The topic of longevity is highly interesting to me and I think most people (especially us health geeks) are always intrigued when we see an elderly person that lives past 100 years old and we are naturally curious as to how they did it, what gave them the health and strength to be on planet earth that many years. It’s fascinating to sit down and talk with people older than some countries on our earth (some countries are less than 100 years old) and to learn what makes them happy and healthy.
On that note, it seems that the people who live longest seem to be both the happiest and healthiest. I’ve never seen a story of a centenarian who is grumpy, negative and holds bitterness. Right off the bat we know happiness and health are two of the most important things for living long and keeping that grace and youthfulness as we age.
While writing this article I realized something very surprising to me. The five blue zones (the places on the planet where people live longest) are all outside of America except for one. I was surprised because I would not think that one of the places where people live longest on planet earth is within America. We don’t value true happiness and health nearly as much as other cultures and countries around the world. This intrigued me so I did some further digging and found something really interesting about this little town in California where people live longer than any other place in America.
The little town in California is known as Loma Linda, Spanish for “Lovely Hill.” It’s a little town south of the San Bernardino valley and the San Bernardino national forest which is exactly 61.2 miles east of Los Angeles. A few hour drive to one of the most polluted and stressed cities on our planet yet this is a longevity oasis. The people in this town live differently than your typical american though as you’ll soon find out. These differences in lifestyle practices regularly give the people of Loma Linda more health and longevity that we could adopt in and benefit from in our life as well.
This city is different than most American cities in a few ways. The first difference is that it’s a very religious city. It’s the a home for many seventh day Adventists, a religious group of people who have a strong belief in God and practicing religion. What’s interesting to me is that this city is very religious and has a strong belief in a higher power but they are also very diet conscious. The Adventist medical school located in Loma Linda graduates one of the highest percentages of registered dietitians and nutritionists in the world. Some say this is the main reason they are the longest living city in America, simply because nutrition and diet play a very important professional role in their city.
Others say it’s because their strong belief in God and religious diligence, whatever the reason is… why not incorporate the positive traits that are working for one group of people to your life?
Diet/nutrition and a strong belief in God are two strong longevity distinctions that separate this city from the rest of America. Other characteristics beyond diet importance and belief in a higher power/purpose/being are:
1. Little To No Stress
2. Family & Social Community Oriented
3. Exercise & Fitness Oriented
These five traits make up all blue zones in the world where people live to 100+ years old. Follow these practices and find your own groove to each of these strings of health and harmony and you’ll find yourself gaining more vitality, energy, youthfulness and longevity by the day.
Dr. Oz was intrigued by the only blue zone in America so he went to visit this city to learn more about why they live so long and what makes them tick. You can see his journey on video below: