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What were Adam and Eve eating before they sinned in the Garden of Eden? If you said plants – you’d be only partially right! 

In this blog post, we’re going to cover EXACTLY what God told Adam and Eve to eat He created them, and whether those instructions hold any relevance for Christians today. 

Our main text can be found in Genesis 1:29. So let’s turn there and have a look at what it says. I’m reading from the English Standard Version.

 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

Now, if you had asked me what Adam and Eve were eating in the Garden of Eden before I studied it closely, I would have just said plants. But it wasn’t ANY plant – it was only plants and trees with seeds in them.

What are seed-yielding plants?

The first category mentioned was plants that yield seeds.

Seed Yielding Plants include:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds (Some examples of that would be things like Hemp seed, Flaxseed, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds)
  • Grains (Wheat, corn, barley, rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth)
  • Legumes – all the beans like kidney beans, black beans, peas, black-eyed peas, peanuts, lentils)
  • Nightshade vegetables – things like eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and green beans, and
  • Melons like watermelon, cantaloupe, etc. 

The second group was trees with seed in its fruit. These are all the fruits that we typically eat like:

  • Oranges, apples, lemons, limes, bananas, strawberries, coconuts, grapes, dates, avocados, olives (which technically are all fruits); 

These lists are not meant to be exhaustive, but hopefully, this gives you a clear picture of what the first diet included.

 

Which foods were NOT included in the original diet? 

The foods that were excluded from the original diet were:

  • Animals like chicken, turkey, beef, pork
  • Fish and seafood
  • Anything excreted from an animal like goat or cow milk, cheese, eggs
  • Insects
  • Mushrooms
  • Leafy greens 
  • Root vegetables

Are you surprised that root vegetables like carrots and potatoes and leafy greens like, kale and spinach were NOT part of the original diet? 

I found that fascinating! 

God does expand the list of foods after the fall of man, but right out of the gate, those foods were not on the original menu.

So in short, Adam and Eve were on a whole foods, plant-based diet, they were originally vegans, and I’m going to make an educated guess that their food was also raw (so that means it was uncooked and unprocessed). 

There is no mention of cooking methods or any kind of meal preparation at all in the text at this point in human history. 

And if that WAS the case, then I have to wonder if they were even eating grains and legumes at that point.

One thing we do know for sure is that they were eating lots and lots and lots of carbs. And no animal protein.

Interesting, right?

If they were eating lots of carbs and no animal protein, were their diets deficient?

I doubt it. In their pristine environment, they had to have adequate nutrition. 

Why do I believe that? Well, because God said that what He created was good. 

It defies logic that He would design people, design the perfect environment for them to live in, and then design a diet that would not meet their needs at that point in their lives. 

That makes absolutely no sense.

It’s not until AFTER the fall that God chose to expand the dietary guidelines. So, perhaps the fall placed different physiological needs on the body. 

That’s a topic I’ll explore in a separate blog post, but it’s definitely something to chew on!

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Are the original dietary guidelines still valid for Christians today?

Absolutely!

I believe Genesis 1:29 is still vitally important.

Say tomorrow, I go out and buy a luxury vehicle like a Mercedes. 

Now, the people that designed and manufactured that car are going to give me an Owner’s manual. 

Those instructions are going to tell me how to maintain my new car to get optimal performance.

One of the first things they will tell me is that my new car runs on premium gasoline. 

So, if I want to get the most out of my car, I’m going to do what the manufacturer recommends, right? 

They created the car, they ought to know best how to take care of it. 

Of course, I can overrule those instructions and put a lower quality gasoline in the tank. But, if I choose to do that, what’s going to happen? 

My car is not going to run well. Eventually, it’s going to break down.

God is the highest intelligence in the universe. 

He created the first man and woman, a pristine environment for them to live in, and then He gave explicit instructions about what they should and should not eat. 

He was the architect and manufacturer of the human body.

Based on what you know about God’s character, is it likely that He gave Adam and Eve those VERY SPECIFIC eating instructions for no reason? 

I don’t think so. 

After telling Adam and Eve what they were supposed to do, he tells them what they were supposed to eat.  

Genesis 1:29 contains the VERY first instructions from God on how to care for the human body…the body that He designed.

Yes, diet guidance does change later as I mentioned earlier, but it’s additive. At no point EVER in the Biblical record does God EVER tell people not to eat plants and trees with seeds. 

These foods are foundational. These foods are essential. 

Based on this understanding, I believe these plant foods should make up the majority of what we should be eating if we want to take optimal care of our bodies.

In 2017, the CDC reported that only 1 in 10 Americans got the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables daily. 

The lead author of that study, Dr. Kwan said,

“This report highlights that very few Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, putting them at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease,”…He goes on to say “As a result, we’re missing out on the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that fruits and vegetables provide.”

Vitamins, Minerals, Fiber – all the things we CANNOT get eating animals and animal products. 

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are linked to all the major killers of Americans including  heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

So, most of us are starving ourselves of the foods that God specifically designed to fuel our bodies.

The CDC also reports that 7 in 10 of deaths of Americans are caused by a chronic illness. 70%!

Could the fact that most of us don’t eat the way God originally instructed Adam and Eve and the fact that chronic illness rates have been and continue to explode be mere coincidence?

Or is it a consequence of violating one of the first and most foundational biblical health principles? 

I believe it’s the latter. We are reaping what we have sown.

When God instructs us about ANYTHING, it would be wise for us to listen and apply that wisdom to our lives. We will reap benefits and blessings when we do.

And that goes for any area of our life…including the foods we choose to eat on a daily basis.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so let’s connect and discuss!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DALILA JONES STITZ

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DALILA JONES STITZ

Founder and CEO, Health Insurrection LLC

Dalila is a native Houstonian and currently lives in Switzerand with her husband and two kids. She received her health coach training through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and Hallelujah Acres, and teaches in-home bible studies and online courses.

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