This religious town in California seems to have tapped into the fountain of youth because the people who live here tend to live 8 to 10 years longer than the average American.
In Southern California, in the middle of the San Bernardino Valley, lies a town with a population of roughly 23,000 that can boast of something few other cities can: The people who live here, on average, have a lifespan about 8-10 years longer than the rest of America.
They believe it starts with an attitude and lifestyle that is rooted in religion.
The city is Loma Linda. The town is home to the highest concentration of Seventh-day Adventists in the world.
The town is one of the 5 original blue zones in the world where humans live the longest.
The Adventist health study-2, undertaken in 2015, examined Seventh-day Adventists in the United States and Canada, exploring the link between lifestyle factors and disease.
There were some commonalities: Little to no alcohol was consumed, only 1% smoked, most were vegetarians or on extremely low meat diets, and the norm was daily outdoor exercise.
One day per week was dedicated to God, with no work, only attending church and using the day for rest and rejuvenation.
They found that the people in the study tended to have lower blood pressures, lower LDL cholesterol, less prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, and less diabetes.
All this was despite having a broad range of ethnic backgrounds. About 26% of the people in the study were African-American.
The short answer to the longevity of these believers can be found in this Bible verse:
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
As part of their religious beliefs, most Seventh-day Adventists eschew tobacco and alcohol.
Many Seventh-day Adventists are vegetarians. Around 30% are lacto-ovo vegetarians who eat dairy and eggs, while 8% eat fish but not other meats, and 10% are strict vegetarians.
Still, even those who do eat meat do so sparingly, averaging only about two ounces of meat total per day.
Another important part of the Seventh-day Adventists religion is a life of service through volunteering, humanitarian and missionary work.
They lead active lives. Daily outdoor exercise is the norm.
Seventh-day Adventists live by another biblical verse:
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
–1 Peter 5:7
They let God direct their lives and leave the worrying to Him.
“It gets you free of stress,” one church member said.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”