Thursday, May 22, 2008

Eating Can Make You Smarter?

Eating is definitely one of my favorite pasttimes, but I ran across a Psychology Today article today that outlines The Brain Power Diet. In this article, the author gives suggestions for certain ways of eating that actually improve your mental performance. In reading this article, I was reminded of Jonathan Edwards' resolutions on healthy eating and I pulled this quote from an article written by John Piper in 1988. You can find the whole article, The Pastor As Theologian, here.

With regard to his eating habits, not only was he willing to skip dinner for the sake of his study if things were really flowing, he also, Dwight tells us, "carefully observed the effects of the different sorts of food, and selected those which best suited his constitution, and rendered him most fit for mental labour." (Works, I, xxxviii) Edwards had set this pattern when he was 21 years old when he wrote in his diary,

By a sparingness in diet, and eating as much as may be what is light and easy of digestion, I shall doubtless be able to think more clearly, and shall gain time;
1. By lengthening out my life;
2. Shall need less time for digestion, after meals;
3. Shall be able to study more closely, without injury to my health;
4. Shall need less time for sleep;
5. Shall more seldom be troubled with the head-ache. (Works, I, xxxv)

I commend for your consideration whether such care to maximize time and effectiveness in devotion to the ministry of the word is what Paul meant when he said redeem the time and when the Preacher said, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might."

Christians, pastors especially, before you indulge in all of those carbs and fats at lunch, maybe you should consider your ability to focus on the task God has given your hands to do in the afternoon even as you mind your waistline.

Footnote: Someone probably needs to preach this to me too.

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