good for you.

Faith encourages healthy behavior.
“don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t chew, and don’t go with girls who do.” even the fundamentalist Christian high school I attended considered that line outdated. Nevertheless, the effect of behavioral change due to religion literally reduces your chances of dying. Your faith community may not encourage you to eat organic, non-gmo, plant-based, local and slow foods, but it probably still exercises some healthy influence on the habits you form and the activities you undertake.

I discovered a stark example visiting the work of a Christian microfinance agency in Cambodia. Microfinance aims to help people out of poverty by giving small loans to start small businesses. But the loan client I met, a fisherman, told me that what really helped him was learning discipline through the small group of loan clients he regularly met with. Many of them were Christians, so he became one too. They helped him stop drinking, which ended the damaging home environment for his wife and children. Religion didn’t fix his life and help him out of poverty. But through regular exposure to a group with healthier lifestyles and habits, faith created an environment to make that happen in his own life.

Faith reduces stress.
Stress has a direct negative effect on your immune system, reducing the ability of cells to attack disease inside the body. Studies have shown that religion reduces stress in a number of ways. Prayer, in particular, can reduce high blood pressure that is due to stress. The anxieties and stresses of modern life tend to encourage the body’s fight or flight response. Prayer, worship and other spiritual activities can balance out this stress response by enhancing the body’s relaxation response.

In addition, people who are religious tend to think in ways that are healthy. Faith gives people a sense of meaning and purpose in life, which is linked to better health. The brain controls every aspect of our bodies, so how we think affects how our bodies work. In a similar way, religious people tend to be affected less by depression. Of course, real, faith-filled Christians still suffer from depression and other forms of mental illness. But while faith is certainly no cure for any mental illness, it does seem to offer an additional buffer against its worst effects.

Community improves emotional health
Having friends is good for you. Having religious friends is even better. In fact, one study found that “church membership was the only type of social involvement that predicted greater life satisfaction and happiness,” according to Harold Koenig, the director of the Center for Spirituality at Duke University. (he writes about all these studies in his book, medicine, religion, and health.)

Another study found the same effects from informal social interactions with church friends—but not other friendships. Another study among older adults in Iowa found that frequent church attenders where 68 percent less likely to die over a 12 year period. The bonds we form as Christ-followers provide us with more than just a social calendar. They are a vital web that sustains our health through rich relationships that improve both psychological and emotional well-being.

Helping others improves life satisfaction
Faith makes you healthier by providing you a community more willing to help you when life is difficult. Christians created the world’s first hospitals, and professional health care has long been essential to missions and ministry to the poor. But if you don’t find yourself seated among nurses or doctors in the pew, never fear. Faith’s greater health benefit comes to those who help. People who tithe, or give away 10 percent of their income, are on average 10 percentage points more likely to be very happy with their lives, according to sociologist Christian Smith.

One study sought to determine which of two different methods would better help people who suffer from multiple sclerosis, but they found that ms sufferers who were providing help, not just receiving it, were actually the ones to benefit the most. Since religious people are more likely to give money to charity and to volunteer, they are also more likely to experience the health benefits of helping others.

Space for the miraculous
We need not doubt the fact that God heals, sometimes in miraculous ways. More than three quarters of Americans believe that prayer can heal people from injury or illnesses. In a survey, the same number of doctors said that they believe in miraculous healings. In many cases, the truth of Christianity has been put to the test of its miraculous effects and found to be genuine. This was true in 9th century Egypt when one monk claimed that he knew of no one who had become a Christian “except for proofs which they have witnessed, signs which they have known, and miracles which they have recognized, which compelled them to submit to it and practice it.”

Today the same is true in many places. In China, 80 to 90 percent of converts claim to have converted due to divine healing. In Brazil, more Pentecostal Christians claim to have experienced healing than to have spoken in tongues. Whether through prayer, laying on of hands, or some other miraculous intervention, those who claim faith can find in God health for both body and soul.

Some have suggested that miraculous healings are actually a sign of a “placebo effect” in which Christian belief motivates the body to faster healing—and, it’s true, many studies have shown a positive correlation between optimistic outlook and effective recovery. But whether through placebo effect, divine intervention or, perhaps, some combination we do not entirely understand, the truth remains: there are health benefits to believing that God has control over your health.

We need to exercise caution when trumpeting the benefits of faith, as faith was never intended to be a pill and the Bible is not an exercise pamphlet. Faithful, believing Christians get sick and lead lives plagued by disease or physical ailments (many scholars believe the apostle Paul himself spent his life battling some sort of physical handicap). But if we believe that God’s authority stretches to the physical as well as the spiritual, then we can accept that he can manifest that authority in our physical health as well as our spiritual health.

November 10, 2017

Mushrooms and the Immune System

Mushrooms may boost the body’s natural immune system from The Medical News 6 The potential for mushrooms to fight influenza is being examined following United States research suggesting the body’s natural immune response against viral infections and tumours is boosted through the consumption of white button mushrooms. Tufts University laboratory research published in The Journal […]

November 9, 2017

Why Vitamins Should be Fermented

Jordan Rubin studied fermented foods in the late 1990s after a near-terminal bout with inflammatory Crohn’s disease in which he was healed only after learning about the secret of fermented foods, and his original line of vitamins, Living Multi, was a fermented formula. Today, Jordan is still working on a line of fermented herbs that […]

November 6, 2017

Health Food Emporium Announces a Sale on New Chapter

by Gail Bowman Health Food Emporium is having a sale on all New Chapter products for the month of November! Click on this link and receive the discount when the item is added to the cart. No need for a coupon code! Turmeric has been found to be one of the most effective herbs in […]

October 18, 2017

Whole Food Vitamins for Kids

Decades ago, choosy Moms worried about selecting the best brand of peanut butter for their kids, but current trends show that today’s parents are more concerned with their children’s health and nutrition. Because multivitamins are essential to providing kids with essential nutrients and minerals they need to thrive, Garden of Life, a leading innovator in […]

October 17, 2017

Raw Once a Day Vitamin

GARDEN OF LIFE BUILDS ON THE VITAMIN CODE SUCCESS WITH RAW ONE MULTIVITAMINS FOR MEN AND WOMEN Time pressed consumers on the go don’t have to skimp on nutrition. That’s why on the heels of its top selling Vitamin Code launch, Garden of Life, is introducing raw, vegan, once daily multivitamins for men and women. […]

October 15, 2017

Oils to Relieve anxiety

Relieve Anxiety Naturally With These Oils by Dr. Don Colbert In a 2010 study by the American Psychological Association, more than 4 out of every 10 people surveyed admitted to lying awake at night worrying. Learning to become “stress free” has never been a more important challenge in our country. On your journey, let these […]

Heart Healthy Foods

Superfoods for Your Heart by Dr. Don Colbert When compared to other countries, Americans have significantly more heart disease and for one reason alone: the toxic state of the Standard American Diet. What you eat is the single most important factor when it comes to your health. While God created many foods to nourish and […]

October 13, 2017

How Green are You?

Determine your greenness by taking this quiz from Sustainable Synergy, Inc. Going “green” doesn’t have to involve an overnight overhaul in your lifestyle. There’s a lot to be said for taking small steps and observing how they affect your daily activities, your interactions with friends and family, and even your wallet. For many of us, […]

October 11, 2017

Soaking and Sprouting

History of Sprouting Carbohydrates provide energy needed to drive bodily chemical processes, but our ancestors (dating back to as far as 12,000 years ago) didn’t consume large amounts of carbohydrates. In fact, the simple sugars they consumed were highly nutritious fruits and vegetables and sprouted/germinated grains. Sprouting and germination allow grains to come alive, making […]

Older Posts »
Opinions expressed on this blog are those of the writer and have not been reviewed by the FDA, CDC or other 'medical authorities'. Therefore, any products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, but rather are dietary supplements intended solely for nutritional use.

Sponsered by:HealthFoodEmporium.com and Whole-Food-Vitamins.com Hosted by 2Falls.com