The New Year creates fresh motivation and opportunities to improve and reinvent certain aspects of our lives. I have no doubt one of the most common aspects people want to improve upon is their health, myself included.
It is a great goal to have as looking after ourselves is important. Good health allows us to be more productive, improves our mood and gives us the energy to care for those who depend on us. But sometimes I question my motivations for trying to eat healthy and work out consistently.
My family has always eaten fairly healthy and I've always been involved in sport teams for as long as I can remember, but in this era of social media where many people document their daily lives, and magazines are constantly promoting the newest fad diet, I realised I could do better with my health. I could use my health as a tool to improve my body image.
What's the obsession?
I started to read these magazine articles and the term I kept coming across was 'superfood'. For those of you who don't know, a superfood, as defined by the Oxford dictionary is a 'nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well being'. Wikipedia defines it as 'a marketing term used to describe foods with supposed health benefits', which, lets be real, is quite true.
I would probably not consider eating half of these foods if they were not classified a superfood, yet I still bought them, deciding to give my daily diet a makeover.
Acai berries with more than double the antioxidants of blueberries improving various skin conditions? Sign me up! Kale packed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which stop hair breakage? I'll grab a whole bunch! I even bought a book about superfoods and did one of my research assignments in my first year of university on the concentration of antioxidants in acai berries.
I soon realised that while I was eating these super healthy foods because I genuinely wanted to be the healthiest version of myself, I was also thinking of all the beauty benefits I would gain from them, not to mention being able snap a photo of myself eating these trendy foods and posting it on Instagram for the world to see.
In the back of my mind I knew some of these foods weren't as 'super' as they claim to be and many of them were just a trend.
In the experiment I conducted in my first year at University, we found out acai berries were only greater than blueberries in one type of antioxidant, and not even double! Even the book on superfoods I had bought admitted you get more 'bang for your buck' in blueberries. While some of these foods are undoubtedly good for your health, I realised the only superfood, whose claims I could truly trust is Jesus.
The Superfood Qualities of Jesus
Firstly, I believe a true and close relationship with our Saviour affects our health positively. In times of need and when I feel completely overwhelmed, I always underestimate the power of prayer and reading a few verses from my bible.
I've really noticed when I do take the time to sit down and pray, my feelings of stress, anxiety, or anger seem to dissolve almost instantaneously. I feel light and calm. These negative feelings have a variety of physiological effects on our body, many of which increase the chance of developing serious chronic illnesses.
Ultimately Jesus not only gives us a relationship we can depend upon, as well as our beautiful features including hair, skin and eyes, but he gives us life. John 6:51 says 'I am the living bread that came down from heaven.
Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.' What superfood can do better than that? Jesus gives us life, by dying for our sins and I don't think any superfood could deliver a promise like that. Anti-aging properties maybe, but definitely not eternal life.
Kelly Bingham is a University student with a love of animals amongst other things and is studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. She lives on campus and loves to socialise and get with the other University students and the elders at her church near university and at home. In her free time she likes sewing, reading, running by the beach and taking photos for her own fashion blog.
Kelly Bingham's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/kelly-bingham.html