By: Tsivya Fox
A land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and [date] honey. (Deuteronomy 8:8)
The Bible praises the Land of Israel for its seven special foods. Each food contains a special “holiness” as well as unique health benefits. By consciously eating these foods, you can connect to the land of Israel and improve your health.
So holy are the seven species that in ancient times, the first fruits of their harvest were required to be offered to God during the festival of Shavuot (Tabernacles) in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Historically, wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates have played a part in Jewish culture due to the praises the Bible extols on these foods. In fact, in Biblical times, these were staple foods for the Israelites.
Coins, jewelry, ceramic pieces, mosaics and door mantels have all been found to show images of the seven species. Even the bells on the hem of the High Priest’s robes were made of gold in the shape of pomegranates.
Given the propensity of archeological finds that have images of the seven species, perhaps the ancients not only respected these foods due to their Biblical references but also because, as is scientifically proven today, they knew that they provided all the nutrients one needs to lead a healthful life.
Partaking of these delicious 7 species not only connects one to the Holy Land, it also provides scientifically proven health benefits.
For example, scientists have discovered that consuming extra-virgin olive oil helps prevent obesity, heart disease, diabetes, various cancers, stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and more.
Researchers at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology found that pregnant women who drank pomegranate juice positively affected the brain of their developing child.
Professor Ron Beloosesky, director of Rambam’s prenatal ultrasound unit noted, “Studies have shown that pomegranates are rich in polyphenols (a type of compounds that neutralize damaging free radicals in the body), which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They can also help protect against cardiovascular disease.”
Each of the other species also contain a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Their wide array of healing properties are touted for providing everything from speeding up metabolism, healing the gastrointestinal tract, and preventing cancer, gallstones, asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and more.
Simply by adding these nutritious and delicious Biblical foods to one’s diet, a person might just find that they are able to feed not only their body but also their soul.
Right now, Meir Panim charity organization is offering a free, beautiful download of the seven species along with their health benefits. Just click here to get this download and hang this beautiful picture in a prominent place in your home to be reminded of God’s miracles and blessings.