Vitamins and Minerals
1: How many of you still remember the three groups of foods we learned about in the last lesson? What was the first group? The energy-rich foods. They are foods that are rich in carbohydrates and fats which supply our bodies with fuel for heat and energy, foods such as grains, starches, bread, yams and potatoes.
2: The second group is made up of protein-rich foods that give us building materials, such as nuts and beans.
3: The third group is made up of the most colorful foods; our fruits and vegetables. These are rich sources of protective and regulating materials which we call vitamins and minerals.
4: Now, we will focus our attention on these important minerals and vitamins. There are actually many of them, but we will talk about only a few. If you eat a balanced diet and a good variety of fruits and vegetables, you can be pretty sure of getting all of these protective and regulating materials you need. To help you realize how important they are, we will talk about Vitamins A; B, C, and D, and the minerals, calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
5: First of all, why do we need Vitamin A? For one thing, this vitamin strengthens the membranes that line your nose, throat, and other air passages as well as the gastrointestinal arid genito-urinary tracts. Vitamin A helps these membranes (linings) to resist the attacks of germs. Vitamin A also helps you to see in the dark, especially when your eyes have to adjust quickly from light to darkness as when you drive at night and meet the bright headlights of on-coming cars. Vitamin A also keeps your skin smooth, and free from pimple-like bumps on the upper arms and thighs. All in all, Vitamin A is important in many ways, as you can see.
6: The next vitamin is actually a large family called the B Complex, or the Vitamin B family. Each member has its own specialty but all of them have the general job of helping to keep your nervous system healthy. The B Vitamins are sometimes called the "morale vitamins." If you lack enough Vitamin B, you may be quarrelsome. However if you lean on sufficient Vitamin B you will not be bothered. Lack of Vitamin B can also make you fearful, apprehensive, timid, or depressed, or forgetful. Do you have no patience when accidents happen? Are you nervous and jumpy? Are you a worrier? You may be lacking in Vitamin B Complex!
7: Vitamin C is responsible for strengthening the walls of the capillaries, the smallest arteries found in the body. If you have bleeding gums or if you easily bruise or your wounds heal slowly, you may be lacking in Vitamin C.
8: Vitamin D is usually thought of as the sunshine Vitamin. Actually, what happens is that the ultra-violet rays of the sun combine with a fatty substance just under your skin to form Vitamin D. This vitamin, in turn, combines with calcium and phosphorus to form an important trio. These three have to work together, and if any one is lacking, trouble results: you may have poor teeth, or you may have poor bones. Both knock knees and bowed legs are usually the result of something interfering with the work of this important trio.
9: Last, but not least is iron. The bright red color of blood in your arteries is due to the iron in your blood. Iron helps to carry life-giving oxygen to every cell of your body. Lack of iron can produce such symptoms as dizziness, or fatigue, that tired-out feeling. Believe me, iron can make a great difference in how you feel.
10: Now that you know the importance of these minerals and vitamins, you want to know how you can be sure to obtain them every day. You need a balanced diet which gives you enough variety from each of the groups you have learned about. Also, you should learn to use unrefined foods instead of refined foods.
11: Avoid white sugar. It is pure carbohydrate and nothing else. Of course, you need plenty of carbohydrates, but this is the poorest way you can get fuel and energy! Why? Because it can easily satisfy your appetite and yet you have got only one of the 60 or more nutrients your body needs! Refined sugar is a thief, it has to have vitamins and minerals to be used by the body and it has none with it. So it robs the body by pulling these from somewhere else, resulting in severe deficiencies.
12: Instead eat fruit or green leafy vegetables. Again, you have carbohydrates for fuel and energy. But you also have plenty of Vitamin C and Vitamin A along with small amounts of many other important nutrients your body needs. Now, you can see why we speak of refined foods as "empty calories", you are cheating yourself when you spend money for empty calories! You are cheating yourselves both financially and physically.
13: Natural foods contain so many good things. Fruits and Vegetables, especially green, leafy vegetables, and delicious ripe fruits give us vitamins A and C, iron and calcium along with many other things. Building foods such as our many kinds of beans and energy foods such as our good, unpolished rice and whole maize give us a good supply of Vitamin B, iron and phosphorus along with many other nutrients.
14: Now here is something to think about. You can easily throw away or destroy these important body protectors and regulators we have been talking about. How? In the way you prepare your fruits and vegetables! Take a potato, slice it open the potato and take a look, do you notice that line that goes around just under the skin? Do you know that between the skin and that line are found good amounts of minerals and vitamins? So make sure that you remove only a very thin portion of the skin. Better yet, steam or bake them with skins on.
15: Vitamins and minerals are quite sensitive. When you open up or slice such fruits as papaya or melon and leave them waiting before you eat them, the air destroys some of the vitamins. So be sure to slice them just before eating them, or slice them and then put them back together again until time to eat them. In cooking vegetables, it is best to keep them covered and to use only enough water to cook them. Be sure to use the left-over water in soups so as to get the benefit of the vitamins and minerals that escaped into the water. Wilted vegetables are not as nutritious as fresh ones, so unless you have a refrigerator to keep them fresh and crisp, it is best to buy your fruits and vegetables fresh each day. Vitamins and minerals are present in our food in only small amounts, so you cannot afford to lose them by careless habits in food preparation. They are much too important to waste!
16: We have seen how important it is to have a balanced diet. We are what we eat. So many of us have found our habits of eating are contrary to basic principles and God's outline for good health. The question is: Are we ready to deny ourselves what our human carnal appetites desire and follow what God has outlined as best? Are we ready to die to self now and live for Christ?
17: This leads us to the subject called Baptism. What really is Baptism? Is it an inward experience or an outward ordinance? Is it sprinkling? Is it pouring? Is it immersion?
18: Baptism was commanded by Christ as a memorial of the great facts of the Gospel. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Matthew 28:29. And the Gospel is "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures." 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4. And so Paul explains, "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?"
19: "Therefore, we are buried with Him by baptism into His death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life." Romans 6:3,4. The old man of sin is dead, buried and a new man is put on in its place, which is Christ Jesus our Saviour.
20: Baptism is an outward symbol of an inward experience. It is for those who hear the gospel, believe and repent. "And He (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15.
21: Then Peter said unto them. Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38. Before a person is baptized, he has to repent, or feel sorry for his sins.
22: Baptism is an act of faith. One has to fully believe the gospel and then only he is fit for baptism. "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, see here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Acts 8:36,37.
23: According to the Scriptures there is just one mode of baptism, "One Lord, One faith, One baptism." Ephesians 4.5. Since baptism is symbolic of burial as we have studied, it can be done only by immersion and not by sprinkling or pouring.
24: Jesus is our example and He took the baptism of immersion. Let us read: "And Jesus when He was baptized went up straightway out of the water." Matthew 4:16. Note the words, out of the water.
25: First a candidate goes into the water as in the experience of the Eunuch. We will read; And they went down both into the water." Acts 8:38. The officiating minister leads the candidate into the water and then he baptizes him in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost and then the man comes out of the water. This is why "John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came and were baptized." John 3:23.
26: Baptism is an entrance to the Church of God which is the body of Christ. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body." 1 Corinthians 12:13. So, by taking baptism, we become a part of the body of Christ, while He becomes our Head.
27: This is very important, for without this, we cannot "fulfill all righteousness." Matthew 3:15. We cannot see the kingdom of god. John 3:3, 5. Jesus never sinned but, so that we can follow Him in all points, was baptized. He is coming back soon, for those who have followed His example in all points and have been baptized into His body and have forsaken all to live a new life through His strength.