How Do I Live Seven Years Longer?

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Consider these facts:

Male Seventh-day Adventists have an 8.9-year longer average life expectancy than does the general population, while female members have a 7.5-year longer average life expectancy.

Vegetarian Seventh-day Adventists have a reduced risk of osteoporosis when compared to meat-eaters in the general population. This probably has something to do with the fact that the excess protein in a high-meat diet causes the excretion of calcium in the urine. The SDA diet is both richer in calcium and lower in protein than the average American diet.

Seventh-day Adventists have a lower incidence of breast, prostate, pancreatic, bladder and ovarian cancers than does the general population. Vegetarian Seventh-day Adventist are one-half as likely as people in the general population to get colon or rectal cancer.

Non-vegetarian male Adventists have 56 percent of the expected coronary heart disease mortality. (This means the rate of heart disease in these Adventists is 56 percent of the rate in the general American population). The heart disease mortality rate for lacto-ovo vegetarian men is 39 percent, while vegetarian male Adventists who use no meat, milk or eggs (total vegetarians) have an expected coronary heart disease mortality rate that is only 12 percent of that of the general population!

Do I have your attention?

What is it about the Adventist lifestyle that can not only dramatically lengthen your life, but improve the quality of it as well? One of the pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist faith was a woman named Ellen White. Mrs. White wrote many books and articles about health and nutrition. Her ideas on health are remarkable, not just because of their effectiveness, but because they predate much of the nutritional knowledge that has been uncovered by scientists in the last few decades. Her ideas about a healthy lifestyle can be summarized in these eight simple steps:

  1. Good FoodA Good Diet. A good diet starts with three balanced meals. A large breakfast followed by smaller noon and evening meals is just what the body needs to keep running efficiently. It is important to provide your body with a balanced diet: four servings of fruits and vegetables, four servings of cereals and breads, two servings of protein foods such as beans, lentils, tofu or meat analogs and two servings of milk products or some other food that provides calcium, phosphorus, protein and riboflavin. What's best is a vegetarian diet. There are many fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains available to us today. A recent report in Newsweek declared that something called "phytochemicals" are the new frontier in cancer prevention research. These anticancer agents aren't some new chemical dreamed up in some laboratory. They are found in fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage or broccoli. Citrus fruits and berries contain powerful cancer fighters called flavenoids. They keep cancer-causing hormones from latching onto the cell.

  2. People ExercisingExercise. A hundred years ago, people had very little to worry about with this principle. The demands of living provided them with more than enough physical exercise. People today are in a much different situation. Modern conveniences will do everything from changing the TV channel to opening the garage door. Exercise can do many things for you: improve your cardio-vascular health by increasing your heart rate, clear your head, invigorate your mind, decrease your levels of stress and if done correctly, be a fun social event. Doctors tell us that we should exercise a minimum of 20 minutes a day three times a week.

  3. Water. Humans can go longer without food than they can without water. Our bodies are composed of 65 to 70 percent water. Each day we loose approximately four pints. In order to replenish this, we need to drink six to eight glasses a day. Water is vital to the health of the body. It assists nature in resisting disease. It washes away impurities. It helps the body function more efficiently.

  4. SunshineSunshine. Sunshine is an important part of maintaining good mental health. Endorphins in the brain are stimulated during times of exercise, especially outdoor exercise. They're closely related to our sense of happiness and well-being. A regular program of exercise in the sunshine can make you more positive, cheerful and generally more optimistic. It is important, however, to protect yourself from overexposure to the sun.

  5. No SmokingTemperance. Alcohol destroys brain cells immediately. Alcohol causes oxygen deprivation. In an oxygen starved brain, thousands of brain cells die. Moreover, two out of five people who drink develop serious problems connected to the drinking. America has finally acknowledged the dangers of smoking. Cigarettes contain 29 poisons, and each one smoked takes 14 minutes off a person's life. Chances of a heart attack are 250 times greater if someone smokes. Chances of incurring emphysema are 80 times greater if someone smokes. Another aspect of a temperate lifestyle involves sexuality. If the fear of sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS isn't convincing, consider this: in 1994, more than 500,000 teenagers, many of them as young as 14, gave birth.

  6. Fresh Air. Sounds simple right. A person can only live for five or six minutes without air. But too many people forget the importance of getting plenty of fresh air. So many people live in closed up buildings and cars, almost never venturing outside. People would do well to sleep with the windows open if possible, and a brisk walk during the workday will do much to combat fatigue and drowsiness.

  7. Rest. Adequate sleep can help a person to feel refreshed, with their mind keen, sharp, alert, and able to make wise decisions. But it also builds up their body in so many ways. It rebuilds the cells in their muscles, kidneys, bone marrow, stomach, and brain. While a person sleeps, their blood and lymph system continue to carry off the wastes to their skin, kidneys, and lungs, where they are eliminated. They also deposit in the brain a fresh supply of glucose and oxygen. But sleep is not the only important kind of rest. Seventh-day Adventists spend one day a week (Saturday) away from the stresses of the everyday week as a day of rest. This gives the body and the mind the down time it needs, and also provides an opportunity to worship the God who made the universe.

  8. Trust.  Depression and anxiety are not restful. Stress is a monster that attacks every part of the body.  Trust in a divine God can help control, if not eliminate these harmful emotions.  When you experience a positive emotional response there is a reduction in the negative hormones that would otherwise suppress the immune system.  This permits the immune system to function more effectively, providing protection from disease.

Want More Information?

The material presented here was taken largely from these books. Each one takes a look at how to live a longer and more fulfilled life from a different perspective.  I would recommend them all highly.

60 Ways to Energize Your Life.  This book, authored by dozens of health professionals and inspirational writers, power-packs encouragement and motivation into each day, bringing you closer to God and your goal of honoring Him through healthy choices.  Paperback, 126 pages, $1.59.

Dymnamic LivingDynamic Living by Aileen Ludington, MD and Hans Diehl, DRHSc, MPH.  This book addresses important health issues with cutting-edge scientific information that's easy to understand and apply to your life.  Let it help make a difference in the way you look and feel.  Paperback, 204 pages, $10.99.

The Seventh-day DietThe Seventh-day Diet by Chris Rucker and Jan Hoffman.  This book from publisher Random House takes a look from a secular point-of-view at the health guidelines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  It explains how easy it is to adopt the principles that have enabled so many to live so long--and so well.  The Seventh-day Diet is not just another diet, its a comprehensive, effective, step-by-step introduction to a whole new way of life.  Hardback, 231 pages, $19.00.

Eight Sure StepsEight Sure Steps to Health and Happiness by Lucile H. Jones. This book reveals the basics of strengthening the body and recovering from disease. Each of the eight steps is grounded in common sense. You may wonder why you haven't thought of them before. Paperback, $5.99.

Thirteen Life-Changing SecretsThirteen Life-Changing Secrets by Mark Finley. This powerful book is filled with stories that are really going to move you. Stories about people longing for something better. And finding it! All these people responded to the touch of God. And when they did, something incredible happened. Their discoveries about who He really is flooded their lives with happiness. As you share their experiences, you'll discover 13 secrets that can make an exciting difference in your life, too. Paperback, 122 pages, $1.99.

Feeling FitFeeling Fit by Dr. Aileen Ludington. Doctors often couldn't help them, but these people weren't ready to give up on life yet. Riddled with heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and other lifestyle diseases, they determined to turn their health around. The results were miraculous!

Feeling fit can happen to you! These inspiring stories can show you how. Paperback, 150 pages, $12.99.

Healthy Living and Temperance Magazines

Vibrant Life is a bi-monthly magazine that promotes a healthy lifestyle covering physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Excellent for sharing. $9.97 per year.

Listen is a monthly magazine written especially for youth. It is written in a contemporary style and focuses on the dangers of chemical dependency. Each magazine features an interview with a famous personality. $18.97 per year.

Winner is a monthly magazine for kids grades 4-6 which helps kids feel good about themselves, make sound choices, and say no to drugs. Each issue includes stories and puzzles. $8.97 for nine issues.


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