Does the Bible Say We Should Eat Grains?

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Health » Does the Bible Say We Should Eat Grains?

I often (ok, basically always) encourage readers to ditch the grains for the sake of their health, and many do see tremendous health improvements by doing so. One question/objection I often get is “If grains are unhealthy, why are they consumed in the Bible and why did Jesus use so many references to bread” or “Grains are the staff of life, and Jesus even called himself the “Bread of Life” so eating them can’t be bad!”

It is certainly a valid point to consider and as a Christian, it was one I researched while going grain-free. Fortunately, for those of us striving to eat as healthy as possible and to live good Christian lives, the answers aren’t conflicting.

To fully understand the factors involved though, it is important to note several things:

1. The Grains of Biblical Times are Much Different Than The Grains of Today!

There certainly are many references to grains in the Bible, and with good reason. The Bible was compiled during a predominately agricultural time, and this would have been a reference that was easily understood by the people during that time period.

Though the Bible references grains, the grains consumed a couple thousand years ago bear little to no resemblance to the grains we consume (or don’t consume!) today.

In Jesus’ time, there were only three major types of wheat in existence: Einkorn, Emmer, and later Triticum aestivum along with simple, non-hybrid varieties of other grains like barley, millet, and rye. These grains had (and still have) a higher protein content and lower anti-nutrient content than grains of today.

This is a stark contrast to the 25,000+ species that exist today, most of which we created in a lab to be disease resistant or produce high yields. In order to achieve these traits like disease and pest resistance, scientists had to enhance the part of the grains that naturally resists disease and predators: mainly, the glutens, lectins, and phytates- the most harmful parts of the grains to humans.

In addition, these hybridized strains are often allergen producing and usually sprayed with pesticides and chemicals. It is interesting to note that some people who are allergic to modern strains of wheat show little to no reaction to (properly prepared) Einkorn wheat in small amounts.

So, the grains of Jesus’ time weren’t genetically similar to the grains of today, and had lower concentrations of the harmful components. In addition, they were prepared much differently:

2. The Grains of Biblical Times Were Prepared Differently Than The Grains of Today!

Besides the differences in the basic genetic structure of the grains, grains in Biblical times were processed much differently, and consuming them in modern form wouldn’t have even been an option.

Since grains do contain anti-nutrients like gluten, lectin and phytates, these components have to be neutralized somehow. Traditional cultures throughout the world have found ways to lower the effect of these harmful properties.

In Biblical times, grains were often prepared by soaking, fermenting, or sprouting before being consumed. Often, this wasn’t intentional, but a result of methods of storage which left the grains exposed to warm, moist conditions that encouraged sprouting and fermentation.

When a grain sprouts, the chemical structure changes and the anti-nutrient content is greatly reduced. Fermentation mitigates this further. Grains are harmful to humans when consumed straight off the plant in an uncooked or un-prepared state.

In addition, any grains consumed in Biblical times could truly have been called “whole grains” unlike the processed granola versions of modern times. Equipment didn’t even exist to grind grain to the micro-fine particles that we call flour today. Grains were often ground, by hand, using stones or similar objects.

Think of the difference in particle size between a hand-ground, sprouted piece of wheat and the dried, hybridized, dust-like flour we use today. The flour we consume today is ground to such a small size that the surface area of the grain is literally increased 10,000% and the starchy area is expanded. As a result, the body quickly converts it to sugar, which is why flour and processed foods can have as much of an impact on the blood sugar as pure sugar can.

Another obvious point to realize is that any reference to grain in Jesus’ time was a reference to an actual grain, in whole form or made into bread (that also wouldn’t resemble the stuff you get at the store!). Certainly, grains in Jesus’ time would not have been made into donuts, pretzels, chips, snack foods, cookies, etc.

Grains in Biblical times also wouldn’t have been mixed with vegetable oils, high fructose corn syrup, chemical additives, commercial yeasts, artificial flavorings, or other ingredients used today. Jesus wouldn’t have been snacking on Chex Mix or chowing down on bagels or soda while he was fishing.

If one truly desires to eat grains because they are referenced in the Bible, than these grains should be one of the three varieties that actually existed in the Bible, and should be prepared in a similar way and eaten in a similar way (though I’m not sure this is what many people are envisioning when referencing the Bible for their reason for consuming grains).

3. Grain Consumption Didn’t Begin Until After the Fall

If you read the text carefully, Adam and Eve are given the plants and fruits to eat in the Garden of Eden when there is peace and optimal health (considering death didn’t enter the picture until after the fall).

It is only after they sin that reference is made to tilling the soil and growing grains, and this reference is mingled with a reference to death when God tells Adam: “From the sweat of your brow shall you get bread to eat, until you return to the ground from which you were taken.”

In this sense, one can wonder if grain consumption was part of God’s plan in the beginning at all. Of course, God created grains, as he created everything, and saw that it all was good. An important distinction to make is that not everything that is “good” is necessarily “beneficial” to the human body.

God created poison ivy, which has its place in the eco-system, but which is not beneficial to the human body. God created many poisonous species of plants and animals, and they are good, though not beneficial to the human person.

God created grains, and while they have been consumed at times throughout history, nowhere is it specifically declared that they are beneficial and healthy for the human body, or that their consumption is part of the optimal diet for humans.

The context of the Bible was an agricultural time period when grains were sometimes necessary for survival or population growth. Especially considering the differences in grains today, it must be evaluated if grains are still a necessary part of the human diet.

In my opinion, references in the Bible give us insight into this as well:

4. Grains Were Often Eaten in Times of Hardship

While grains are referenced often in the Bible, these references are not always positive. From the animal offering of Abel that was preferred to the grain offering of Cain, to the admonition to Adam to till the soil until death, the Bible has its share of negative grain references as well.

The Book of Ezekiel is one of the most detailed and well-known references to grains, as God commands Ezekiel to use “wheat and barley, and beans and lentils, and millet and spelt” to make a bread for the people to eat.

This “recipe” has gained popularity and a version of bread fashioned after this method can be found in many grocery stores these days. Often, this is assumed to be healthy as it was a recipe given in the Bible. Unfortunately, a few important details were left out:

  • Taken in context, the book of Ezekiel is not a pleasant time. During Chapter 4, there is an impending siege, and these grains are all that is available. In fact, these foods are seen as food for animals, and Ezekiel protests having to eat them.
  • Because of the pending siege and famine, Ezekiel is also told to eat carefully portioned amounts to make sure there is enough food.
  • In verse 12, Ezekiel is commanded to cook this “bread” over human excrement, “For your food you must bake barley loaves over human excrement in their sight, said the Lord.” When Ezekiel protests, God allows him to use cow dung instead…. hardly appetizing, huh?

Other references link grain consumption with hardship as well:

  • When God’s people must leave Egypt in haste , they eat unleavened bread because it is all they can prepare in time
  • In the exile in the desert, God’s people eat Manna from Heaven though they eventually cry out for meat and are given quail
  • During the seven years of famine in Egypt, the Egyptians must eat grains because it is all that is available

(On a side note, both Biblical references and research on mummies from Ancient Egypt show that the Ancient Egyptians consumed grains in relatively large amounts in the form of breads and beer. The ancient Egyptians ate more “whole grains,” leaner meat, less saturated fat and more fruits and veggies than the average American today. According to conventional wisdom, they should have been healthier, but researchers are stumped to find that they had high rates of heart disease and plaque in arterial walls as well.)

5. Meat is Often Linked With Times of Celebration or Redemption

Just as grains are often linked with hardship, many references to meat and fat in the Bible seem to promote their use (which is interesting, because many diets that encourage a Biblical way of eating often minimize meat consumption).

While meat was not specifically named as a food for man in the beginning, after the flood, God told Noah that “Every creature that is alive shall be yours to eat. I give them to you as I did the green plants.”

When the prodigal son returns, the father kills the fatted calf in celebration instead of making a cake or baking some bread.

In the Old Testament, meat sacrifices were often required. In fact, at Passover, the blood of a lamb (foreshadowing Christ) was necessary to save the firstborn sons. The passage makes it very clear that unless the Israelites actually consumed the flesh of the lamb, they would not be protected.

It times of fasting or sacrifice, people in Biblical times (and still today) abstain from meat. From a scientific standpoint, there are health benefits to fasting, especially from occasionally removing proteins and fats for a short time.

Abstaining from meat as a form of fasting (as Catholics still do during Lent and many other religions do at  times as well) shows that meat is something to be enjoyed and consumed!

Jesus As the Bread of Life

Throughout the New Testament, references to bread take on a parallel to Christ himself. Jesus is born in Bethlehem, (translated “House of Bread”). Jesus is laid in a manger, a feeding trough for animals.

Jesus even refers to himself as the “Bread of Life” in the Gospel of John, and He tells us that unless we “eat His flesh and drink His blood, we shall not have life within us.”

So when Jesus refers to himself in this way, and when we pray for “Our Daily Bread” in the Our Father, are these references an encouragement to consume grains?

I’d say that these references are not meant to be a nutritional directive, but rather to reveal important theological truths. As I mentioned above, there are many references of grain consumption during times of trial and famine.

Bread was consumed during fasting and times of trouble or sacrifice. These references are sprinkled throughout the Old Testament and would have been understood by the Jews during Jesus’ time.

Since Jesus became man to become a sacrifice for our sins, these parallels remind us of the sacrificial role Christ will take on.

Jesus also refers to himself as the “Lamb of God” in the Gospel of John, and these two titles taken together have a lot of meaning. As was foreshadowed in Old Testament Passover, the lamb was slain so that the angel of death would pass over God’s people.

Christ’s sacrifice, the last one needed, offers redemption as He dies for our sins.

Jesus celebrates the Last Supper with his disciples at the time  Passover would have traditionally have been celebrated by the Jewish people. The Last Supper takes place on the feast of unleavened bread, when the sacrificial lamb was typically consumed. Though, the lamb is noticeably absent from the Last Supper.

At the Last Supper, Jesus holds up the bread, saying, “This is my Body, which is given up for you.” At this central moment, Jesus links the two titles he has called himself, the “Bread of Life” and the “Lamb of God.” The “bread” becomes the “Lamb”, which is to become the sacrifice for all mankind.

The next day, Jesus is crucified and dies at the hour that the sacrificial lamb is usually killed during Passover. All these connections would have had deep meaning to the Jewish people who would have recognized their references in Scripture.

Jesus, as God incarnate, was both the “Bread of Life” sustaining His people in times of trouble and trial, and the “Lamb of God” that takes away the sins of the world.

The references connecting Jesus with “Bread” are very important to the message of His Sacrifice for us. They are not ever presented as a dietary guideline or a mandatory command to consume grains.

Just as vegetarians can avoid meat without worrying about not following the references to meat-eating in the Bible, a Christian can certainly avoid grains without worrying about not following a Biblical directive. Jesus drank wine and his first miracle was turning water into wine, though I’ve never seen anyone argue that it is wrong to avoid drinking because Jesus drank wine.

More importantly, as Christians, we believe that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and should be nourished and treated as such. (“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body,” (1 Cor. 6:19-20)).

For this reason, it is worth considering for a Christian, if grains in their modern form should even be consumed for those trying to live as healthy as possible out of respect for a body made in the image and likeness of God.

In my opinion, grains certainly can be avoided, and often should be!

The Bottom Line

While there was perhaps a time in history when smaller amounts of grains, properly prepared, could be consumed without damaging the body, this is not the case today.

As mentioned above, grains today are much different than those of Biblical times. Many studies are now linking consumption of modern grains to inflammation, arterial plaque, joint problems, arthritis, infertility, PCOS, and many other conditions.

Celiac disease, gluten intolerance, Type II Diabetes, Heart Disease and Cancer are all on the rise. Even small children are showing signs of insulin resistance and obesity. As a whole, our society suffers from damaged metabolisms and impaired insulin function.

The modern diet, especially in the last half a century has created a society of largely overweight people with health problems. Almost half of all people will die of heart disease, and consumption of grains, especially in processed form, has been linked to heart disease. (For a funny and factual explanation of why, watch the movie Fat Head if you haven’t already!)

For those who still want to consume grains in Biblical fashion, I suggest finding one of the three original strains, taking special care to prepare them by sprouting, fermentation, or both, and eating them in moderate amounts along with a lot of veggies and meat.

For me, I don’t feel as well with any grain consumption, even correctly prepared, and the time needed for proper preparation just isn’t worth it. There are many other sources of nutrition that can be eaten in the whole form God gave us, without the need to process or even cook before eating.

Calorie for calorie, meats, fats and vegetables are much better (and more bio-available!) sources of nutrients, without the harmful anti-nutrient content.

For the small percentage of people who can tolerate grains without ill health effect, moderate grain consumption might be ok. The rest of us should consider the potential negative effects.

Many people will continue to eat grains, even in light of the emerging evidence, and this is certainly their right and prerogative. Heck, if a person wants to eat only Cheetos and Pepsi for the rest of his life (however short it may be!), that is his decision. My hope is just that Biblical references to grains won’t be used to justify eating processed flours and foods that are nothing like the actual grains of Biblical times.

What’s your opinion? How do you think Biblical teaching fits in to grain-free eating (or doesn’t fit)? Weigh in below!

[Note: I’ve seen several other bloggers bring up this issue as well and noticed hateful and belittling comments towards the bloggers and commenters who are also Christian. If you don’t believe in God or the Bible, this post is obviously not written to try to influence you, so please avoid any demeaning comments!]

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


303 responses to “Does the Bible Say We Should Eat Grains?”

  1. Levi Avatar

    Actually the bible days breads strengthens a mans heart, so it does says its healthy and subsequentally
    bread Is healthy for the heart. The bible says not to mingle seed which we have done to make modern wheat. Just get yourself some einkorn flour and make your own breaded goods. Read wheat belly… Einkorn doesnt have the other neurological effects of modern grains.

  2. Kendra Avatar

    This is an excellent post and I thank you for your time and effort to post it. I have often wondered/struggled with this exact issue and you’ve answered several of my questions! 

  3. Sylra Avatar

    you use several of the Bible verses out of context and you ignore several others that would contradict your point (as Schooldaze mentioned). Typical example of eisegesis instead of exegesis. Ex.: the 1 Cor passage to honor God with our body is in the context of sexual immorality, not food. You also need to brush up of Biblical cultural background knowledge. What you mentioned about the grains of biblical time being different from today’s grains can be applied to ALL vegetables, fruits, and meat today. In a word, you really did not convince me. I respect your personal conviction about grains but please, do respect the Bible for what it truly says, not what you want it to say.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Yes, all foods are slightly different in that they have cross pollinated and created hybrids, however, some, like wheat, corn, etc have been specifically modified in labs or selectively bred to have very high gluten or lectin content because this makes them more favorable for baking. They are also processed much differently: ground into very fine flour and bleached instead of sprouted, soaked and fermented. From a nutritional perspective, there is nothing present in grains that can’t be obtained in higher amounts from other foods, and truly no dietary need for grains. The passages I listed and the historical context I talked about can definitely be applied to the decision to eat grains or not. It was not my intent to convince everyone who reads this that the Bible specifically forbids eating grains (obviously it doesn’t) but rather to show that the Bible does not in fact command the eating of grains in these passages, as many Christians assume. I get a lot of emails from people who don’t want to eat grains and feel better without them but wonder if they should still eat them from a Biblical perspective. My point was to help those people understand that the Bible does not require eating grains, and that even if it did, the ones talked about in the Bible wouldn’t be available today. If you don’t personally want to consume grains, I completely respect that decision, but in my experience, many people see health improvements from removing grains from their diet, and my blog is meant to serve as a support system for those who choose this way of eating.

    2. Tanya Avatar

       But what the bible truly says is how an individual/group interprets it – that’s why there are so many different religions all based on the bible… are the Amish right, the Catholics, Protestants, Latter Day Saints an on and on and on…………… so really it kind of IS what you want it to say depending on WHO you are.

      1. Tracey de Silva Avatar
        Tracey de Silva

        It is confusing . I just don’t know . There are different belief systems in all of the different churches , different interpretations of the Bible . Also different cultural views on food as well . Does a person who is Italian process the gluten in their diet better than a Asian ? Does a persons culture have any bearing on what they should eat . I have read for and against arguments for both side of the argument . I can see merits for and against eating grain . I do believe that we eat far too much grain products as a society in general . I wonder as well if we exercised like we should , if grains in our diet would be as much of a problem . Most people in the biblical times worked very hard and got lots of physical exercise . We live in a very lazy society today and a lot of us work behind desks . We have cars to save us walking, white goods to make our chores easier and Tv’s and computers to entertain us . I am very interested in looking into different ideas on the subject though and I thank you for your interesting read . I believe I need to do more research on the subject before I make any decisions .

  4. Monica Avatar

    Hey, nice blog! It’s late so I don’t have time to read all the comments, but I wanted to say you made some great points, however I’d like to encourage you to revisit a couple of things. You said it would be harmful for humans to eat grains uncooked, however Yeshua (Jesus) and his disciples are critized for walking through a field of grains on the Sabbath as the disciples were plucking the grain and eating it, so it does not appear that it was harmful to them. Also, Ezekiel had to prepare that bread mixture for himself, not the people, as he was demonstrating what was coming for Israel (hunger, rations, etc). It is likely that particular mixture was used as it was very healthy and nutritious and he was not allowed to eat anything else during that time. You are right about the coarseness of the grain being much different, and I found a verse that mentions “you wouldn’t grind your grain down to a powder” so that tells me the grains we do eat should be a much coarser grind, like you were saying, stone ground, not like what we have today.  Again, good job, but check out those points!

  5. Brenda Avatar

    Your post was just was I was looking for.  I too was really struggling with the Biblical perspective on “bread”, “manna”, etc. and you broke it all down so eloquently and logically.  Thanks for doing the research and presenting it back to your readers so thoroughly.  On that note, I’ll continue to abstain from the grain with a clear conscious.  Thank you!

  6. Rosee Frugal Avatar
    Rosee Frugal

    Thank you!  This really answered some questions about going grain free that have been nagging me for a long time.  Great blog.  Can’t wait for the feeds!

    1. Mary Avatar

      I should show this to my family. It includes every excuse they use for not going grain free (As we’re Catholics too). I receive the Precious Blood for Communion at my church but that’s because I think I’m a VERY sensitive celiac. My mom, who is as well, can receive the Precious Body once a week and feel fine.

  7. Cervantes Avatar

    Loved this!!!  It confirms everything we’ve been feeling.  And whenever I get an urge to eat bread, I remember that Jesus is my bread of Life

  8. bozini Avatar

    So I guess you don’t think much of Dr. Caldwell Esseyltyn, John McDougalls plant based diet that has whole grains as a staple. They’ve done the studies on how a low fat and no meat diet has REVERSED heart disease. You stress eat plenty of vegetables and meat? Nothing is wrong with the vegetables. Meat eaten in moderation is ok — grass fed beef, chicken, and wild fish. So if I eat a bowl of old fashioned or steel cut oats with fruit for breakfast, have brown rice and veggies for lunch, and for dinner — maybe some millet and beans with a salad. So I guess that diet just might clog my arteries? I would have been better off having some meat for the morning, some meat at lunch, some meat at night with a whole lot of veggies and fruit in between and I’ll be okay? Read Dr. McDougall and Esseyltns books and see what the studies have proven.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I have read those books and they truly are not backed by science but rather by strong opinions and flimsy scientific references. Low fat and no fat is ok once and a while for a short time, as is complete fasting (which I prefer, and which is also low-fat/no-fat btw). If
      you eat a bowl of oats for breakfast, brown rice for lunch and
      veggies and millet for dinner you are going to have quite a jacked insulin response, not to mention a big dose of phytic acid to help erode your bones. Yes, a low fat diet full of lots of vegetables can reduce some of the risk factors for heart disease (though it might), but so can a high fat diet without excess carbs and grains. Your vegetarian diet may not clog your arteries, but it can cause weight gain, put you at risk for diabetes and lead to hormone imbalance (since fats are necessary for hormone production). And, yes, you
      would be better off eating meat and only meat at all three meals, or even meat with veggies, or even pure Lard (read Good Calories, Bad Calories for this explanation). I wouldn’t include “a whole bunch of fruit” though, because there is that big dose of sugar again.
      I have read the books you recommend, I suggest Protein Power by the Drs Eades, everything by Gary Taubes, watching the movie Fat Head and then getting back to me. Bad science has “proven” what you are promoting, but the true evidence doesn’t back it up. Maybe also check out The Vegetarian Myth and Denise Minger’s blog while you are at it!

      1. shav Avatar

        wonderful article. You answered all of the questions that I have had about the new trends in diet, what I’ve found out about my own body (I feel better without grains), and how I as a Christian should approach the ‘Bread of Life’ argument. Thanks!!

      2. Medea Avatar

        just stumbled upon this. appreciate the attempt to dig into what God says about grains. i can also understand your personal choice not to eat them based on the effects to your health. but i also believe the science is yet inconclusive as to whether low carb, grain free, high carb, vegetarian, etc is best. you can find studies that promote the benefits of almost any diet these days. the bible says all food is good to eat (granted, this was at a time when foods weren’t so highly processed). so….i’m gonna go with “all unprocessed foods are generally good to eat”. beyond this, i feel we each need to make the best choices for our bodies.

        a few thoughts about the article:

        (1) point #3 suggests that we should not eat grains, since they were only allowed / mentioned after the Fall from grace. the same can be said about meat, in that God intended for all humans (and animals) to be vegan – Genesis 1:29-30. so by this logic, meat wouldn’t be good to eat either, even though the article says it is

        (2) not to mention, if God originally gave us every green plant for food…and since whole grains are basically the seeds from certain green plants, then wouldn’t whole grains be considered good to eat? i mean if nuts are ok, and nuts and seeds are very similar foods, then by this logic whole grains should be ok too.

        (3) in this post, the author considers all grains and grain-based foods as one giant “grains” category, not to be eaten: brown rice, oats, fruit loops, donuts, etc. obviously some of those foods are processed beyond recognition, and probably aren’t a good idea to eat. but whole brown rice is totally different than bleached white flour. while the article kind of acknowledges that fact, the author still recommends a completely grain-free diet. i think a full distinction should be made.

        (4) some of the evidence around grain-based diets suggests that they are in fact healthy. just look at some of the populations that eat them. for example, the japanese include a ton of (unprocessed) whole grain in their diet and have the longest life expectancy, low rates of heart disease, etc. there may be other factors at play (stress levels, physical activity, etc) but if grains were really that detrimental, i’d expect to see serious health impacts among grain-based populations

        1. Val Avatar

          God’s word is always being taken out of context. The details of what we can and cannot eat are throughout the bible, in particular Leviticus 11. I agree with your points. There is something that is always overlooked, if God says you can eat bread, milk, butter, and certain plants and animals, then why would we want to do different? Veganism and Vegetarianism are unsustainable and doesn’t provide what our bodies need. Herbs have a double edged sword, yet they are useful for man. With the Japanese population it should be noted that they eat more in small quantities and high quality foods. Most cultures do not drink milk, yet milk is part of the food group the bible allows, so is honey…today’s processing methods have damaged our food supply…now we have to worry about nanotechnology in drinks and food. Ancient grains are the way to go…whether polished or not…they provide important nutrition. We have to be diligent in understanding our world today is nothing like the past. Ancient people who did not follow God’s dietary laws died of food borne diseases. It’s incredible how being obedient to God has proven a blessing in the lives of those who do what he says.

  9. Afni Avatar

    A great exposition of the law can be found in James Dunn book – The theology of Paul the apostle. the law became the law of the spirit on fleshly tablets of the heart. Also know that wine has the same greek word as grape juice(the good wine) in the new testament. And the verse that says all foods sanctified by the word of God — (sanctified means set apart) – is a reference to all the kosher foods set apart by the word of God). Pork has never been set apart by the word of God, so eat kosher. And by the way great info’. The seventh day adventists can help you on these topics also, their theology is based on kosher and brings many things to light in addition to james dun’s book.  james.a.duke leading worlds herbalist (author of dukes medicinal plants of the bible) may shed more light on grains for you as well as

  10. Jera Bisar Avatar
    Jera Bisar

    Thanks for your explanation of the different types of grains from then to now. I agree the grains we have today (and actually all the food we have today) are not the way God intended them to be. We have pretty much drained all nutrition from the food and soil. I don’t agree that they didn’t consume grains regularly in Bible times though. Even Jesus walked through a field and ate the wheat directly off the stalk. He didn’t soak it first or anything. Perhaps we should focus on what God specifically said not to eat. Like Pork, animal fat, shellfish, etc. 

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Those things “pork, animal fat and shellfish” were prohibited by old testament Levitical law, which Christians are no longer bound by as they new covenant through Christ overruled it.

      1. Joelle Avatar

        I’m still not so keen on the pork, animal fat and shellfish.  I use pork on ocassion, but the others just don’t make me feel so great. Not to mention, the thought of what are contained in these things (even the pork unless I know what it has been feed) – to me – are just gross.    = P  This is great article and I would love to learn more about this!   I was attempting a raw food diet, and it wasn’t jiving with what my beliefs were, but it raised so many questions about how we came to eat the foods we do – including blubs and tubers.  And where I have been reading so much (and my own experience) with grains, I really wondered how they fit in biblically.  Thanks for the insight!

      2. Monica Avatar

        I know it’s hard for Christian’s to consider follwing the Biblical guidelines for eating, but if people could put aside firmly held doctrines and look at the issue scientifically, they would be better able to see the benefits in keeping a Biblically Kosher Diet-no scavengers, no animal fat, if meat is eaten, the animals themselves are vegetarians. Try not to think “Law” but rather instructions-that’s really what the word “Torah” means, it’s about teaching, guiding, instructing, because the Creator knows best.

        1. Kim Avatar

          I would like to echo this thought and whole heartedly agree. The is no evidence in the Bible that God changed His mind about eating unclean things. The best thing we can do as Christians, is erase the dividing line between the Old and New Testament. Roughly 90% of the NT is the OT. This tends to disrupts people’s theology, and I live in the South where pork is “sacred.” If we look instead through the lens of covenant, it brings a new perspective on eating the unclean. All throughout scripture, God is vying for His people and they are having to choose between Him and other gods. Those that served other gods quite often ate those things that are unclean. So God used food as a symbol of what god you serve. When the temple was taken over, what did they sacrifice to their gods that the Bible said desecrated it? A pig. After Christ came, He said we are the temple. We are made with the very essence of God himself – made in His image. If He said the unclean was bad in the Torah, then I don’t think He changed his mind in the NT. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. And science and the Jews that have kept the Torah can testify to the health benefits of not eating the unclean. I agree – we often view the Bible as what can we get away with, instead of a love letter from God on how we can live an abundant and fruitful life for the Kingdom, all along living in intimacy with our Creator who know us best. I appreciate you taking on this topic as it is a difficult and sensitive one! And I too appreciate that you are a Believer searching for Truth.

          1. Antonia Avatar

            I don’t think that we want to start returning to living by the kosher, ceremonial, or legal commands of the Old Testament…Then we get comments from people upset about our stand on what constitutes biblical marriage by saying, “Well, then, you should stone to death your wayward child” or “Well, then, do you wear clothes made of mixed materials?”

            There are very good theological reasons why these types of commands have been dispensed with by Christians as being “not binding” for today, one of the most important of them being that they are not mandated in the New Covenant, which contains instructions for the Church…and if we begin to mandate any of them, then we need to mandate all of them, and I don’t think we want to adopt all of these again.

            It’s one thing if we choose to adopt these laws as a “recommendation” that would personally make sense for our life…We just need to be extremely wary about getting anywhere CLOSE to saying, “God commanded it in the Old Testament, therefore it should be the norm for most or all of us.”

        2. Suzanne Avatar

          Great comment Antonia! We know dietary law had nothing to do with our salvation by grace, but everything to do with our health. God wanted the nation of Israel to be a light to the Gentile on how to be healthy to better serve our Lord. I have not seen anyplace in New Tesament where Jesus ever ate unclean animals or scavenger seafood! At least that’s what I have observed…

  11. Terri Avatar

    When eating grain-free, do you skip the communion of the Lord’s table? Our church serves wine with communion and even those who do not partake of alcohol DO take the small amount served at the Lord’s table. I am just curious what others do, no need to respond if it’s too personal. Thanks.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I receive communion, though if I were ever diagnosed with Celiac
      disease or other allergic condition, I would just receive the
      precious blood, and not the bread.

      1. Theresa Avatar

        I am very fortunate to belong to a church that allows me to bring my own gluten free bread/cracker. Pastor Michael blesses it as I hold it to avoid cross contamination. Some churches are not as understanding. If this were the case or when I don’t have my own I also receive the blood and not the bread.  When I first went grain free I would partake of both and deal with feeling bad for awhile but the longer I have been grain free the more severe my reaction to “glutening” has become. Effects usually last for a good 3 weeks now so I’m afraid a weekly exposure would be accumulative. 

        1. Joelle Avatar

          We have so many people in our church that are wheat or gluten sensitive and intolerant, we serve a GF version.  Amazingly enough, our church is rather small compared to most.   I live in a rural community, so to have this many people have a problem is crazy, and we joke that this is contagious = )

  12. Chub Avatar

    This is simply the best thing I’ve read in such a long time.  Though I’ve never even thought to compare not eating grains to anything biblical I love that you took the time to do all that research.  It’ll come in handy if I get challenge by a crazy grain eating Christian at church 😛

  13. Kristina Avatar

    Wow, you answered so many questions and brought to mind so much more! Thank you for writing this!

  14. Bobbi Dunn Avatar
    Bobbi Dunn

    Well said! Thanks for taking the time to research this and provide another point of view.

  15. Lois Thorpe Avatar
    Lois Thorpe

    It seems that you should be careful to make a stronger distinction between processed grains and whole grains. I live as an expat in a place where whole grains are regularly consumed and I eat much, much healthier here than in the US (and I eat fairly healthy in the US). And I feel great.

  16. Deborah Horvath Rowden Avatar
    Deborah Horvath Rowden

    Well done, Wellness Mama! Best article yet in defense of biblical grains versus modern grains! I gave up eating white sugar and grains that aren’t soaked or fermented a year ago and lost 28 lbs so far, no more joint pain or stiffness and my skin looks great! I am 58 and have never been healthier! Thank you again for such a great post!

  17. Pat Avatar

    I’m trying to eat a grain-free diet.  It is difficult though.  Grains do not make me feel sick in any way.  Does that mean that they are not harmful to me?  However, I have noticed that after a week of no gluten, my knees don’t ache and after two weeks, my face looks slimmer.  So, is it the gluten or perhaps the sugar in the gluten-filled food that makes the difference?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      There are a lot of links between grains and inflammation, and some
      doctors who suspect that the autoimmune connection with grains might
      be the cause of a lot of joint pain, arthritis, etc. The sugar could
      come into play also, but even the grains themselves create a
      substantial insulin reaction in the body, so after a couple of weeks
      without them, the body would start to become more insulin sensitive,
      and drop water weight.
      There is certainly increasing evidence that even for those who don’t
      have any gastro symptoms, grains can be harmful.

    2. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      There are a lot of links between grains and inflammation, and some
      doctors who suspect that the autoimmune connection with grains might
      be the cause of a lot of joint pain, arthritis, etc. The sugar could
      come into play also, but even the grains themselves create a
      substantial insulin reaction in the body, so after a couple of weeks
      without them, the body would start to become more insulin sensitive,
      and drop water weight.
      There is certainly increasing evidence that even for those who don’t
      have any gastro symptoms, grains can be harmful.

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