"A fool gives vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" (Prv 29:11).

The interpretation seemingly obvious, there are also physical reasons for taking these words to heart. Most are aware that stress is not good for one's health, but it seems anger is even worse. Losing your temper causes an increase in blood pressure and pulse rate and sends an outpouring of chemicals into your system. Medical experts say that blowing your cool or suppressing rage causes one to be at great risk for a heart attack or stroke.

What's a hothead to do? Laugh a lot. "A merry heart does good like medicine" (Prv 17:22).

Laughter is a greatest preventative medicine. When you laugh, positive hormones called endorphins are produced. You can't laugh and be uptight and frustrated at the same time. So laugh! You'll reap the added blessing of feeling good. "You shall not eat the fat of ox, or sheep, or goat" (Lev 7:23). Fat only raises cholesterol levels, but clogs arteries so that blood, which carries nutrients as well as oxygen to all parts of the body, cannot get through. As it is written, "The heart of the people is waxed gross [clogged with fat?], that they cannot see and they cannot hear" (Acts 28:27).

Taking this a step further, we read (Numbers 11:5), "We remember the fish we used to eat...the cucumbers, the melons the leeks, onions and the garlic." The first food mentioned is fish. Seafood contains large amounts of two oils known as EPA and DHA. These reduce the build-up of plaque in arteries and guard against heart disease. This, however, only applies to fish with fins and scales, not shellfish.

Cucumbers and melons are rich in minerals that help to break up cholesterol deposits. Leeks and onions contain an oil that helps prevent blood clots. Garlic lowers cholesterol levels and reduces triglycerides, blood fats that can cause a heart attack.

Everyone needs some fat in their diet. Unsaturated fat is readily found in fruits and vegetables. Olive oil is the most outstanding example: It's not only beneficial for keeping arteries unclogged, but helps prevent hardening of the arteries.

It sounds as though God, who fashioned and formed us, knew what He was about when He gave the "maintenance manual" to Moses. We have rules for keeping head, heart and body in sound working order. All parts working together in harmony make for a happy, healthy person.

On the path to good health, also consider love: "Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous nor pompous. It is not inflated; it is not rude. It does not seek it's own interests, is not quick tempered, does not brood over injury, does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rather rejoices with truth. For there are three things that last. They are faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love" (I Cor 13: 4-7,13).

(Ms. Cardoza attends Sacred Heart parish in Sidney.)