The Seventh Day Adventists are a religious group living in Loma Linda, California and part of the Blue Zones. Adventists live over a decade longer than the ‘average’ American and are therefore very interesting to look at. What do they do right? In this article, we will discuss the health benefits of the Seventh Day Adventists diet.
The Characteristics of the Diet
1. Nuts! The Seventh Day Adventists eat nuts around five times a week. Consuming nuts has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease by 50% and increases life expectancy by 2 years! Isn’t that a tasty way to added years to your life?
2. Become a vegetarian. Most Adventists are vegetarians, meaning that they will eat mostly plant-based foods. Eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables have been proven to protect against cancer.
3. Stop smoking and no more alcohol. Adventists tend to be non-smokers and alcohol is absent from the diet. Even though in some studies one glass of red wine is recommended, it’s also proven that alcohol, even in small quantities, can increase the risk of getting throat cancer. The low cancer rates in Adventists might therefore be partly thanks to their abstinence of alcohol.
1. Exercise! Adventists are very active and tend to exercise regularly. This can be as simple as taking a walk, or riding a bicycle. Even taking the stairs, instead of the elevator will be a great addition to your health.
2. Maintain a healthy weight. Adventists tend to have a healthier BMI compared to other Americans. This can be linked to their healthy diet and active lifestyles. Maintaining a healthy weight helps to lower blood pressure, promotes lower cholesterol levels and leads to less cardiovascular diseases.
3. Care. Adventists tend to be very forgiving and caring people. They take care of their families and friends and tend to have lower stress levels. They care about their fellow people and volunteer to give meaning to their lives.
4. Find like-minded people. Adventists tend to be religious and hold values associated with these practices. They like to be social and spend time with other Adventists to enjoy talking about the things that are important to them. Being social has been proven to lower stress and promote brain health.
5. Eat a light dinner. Adventists tend to eat more at the beginning of the day and less in the evening. This helps to maintain a healthy weight, as most calories are consumed when the Adventists are most active. This way the calories can be burned, while when consumed late at night, the calories tend to stick around more and get turned into fat more easily.
So, get off the couch, find some higher purpose and eat plant-based and most importantly, eat less. These seem to be the secrets to living a longer and healthier life!