Dan Buettner has been investigating unique areas – known as Blue Zones – where people live extraordinarily long and healthy lives. In his newest book, The Blue Zones Solution, he explores the following Blue Zones: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.
This sub-group of people in America live an extra 10 years!
Loma Linda, California contains the highest concentration of Seventh-Day Adventists in the US, and those who most strictly follow the religious teachings average a 10-year increase in life expectancy beyond the typical American. Their religious teachings include consuming the Genesis 1:29 diet (plant-based which includes whole grains, fruits, vegtables and nuts), very little meat and then only from biblically clean animals (no pork or shellfish, for example), consuming only water for beverage and faithfulness to spouse, family and religious community. These incorporate eight of the nine longevity clues given below, and some Adventists consume wine which would be the ninth common denominator.
- Read this inspiring blog about the uniqueness of the Seventh-Day Adventists in Loma Linda, CA
- A more in depth article is available here
Nine common denominators of people in the above five Blue Zone groups
- Have a purpose – knowing and being able to state your purpose (why you get up in the morning) is worth up to seven years of extra longevity (Eccl. 12:13 - The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments). "God, what is Your vision for my life?"
- Downshift – have a mechanism for reducing stress daily (Phil. 4:6 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God).
- Plant Slant – eat largely vegetarian (Gen. 1:29 - I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you). See also Dan. 1:8, 12.
- 80% Rule – eat mindfully and stop eating when your stomach is 80% full. This is the difference between gaining and losing weight (Prov. 23:21 - the glutton will come to poverty). Celebrate the taste of food in your mouth, remmebering there are NO taste buds in your stomach, but ONLY in your mouth.
- Move Naturally – more time on your feet and less time sitting (1 Tim. 4:8 - for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come).
- Loved Ones First – keeping your parents and grandparents nearby lowers your disease and mortality rates (Ex. 20:12 - Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged). Committing to a life partner can add three years to life expectancy (Ex. 20:12 - For I hate divorce," says the LORD ...So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously).
- Right Friends – strong committed friends who maintain healthy lifestyles (1 Cor. 15:33 - Bad company corrupts good morals).
- Religious Community – attending services four times a month will add four to fourteen years of life expectancy (Heb. 10:25 - not forsaking our own assembling together and 1 Thess. 5:11 - Encourage one another and build up one another).
- Wine at 5:00 – drink one or two glasses per day (1 Tim. 5:23 - use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments).
Go Deeper - Get Healthy!
Check out this entire blog series on Vibrant Health! - Miracles PLUS Gifts of Healings. Working through this series on health is ideal for both individuals and groups. The more we take responsibility for ourselves - spirit, soul and body - the healthier we become! Won't you join me in living to at least 100 in vibrant health?