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Stimulating foods & drinks that lead to cravings and excessive desires for other drugs.


Summary: “A stimulant may for a time arouse the energies and produce mental and physical activity; but when the exhilarating influence is gone, both mind and body will be in a worse condition than before. Intoxicating liquors and tobacco have proved a terrible curse to our race, not only weakening the body and confusing the mind, but debasing the morals. As the control of reason is set aside, the animal passions will bear sway. The more freely these poisons are used, the more brutish will become the nature.” {CG 404.3}


What is a stimulant

STIMULANT, a. [L.] Increasing or exciting action, particularly the action of the organs of an animal body; stimulating.  n. A medicine that excites and increases the action of the moving fibers or organs of an animal body. Webster’s Dictionary

Most harmful stimulants (these are labeled as sinful to indulge in and should be avoided at all costs):
Narcotics (opium, etc.)

“We wish to build a sanitarium where maladies may be cured by nature's own provisions, and where the people may be … educated to refuse all narcotics,--tea, coffee, fermented wines, and stimulants of all kinds,--and to discard the flesh of dead animals.”{CD 281.2}

Mild and moderate stimulants (These lead to a desire for stronger stimulants.  They are not safe for children or those struggling with temperance or self-control):
Highly-seasoned foods: too much salt, spices, and the use of pepper
Condiments such as: Chow-Chow (relish), mustard, pickles, etc.
Rich gravies
Rich pastries
Luxurious cakes

“CONDIMENT, n. [L., to season, pickle or preserve.] Seasoning; sauce; that which is used to give relish to meat or other food, and to gratify the taste. As for radish and the like, they are for condiments, and not for nourishment.” Webster’s Dictionary

“Luxurious dishes are placed before the children,-- spiced foods, rich gravies, cakes, and pastries. This highly seasoned food irritates the stomach, and causes a craving for still stronger stimulants.” {CD 340.2}

Pepper and to much salt: “On my frequent journeys across the continent, I do not patronize restaurants, dining car, or hotels, for the simple reason that I cannot eat the food there provided. The dishes are highly seasoned with salt and pepper, creating an almost intolerable thirst. . . . They would irritate and inflame the delicate coating of the stomach. . . . Such is the food that is commonly served upon fashionable tables, and given to the children. Its effect is to cause nervousness and to create thirst which water does not quench... Food should be prepared in as simple a manner as possible, free from condiments and spices, and even from an undue amount of salt.” {CD 339.5}

“I had used pepper and mustard in my diet; but these should not be put into the human stomach. The delicate membrane becomes inflamed, the healthy tone of the stomach is lowered, and the appetite is perverted, the taste loses its discernment, and the delicious flavors of grains, vegetables, and fruits become insipid and unpalatable.” {ST, February 17, 1888 par. 5}

Ginger ok: “We have not had spice in our house for ten years, except a little ginger, which we have always used to some extent.” {15MR 245.4}  (Spice is left somewhat of a mystery.  There are many theories out there, but you must decide what is correct from your own research.)

Cinnamon: “Cake was brought into our tent. I ate a small piece, and my stomach refused to retain it; it was spiced with cinnamon. If my stomach would not acknowledge this as food, but rebelled against it, what condition must these be in who partook of this food every day.”

“When the use of flesh food is discontinued, there is often a sense of weakness, a lack of vigor. Many urge this as evidence that flesh food is essential; but it is because foods of this class are stimulating, because they fever the blood and excite the nerves, that they are so missed. Some will find it as difficult to leave off flesh eating as it is for the drunkard to give up his dram; but they will be the better for the change. Flesh food also is harmful. Its naturally stimulating effect should be a sufficient argument against its use; and the almost universally diseased condition of animals makes it doubly objectionable. It tends to irritate the nerves and to excite the passions, thus giving the balance of power to the lower propensities.”  {CD 397.1}


What it does

Injures the digestion and creates unnatural appetite:  “Men and women, by indulging the appetite in eating rich and highly-seasoned foods, especially flesh-meats, with rich gravies, and by using stimulating drinks, as tea and coffee, create unnatural appetites. The system becomes fevered, the organs of digestion become injured, the mental faculties are beclouded, while the baser passions are excited, and predominate over the nobler faculties. The appetite becomes more unnatural, and more difficult of restraint. The circulation of the blood is not equalized, and becomes impure. The whole system is deranged, and the demands of appetite become more unreasonable, craving exciting, hurtful things, until it is thoroughly depraved.”  {2SM 420.1}

Causes irritability and destroys enjoyment of simple food: “A bottle of chow-chow, fiery with mustard and pungent with spices, was handed her, from which she helped herself freely. The child was proverbial for her nervousness and irritability of temper, and these fiery condiments were well calculated to produce such a condition. The oldest child thought he could not eat a meal without meat, and showed great dissatisfaction, and even disrespect, if it was not provided for him. The mother had indulged him in his likes and dislikes till she had become little better than a slave to his caprices. The lad had not been provided with work, and he spent the greater portion of his time in reading that which was useless or worse than useless. He complained almost constantly of headache, and had no relish for simple food.”  {CD 242.3}

Affects the nervous system: “Through the intemperance begun at home, the digestive organs first become weakened, and soon ordinary food does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea and coffee produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited; and in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated, the imagination more vivid. Because these stimulants produce such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them; but there is always a reaction. The nervous system has borrowed power from its future resources for present use, and all this temporary invigoration is followed by a corresponding depression. The suddenness of the relief obtained from tea and coffee is an evidence that what seems to be strength is only nervous excitement, and consequently must be an injury to the system.” {CG 403.2}

Affects the mind: “Will they discard tea, coffee, flesh meats, and all stimulating food, and devote the means expended for these hurtful indulgences to spreading the truth? These stimulants do only harm, and yet we see that a large number of those who profess to be Christians are using tobacco. These very men will deplore the evil of intemperance, and while speaking against the use of liquors will eject the juice of tobacco. While a healthy state of mind depends upon the normal condition of the vital forces, what care should be exercised that neither stimulants nor narcotics be used.” {3T 569.2}

Tends to excess: “Under the head of stimulants and narcotics is classed a great variety of articles that, altogether, used as food or drink irritate the stomach, poison the blood, and excite the nerves. Their use is a positive evil. Men seek the excitement of stimulants, because, for the time, the results are agreeable. But there is always a reaction. The use of unnatural stimulants always tends to excess, and it is an active agent in promoting physical degeneration and decay.”  {CD 339.2}

Condiments act like liquor: “In this fast age, the less exciting the food, the better. Condiments are injurious in their nature. Mustard, pepper, spices, pickles, and other things of a like character, irritate the stomach and make the blood feverish and impure. The inflamed condition of the drunkard's stomach is often pictured as illustrating the effect of alcoholic liquors. A similarly inflamed condition is produced by the use of irritating condiments. Soon ordinary food does not satisfy the appetite. The system feels a want, a craving, for something more stimulating.”  {CD 339.3}

Creates a desire for more stimulating articles:  “The food is often such as to excite a desire for stimulating drinks. Luxurious dishes are placed before the children,--spiced foods, rich gravies, cakes, and pastries. This highly seasoned food irritates the stomach, and causes a craving for still stronger stimulants. Not only is the appetite tempted with unsuitable food, of which the children are allowed to eat freely at their meals, but they are permitted to eat between meals, and by the time they are twelve or fourteen years of age they are often confirmed dyspeptics.” {CTBH 17.2}


Why we should avoid them

Temperance is a path of safety: “God calls upon parents to guard their children against the indulgence of appetite, and especially against the use of stimulants and narcotics. The tables of Christian parents should never be loaded with food containing condiments and spices. They are to study to preserve the stomach from any abuse.  In this fast age the less exciting the food the better. Temperance in all things and firm denial of appetite is the only path of safety.” {CG 405.1}

It creates a desire for more: “You have perhaps seen a picture of the stomach of one who is addicted to strong drink. A similar condition is produced under the irritating influence of fiery spices. With the stomach in such a state, there is a craving for something more to meet the demands of the appetite, something stronger, and still stronger. Next you find your sons out on the street learning to smoke.” {CD 236.1}

Perverted appetite creates unnatural cravings “This might be correct if the appetite had never been perverted. There is a natural, and a depraved, appetite. Parents who have taught their children to eat unhealthful, stimulating food, all their lives, until the taste is perverted, and they crave clay, slate pencils, burned coffee, tea grounds, cinnamon, cloves, and spices, cannot claim that the appetite demands what the system requires. The appetite has been falsely educated, until it is depraved..”  {HR, December 1, 1870 par. 8}

Makes it difficult to think properly and have self-control: “It is impossible for those who give the reins to appetite to attain to Christian perfection. The moral sensibilities of your children cannot be easily aroused, unless you are careful in the selection of their food. Many a mother sets a table that is a snare to her family. Flesh-meats, butter, cheese, rich pastry, spiced foods, and condiments are freely partaken of by both old and young. These things do their work in deranging the stomach, exciting the nerves, and enfeebling the intellect. The blood-making organs cannot convert such things into good blood… Spices at first irritate the tender coating of the stomach, but finally destroy the natural sensitiveness of this delicate membrane. The blood becomes fevered, the animal propensities are aroused, while the moral and intellectual powers are weakened, and become servants to the baser passions. The mother should study to set a simple yet nutritious diet before her family.” {CTBH 46.3}

They are injurious: “The less that condiments and desserts are placed upon our tables, the better it will be for all who partake of the food. All mixed and complicated foods are injurious to the health of human beings. Dumb animals would never eat such a mixture as is often placed in the human stomach.” {CD 113.3}

It is sinful: “Tea and coffee drinking is a sin, an injurious indulgence, which, like other evils, injures the soul. These darling idols create an excitement, a morbid action of the nervous system; and after the immediate influence of the stimulants is gone, it lets down below par just to that degree that its stimulating properties elevated above par.” {CD 425.3}

“Since a healthy state of mind depends upon the normal condition of the vital forces, what care should be exercised that neither stimulants nor narcotics be used! Yet we see that a large number of those who profess to be Christians are using tobacco. They deplore the evils of intemperance; yet while speaking against the use of liquors, these very men will eject the juice of tobacco. There must be a change of sentiment with reference to tobacco-using before the root of the evil will be reached. We press the subject still closer. Tea and coffee are fostering the appetite for stronger stimulants. And then we come still closer home, to the preparation of food, and ask, Is temperance practiced in all things? are the reforms which are essential to health and happiness carried out here? {CE 181.1}
     Every true Christian will have control of his appetites and passions. Unless he is free from the bondage of appetite, he cannot be a true, obedient servant of Christ. The indulgence of appetite and passion blunts the effect of truth upon the heart. It is impossible for the spirit and power of the truth to sanctify a man, soul, body, and spirit, when he is controlled by sensual desires.” {CE 181.2}



Food should not be our primary focus in life: “The true fasting which should be recommended to all, is abstinence from every stimulating kind of food, and the proper use of wholesome, simple food, which God has provided in abundance. Men need to think less about what they shall eat and drink, of temporal food, and much more in regard to the food from heaven, that will give tone and vitality to the whole religious experience.” {CD 90.1}

“We must be constantly meditating upon the word, eating it, digesting it, and by practice, assimilating it, so that it is taken into the life current. He who feeds on Christ daily will by his example teach others to think less of that which they eat, and to feel much greater anxiety for the food they give to the soul.”  {CD 89.3}

Children’s Diets should be stricter: “Mothers need to be instructed on this point. Sweet cake should be kept off the table, for it is an injury to the stomach and liver. The sweets that children eat harm the life-current. By the laws of the home everything that renders the blood impure should be discarded from the table. Especially should little children be given wholesome food. They should be given no tea or coffee. Their food should not contain spices or any kind of seasoning. The plainest food is the most wholesome and keeps the temple of God in the most healthy condition.” {1SAT 215.1}


How to change:

It takes some time: “Persons who have indulged their appetite to eat freely of meat, highly seasoned gravies, and various kinds of rich cakes and preserves, cannot immediately relish a plain, wholesome, nutritious diet. Their taste is so perverted they have not appetite for a wholesome diet of fruits, plain bread, and vegetables. They need not expect to relish at first food so different from that in which they have been indulging.”  {CD 341.3}

Education and training: “Children are to be trained to understand that every organ of the body and every faculty of the mind is the gift of a good and wise God, and that each is to be used to His glory. Right habits in eating and drinking and dressing must be insisted upon. Wrong habits render the youth less susceptible to Bible instruction. The children are to be guarded against the indulgence of appetite, and especially against the use of stimulants and narcotics. The tables of Christian parents should not be loaded down with food containing condiments and spices. …Show them that if they violate the laws of their being they must pay the penalty in suffering. If you cannot see as rapid improvement as you desire, do not be discouraged, but instruct them patiently and press on until victory is gained..” {CT 125-6}

“Teach your children to abhor stimulants. How many are ignorantly fostering in them an appetite for these things!  God calls upon parents to guard their children against the indulgence of appetite, and especially against the use of stimulants and narcotics. The tables of Christian parents should never be loaded with food containing condiments and spices. They are to study to preserve the stomach from any abuse.  In this fast age the less exciting the food the better. Temperance in all things and firm denial of appetite is the only path of safety.” {CG 405}

Abstinence:   “… trying to cure a drunkard by giving him, in the place of whisky or brandy, the milder intoxicants, such as wine, beer, or cider. The use of these would continually foster the appetite for stronger stimulants. The only safety for the inebriate, and the only safeguard for the temperate man, is total abstinence… Total abstinence is his only safety.  {CT 383.4}

If you NEED a stimulant: “Go to work, whether you feel like it or not. Engage in personal effort to bring souls to Jesus and to the knowledge of the truth. In such labor you will find both a stimulant and a tonic; it will both arouse and strengthen. By exercise, your spiritual powers will become more vigorous, so that you can, with better success, work out your own salvation. The stupor of death is upon many who profess Christ. Make every effort to arouse them. Warn, entreat, expostulate. Pray that the melting love of God may warm and soften their ice-bound natures. Though they may refuse to hear, your efforts will not be lost. In the effort to bless others, your own souls will be blessed.” {RH, November 12, 1914 par. 9}


Most of the quotes in regards to stimulants apply to tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and other narcotics.  We can assume all caffeinated beverages like colas, are also stimulating drinks and are referred to in these quotes, because caffeine affects the central nervous system.  The remaining quotes encourage us to avoid foods that create a desire for these harmful stimulants.  Foods such as: meat, heavily spiced foods, rich desserts, and condiments.  Eating simple, plain foods may take some time to get used to, but we are living in a time of selfishness, ease, and stress.  We need to slow down, simplify, and live so that we can be a blessing to others.