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Sourdough bread and Biblical super foods used for healing by the ancients

Sourdough bread resists mold, unlike conventionally leavened bread. If you check out the site, "Einkorn - Heritage Grain Conservancy," you can read about how sourdough bread was made long ago in Biblical times. Leaven was the same as sourdough – a natural, organic means of raising bread-dough through fermentation, in order to make bread softer, fluffier, that article explains. Commercial yeast didn't exist in biblical times. Yeast is a modern-day industrial product which is used as a replacement for natural sourdough. Also legumes such as lentils and chick peas can be ground into flour or course meal and used to make breads, brownies, cookies, and other baked goods without using commercial yeast.

Sourdough bread and Biblical super foods used for healing by the ancients.
Sourdough bread and Biblical super foods used for healing by the ancients.Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The relevant Hebrew and Greek words, chamets and seor (Old Testament) and zumê (New Testament), referred to sourdough bread. If you check out the site, "Einkorn - Heritage Grain Conservancy," you can see a recipe for Einkorn Sourdough Bread. Also, check out the site, "Lower glycemic index of einkorn bread compared to modern bread."

There's also a recipe at the Einkorn site, http://growseed.org/einkorn.html on how to make einkorn kvass, that beverage described as a delicious fermented bread-brew made by boiling einkorn sprout bread in spring water.

It also can be made with stale bread. If left in the refrigerator for a few days the Kvass will lightly ferment. You've recreated very ancient style beer that probably was invented by fermenting stale bread in water. Incredibly delicious. Toast the crutons for a darker flavor. Einkorn Kvass is enjoyed as a hot or cold unfermented beverage, or as a traditional brew by adding yeast.

Powerful antifungal activity that improves the taste of bread during sourdough fermentation

If you look at a recent research study, Michael Gaenzle and colleagues of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, show why. During sourdough production, bacteria convert the linoleic acid in bread flour to a compound that has powerful antifungal activity, which could improve the taste of bread. The research, "Antifungal hydroxy fatty acids produced during sourdough fermentation: microbial and enzymatic pathways, and antifungal activity in bread," appears online in the January 11, 2013 issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Authors are B.A. Black, E. Zannini, J.M. Curtis, and M.G. Gaenzle. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23315734

The major benefits from the research are twofold: Better tasting bread, says Gaenzle, according to the February 21, 2013 news release, Why sourdough bread resists mold, because "preservatives can be eliminated from the recipes, and because sourdough bread has a more distinct and richer flavor compared to bread produced with yeast only," and novel tools to control fungi in malting and plant production, via treatment of seeds with the anti-fungal fatty acids. You also may wish to check out the full article as a PDF file online here. http://www.asm.org/images/Communications/tips/2013/0213sourdo.pdf

Genuine sourdough bread differs from ordinary bread in having an extra fermentation step, over and above yeast fermentation. This step is mediated by lactic acid bacteria, typically of the genus Lactobacillus, says Gaenzle, according to the news release.

In the study, "we offered linoleic acid to lactobacilli and screened for organisms producing potent antifungal activity," says Gaenzle in the news release. The investigators then fractionated the metabolites to isolate and identify compounds with antifungal activity. "The identification was a bottleneck in the research project," says Gaenzle, according to the news release. "In collaboration with analytical chemists, we had to develop novel methods for identifying the compounds."

L. hammesii produced substantial quantities of hydroxylated monounsaturated fatty acids which the researchers found strongly inhibited mold formation. A second antifungal fatty acid produced by cereal enzymes contributes to the antifungal activity of sourdough.

"The two compounds and their formation by cereal or microbial enzymes had been described previously, but their antifungal activity and their generation in food production was unknown," says Gaenzle, according to the news release. These new findings, he says, were "a step towards understanding how and why lactobacilli metabolize fatty acids. This could be useful in the long term to improve our understanding of the biology of these organisms."

Applied and Environmental Microbiology is a publication of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The ASM is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. Its mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide. The article also is published in the print edition.

Which super foods and traditional meals for healing are mentioned in the Bible?

At least 30 super foods for healing that scientists are researching for health benefits in moderate amounts also were known to be Biblical and traditional foods that were eaten by ancient peoples in the areas of the Fertile Crescent, Nile Valley, and Eastern Mediterranean. These foods are mentioned in the Bible, with some clues to the recipes. See, "Bible Foods - Complete List Of Foods In The Bible." Or you may wish to check out the site, "Foods of the Bible."

The super foods for healing mentioned in the Bible also happen to be the same foods listed as super foods on many healthcare practitioner's list for healing because of the micronutrients and polyphenols in the food, the good bacteria cultures, the potassium and antioxidants, and the anti-microbial ability of those foods, as researched by scientists. Foods mentioned in the Bible also are the same foods that in moderation have the ability to heal. See, "Food in The Bible: Information."

Those top of the list super foods for healing mentioned in the Bible (Old and/or New Testament) that have been studied by researchers for their healing qualities are the following mentioned in the Bible: apricots, garlic, onions, pomegranates, honey, spices, garbanzo beans, lentils (and similar legumes), barley, various beans growing in the Mediterranean area, olives, olive oil, emmer wheat (an ancient form of wheat that is not like the more refined wheat of today that causes blood sugar spikes), almonds, walnuts, figs, grapes, pistachio nuts, raisins, leeks, millet, black cumin seed oils (Egypt), beans, fish, goat and sheep's milk yogurt and milk from these animals, wine, and vinegar. Check out the site, "Foods of the Bible."

Also see the articles, The 7 Super Foods of the Bible and Genesis Diet Plan - Original Biblical Diet Foods. You can add to that olive leaf tea brewed to heal, but only in small amounts.

Too high a dose of any plant extract is not healthy and could be harmful. The tea has anti-microbial properties as do olive oil, olives and unheated honey. Other super foods for healing noted in both Bible Testaments include almonds, walnuts, and pistachio nuts. These Biblical foods also are being studied in Sacramento and Davis by U.C. Davis researchers for their healing effects.

See the PDF file article, The benefits of consuming almonds - UC Davis Nutrition Department and Postmenopausal women needed for new walnut health benefits. Many foods mentioned in the Bible have been studied for their affects of preventing plaque buildup or blood clots. For example, specific herbs and spices rich in salicylates that help prevent blood clots from clogging the arteries include include curry, cayenne, paprika, thyme, turmeric, ginger, licorice and peppermint. Fruits high in salicylates include strawberries, oranges, grapes, raisins, prunes, blueberries and cranberries. You also may wish to check out the site, "Foods in the Bible | Hillbilly Housewife."

Other food items high in salicylates include wine, vinegar, honey and cider. Of these foods, Biblical foods with salicyclates also include the vinegar, honey, raisins, and cider, although the cider may have been made from pomegranates in the ancient Middle East. Vinegar most frequently came from grapes/wine in ancient times in the Biblical areas of the world.

Walnuts as a super food for healing mentioned in the Bible

As for walnuts (in moderation) mentioned in the Bible, see, the article, Plants of the Bible - ODU Plant Site. The nut trees mentioned in Song of Songs 6:11 are the trees known as the Persian, (Juglans regia) walnuts that now are widely grown in many parts of the world. This species is widely grown in the Middle East where the seeds of the fruits ("nuts") are eaten.

A delicacy in parts of Syria is candied green walnut where the entire fruit including the part that will become bony, is eaten. Check out the article, Bible Foods - Complete List Of Foods In The Bible. The health benefits of walnuts include the ability to lower the bad type of cholesterol, but only if you eat a handful and not a can full. See, The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Walnuts - WebMD.

Super foods for healing that are also mentioned in the Bible

Here is a list of the foods mentioned in the Bible with where they're mentioned. What's unique is that most of these foods have been studied by Sacramento and Davis scientists at U.C. Davis for the food's polyphenols and micronutrients as well as the ability to heal. Ancient people used olive leaf tea, for example as a healing, soothing drink. And although the ancients didn't know about microbes, the olive leaf tea (olive leaf extract and olive oil) does have an anti-microbial effect. Check out the article, The Bible And Food.

Not mentioned in the Bible were turmeric, native to India, but spices were mentioned in the Bible. The original Bible bread had been kneaded from crushed lentils, beans, and other legumes, mixed with grains that grew in the Middle East.

Pomegranates as a super healing food mentioned in the Bible

See Life Extension Magazine, July 2007, “Reversing Atherosclerosis Naturally," by Dale Kiefer. The article notes, “In the past seven years alone, the amount of published research on pomegranate has increased seven-fold over all preceding years in the medical and scientific literature.”

The primary source for Life Extension Magazine's article’s conclusion is the medical journal study by Lansky EP, Newman RA. Punica granatum (pomegranate) and its potential for prevention and treatment of inflammation and cancer. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2007 Jan 19;109(2):177-206.

For example, researchers at the University of California, Davis recently had studies on the health benefits of foods such as the articles, Check out the latest Cost Study from UC Davis on growing pomegranates in the Sacramento region. Also see the Bible Diet site and the website, KeyWordBiblePrecepts.Org(KJV)Biblical References to Food. Here's also a list of foods mentioned in the Bible which is on the site, "Foods of the Bible." The article where the foods are posted is, "Bible Foods with Scripture References," by Mary Fairchild, written for the About.com Guide.

Also see the site, Spiritual Diets. Ironically, all these foods are being studied as super foods for healing and health by numerous researchers. U.C. Davis locally has studies on plant foods micronutrients and polyphenols and their health benefits, for example from vegetables and fruits that also are mentioned in the Bible, both Old and/or New Testaments. Were the ancient loaves and fishes perhaps made of ground legumes and ground beans, mixed with barley pounded into meal, and perhaps served with steamed fish, likely served with pomegranates, wine vinegar, and olives?

Fruits and Nuts

  • Apples (the translation should have referred to pomegranates, as there weren't apples growing in that area of the Middle East, but pomegranates were growing there abundantly. (Song of Solomon 2:5)
  • Almonds (Genesis 43:11; Numbers 17:8)
  • Dates (2 Samuel 6:19; 1 Chronicles 16:3)
  • Figs (Nehemiah 13:15; Jeremiah 24:1-3)
  • Grapes (Leviticus 19:10; Deuteronomy 23:24)
  • Melons (Numbers 11:5; Isaiah 1:8)
  • Olives (Isaiah 17:6; Micah 6:15)
  • Pistachio Nuts (Genesis 43:11)
  • Pomegranates (Numbers 20:5; Deuteronomy 8:8)
  • Raisins (Numbers 6:3; 2 Samuel 6:19)
  • Sycamore Fruit (Psalm 78:47; Amos 7:14)

Vegetables and Legumes

  • Beans (2 Samuel 17:28; Ezekiel 4:9)
  • Cucumbers (Numbers 11:5)
  • Gourds (2 Kings 4:39)
  • Leeks (Numbers 11:5)
  • Lentils (Genesis 25:34; 2 Samuel 17:28; Ezekiel 4:9)
  • Onions (Numbers 11:5)

Grains

  • Barley (Deuteronomy 8:8; Ezekiel 4:9)
  • Bread (Genesis 25:34; 2 Samuel 6:19; 16:1; Mark 8:14)
  • Corn (Matthew 12:1; KJV - refers to "grain" such as wheat or barley)
  • Flour (2 Samuel 17:28; 1 Kings 17:12)
  • Millet (Ezekiel 4:9)
  • Spelt (Ezekiel 4:9)
  • Unleavened Bread (Genesis 19:3; Exodus 12:20)
  • Wheat (Ezra 6:9; Deuteronomy 8:8)

Fish

  • Matthew 15:36
  • John 21:11-13

Fowl

  • Partridge (1 Samuel 26:20; Jeremiah 17:11)
  • Pigeon (Genesis 15:9; Leviticus 12:8)
  • Quail (Psalm 105:40)
  • Dove (Leviticus 12:8)
  • Eggs (Job 6:6; Luke 11:12)

Domestic Livestock

  • Calf (Proverbs 15:17; Luke 15:23)
  • Goat (Genesis 27:9)
  • Lamb (2 Samuel 12:4)
  • Oxen (1 Kings 19:21)
  • Sheep (Deuteronomy 14:4)
  • Venison (Genesis 27:7 KJV)

Dairy

  • Butter (Proverbs 30:33)
  • Cheese (2 Samuel 17:29; Job 10:10)
  • Curds (Isaiah 7:15)
  • Milk (Exodus 33:3; Job 10:10; Judges 5:25)

Condiments, olive oil, vinegar, and wine

  • Grape Juice (Numbers 6:3)
  • Honey (Exodus 33:3; Deuteronomy 8:8; Judges 14:8-9)
  • Locust (Mark 1:6)
  • Olive Oil (Ezra 6:9; Deuteronomy 8:8)
  • Vinegar (Ruth 2:14; John 19:29)
  • Wine (Ezra 6:9; John 2:1-10)

Recipe for making Bible bread from legumes and beans.

How do you make Bible bread? See the Bible website that compares translations of Ezekiel 4.9 regarding the recipe for baking bread under siege. Also see the Bible bread recipes site, Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread Recipes.

Basically you grind up barley, wheat, beans, lentils, millet, and emmer wheat. This mix is full of gluten. So if you're on a gluten-free diet, don't bake this type of bread. If you can digest all this gluten from wheat and barley, then you might ferment the grains until they sprout and then grind them up, mix with water and salt or spices and herbs, roll out the dough, and bake into a flatbread. Or you could buy Organic Ezekiel Bread Making Kits from Wheat grass kits.com.

Bible bread often refers to Ezekiel 4.9. which says, depending upon the translation, "Take unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou liest upon thy side: three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.

This 'modern' recipe for Bible Bread referred to how to eat during a siege that lasted 390 days. But in ancient times, people didn't buy packages of yeast. The natural yeast came from spores in the air or they ate unleaveaned flat bread. Amish sourdough starter "Friendship Bread" uses a natural starter to make the bread rise rather than store-bought yeast. Also, see the recipe, Amish Friendship Bread - the story and recipe.

You might try this recipe for two loaves of low-salt bread: A similar version is at the organic gardening and homesteading site. Please go to the various recipe sites for Ezekiel 4.9 bread or Bible bread to see the recipes.

The ancients baked flat, round breads like you find in the Middle East and South Asia today, not breads in loaf pans like you see in modern times in Europe and the USA. The question remains--bake the bread in round, flat shapes after you roll out the dough round as a pie crust?

Or put the bread in regular bread loaf pans like you see in usual USA bakeries? You can grind your grain, lentils, and beans in a hand mill grinder or in an electric dry grain and beans grinder.

Check out all the online recipes for various types of Ezekiel 4.9 style breads. Here, below are some of the interpretations of the Bible passage referring to how to bake this particular type of bread, a bread using course meal to be eaten when under siege for 390 days. For further information about various translations of the Ezekiel 4.9 bread 'recipe' and explanation, Please see the Ezekiel 4.9 website.

New International Version (©1984)
"Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side.

New Living Translation (©2007)
"Now go and get some wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and emmer wheat, and mix them together in a storage jar. Use them to make bread for yourself during the 390 days you will be lying on your side.

English Standard Version (©2001)
“And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer, and put them into a single vessel and make your bread from them. During the number of days that you lie on your side, 390 days, you shall eat it.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days.

God's Word® Translation (©1995)
"Then take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and winter wheat. Put them in a container, and use them to make bread for yourself. Eat it during the 390 days that you are lying on your side.

King James Bible
Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.

American King James Version
Take you also to you wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make you bread thereof, according to the number of the days that you shall lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days shall you eat thereof.

American Standard Version
Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof; according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, even three hundred and ninety days, shalt thou eat thereof.

Bible in Basic English
And take for yourself wheat and barley and different sorts of grain, and put them in one vessel and make bread for yourself from them; all the days when you are stretched on your side it will be your food.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And take to thee wheat and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side: three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.

Darby Bible Translation
And thou, take unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou liest upon thy side: three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.

English Revised Version
Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof; according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, even three hundred and ninety days, shalt thou eat thereof.

Webster's Bible Translation
Take thou also to thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat of it.

World English Bible
Take for yourself also wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make bread of it; [according to] the number of the days that you shall lie on your side, even three hundred ninety days, you shall eat of it.

Young's Literal Translation
'And thou, take to thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and thou hast put them in one vessel, and made them to thee for bread; the number of the days that thou art lying on thy side -- three hundred and ninety days--though dost eat it.

Learning from a variety of traditional cultures about reducing blood pressure naturally with super foods

In traditional societies, according to the article, "Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally," by William Davis, M.D., published in the March 2010 edition of Life Extension Magazine, Americans can learn a lot about nutrition from traditional cultures about managing blood pressure. For example, according to the article, nutrition plays a critical role in determining blood pressure.

Dr. Williams' article discusses the inclusion of an abundance of plant-sourced foods and wild game in traditional societies. But the main point is the exclusion of food additives and processed food such as high fructose corn syrup. The article notes that the abundant plant-sourced foods "confer extraordinary lifelong protection from hypertension."

Most of the traditional societies with ideal blood pressure readings have never added salt to their food. They eat food in the natural state that it appears as it grows. The salt they get is from the plants, fish, sea vegetables, or meat without adding salt. For example indigenous tribes in Australia traditionally don't add salt to their foods. Compare the blood pressure of traditional peoples in different parts of the world that eat a high plant-based diet and don't add salt with societies that add a high amount of salt to foods such as most of the industrialized cities of East Asia.

The traditional diet Dr. Williams refers to in his article is nothing like the low-fat "notions that are partly responsible for the American obesity and diabetes crisis." According to the article, the traditional societies mentioned include the Yanomamo and Xingu Indians of Brazil, rural Kenyans, and natives of Papua/New Guinea. It's interesting to note that these traditional peoples all have blood pressures that typically average 103/63 mmHg. This figure also applies to aging members.

The Yanomamö people of Central Brazil are one of the oldest examples of the classic pre-Columbian forest footmen. The Yanomamö live in almost complete seclusion in the Amazon rain forests of South America and, according to many anthropologists, are perhaps the last culture to have come in contact with the modern world.

In Western societies, as people age, their blood pressures often rise. This rise with age isn't happening in most traditional societies. The traditional peoples don't develop an age-related increase in blood pressure. Why?

The Yanomamö live in a constant state of warfare with other tribes and even within their own groups, according to the e-museum's anthropological article, "Yanomamo." Marriages are often arranged according to performances of one's relatives in battles.

Ideal marriages are thought to consist of cross-cousin marriages and the males of the family and the religious leaders of the tribe perform all marriages. In addition to their strong kinship ties and political alliances, the Yanomamö have a detailed religion, based on the use of hallucinogenic drugs and the telling of mythical tales. With all this, why are they so healthy as far as having a great blood pressure and probably good teeth?

Traditional people may not always add salt to their foods

It's not only about the traditional people's lack of added salt to their food. It also includes the higher natural potassium intake from foods. They're not taking supplements or pills. It's the potassium in the plant-based foods. And the plant-based foods have salt already in them without adding any more. Some traditional peoples have or had no access to salt.

In very isolated tribes that have no access to Western foods, traditionally, they aren't drinking commercial alcoholic beverages, or if they have access to alcoholic beverages they ferment themselves, it's less alcohol intake than found in Western societies. But what they all have in common is lower body weight.

If you study the Yanomamo, for example as nutritional anthropologists would, you'd find they don't eat commercial foods such as chips and colas, fruit drinks made with sugar and water. They eat the entire fruit. Where they live there are no blenders, no electricity in most cases, and probably no running water. The thousands of processed foods eaten in Western, commercial-food influenced societies such as crackers, cookies, cheese, pickles, candy, or margarine spreads aren't eaten in those traditional societies with average blood pressure readings of 103/63 lifelong.

These societies are not eating low-fat foods either. It's not about restricting fats.The article notes, "This diet is a far cry from the misguided low-fat notions that are partly responsible for the American obesity and diabetes epidemic." What's emphasized in the article is "to more importantly focus on types of fats in the diet."

For example, the article reports that it's more important to replace saturated and hydrogenated fats with unsaturated and omega 3 fats in order to "help reduce heart disease risk." The big problem seems to be "industrial foods." What's wrong with the American diet, according to the article, are the overly sugared and low-fat processed breakfast cereals and breads (and the inflammatory responses) caused by industrial foods.

The article recommends mimicking the lifestyle of traditional cultures by eliminating modern industrial foods that contribute to high blood pressure by increasing the foods that reduce blood pressure. Most people are not going to live on cassava root and wild berries or hunt for wild game that in Western society has been polluted by toxins.

The answer is to simulate a modern version of a traditional lifestyle. This is done by eliminating from your diet cornstarch and wheat. Dr. William notes, "It is not uncommon in our clinic to see blood pressure reductions of 20-40 mmHg." You also may wish to check out the site, "Foods of the Bible - Beliefnet.com."

The GMO wheat of today is not the same form of wild or newly cultivated grain as existed in ancient Biblical days

Can getting rid of wheat from your diet and cornstarch, especially gluten help reduce your blood pressure? According to the article, certain foods and nutrients may help promote healthy blood pressure naturally. These include nuts, vitamin D, magnesium, coenzymeQ10, French maritime pine bark extract, anthocyanins, omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil or flax seed meal, resveratrol, acetyl-L-carnitine, and melatonin. You may wish to check out the site, "Healing foods and diet of the Bible Scripture."

For further information, see the article, "Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally," on page 51-60 in the March 2010 issue of Life Extension magazine. Usually the issues are posted online a few weeks after they are published in print. You also may wish to see the site, "Healthy foods."

Regarding variation on another theme: If you like raw vegan nut balls, check out the YouTube video recipe: How to make raw, vegan nut balls with seeds, dried fruits, a banana, nuts, and oats.