U.S. News and World Report published an article that cited studies of people who lived to be 100 years old and they gave ten rules for achieving centenarian status. “The biggest factor that determines how well you age is not your genes but how well you live,” wrote U.S. News. Citing a study published by in the British Medical Journal and studies at Boston University, the list of ten include many of the usual recommendations such as exercise, eating whole foods, getting enough sleep, etc. But some of the recommendations may be surprising to some. Flossing twice a day, for instance; and keeping to a routine and staying connected with friends and family, were also part of the formula. Be less neurotic made the list and recommended yoga, meditation or tai chi, as antidotes.
But number eight on the list ties many of these recommendations together: “Live like a Seventh-day Adventist,” suggested the studies. “Americans who define themselves as Seventh Day Adventists have an average life expectancy of 89, about a decade longer than the average American. One of the basic tenets of the religion is that it’s important to cherish the body that’s on loan from God, which means no smoking, alcohol abuse, or overindulging in sweets. Followers typically stick to a vegetarian diet based on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts, and get plenty of exercise. They’re also very focused on family and community.”
Living like a Seventh-day Adventist involves the whole person including prayer and trusting God in working through life’s problems. The article did not mention prayer as a means of being less neurotic, but if you live like a Seventh-day Adventist should live, prayer plays an important part of stress control.
Adventists teach that alcohol is not to be touched. Though some Adventist do use Alcohol, they are not likely to be the ones that live to be 100. And those that avoid sugary sweets and fatty processed foods all together generally have less problems with chronic degenerative diseases. U.S. News could have added that Adventists don’t typically drink coffee or cola drinks either.
God gave Seventh-day Adventists the very counsel they need to live to be 100. Without this counsel, they would have been like most other people. In Ministry of Healing, Ellen White wrote; “Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigour of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” (page 296).
Furthermore, God’s counsel concerning beverages is also part of the wholesome-life formula. “Diseases of every stripe and type have been brought upon human beings by the use of tea and coffee and the narcotics, opium and tobacco. These hurtful indulgences must be given up, not only one but all; for all are hurtful, and ruinous to the physical, mental, and moral powers, and should be discontinued from a health standpoint. . . . Coffee is a hurtful indulgence. It temporarily excites the mind to unwonted action, but the after-effect is exhaustion, prostration, paralysis of the mental, moral, and physical powers. The mind becomes enervated, and unless through determined effort the habit is overcome, the activity of the brain is permanently lessened. All these nerve irritants are wearing away the life forces, and the restlessness caused by shattered nerves, the impatience, the mental feebleness, become a warring element, antagonizing to spiritual progress. . . .They do the user only harm, and that continually. Those who use tea, coffee, opium, and alcohol, may sometimes live to an old age, but this fact is no argument in favour of the use of these stimulants. What these persons might have accomplished, but failed to do because of their intemperate habits, the great day of God alone will reveal. That’s from Counsels on Diet and Foods, page 421-422.
Here is another statement. “Moderate drinking is the school in which men are receiving an education for the drunkard’s career. The taste for stimulants is cultivated; the nervous system is disordered; Satan keeps the mind in a fever of unrest; and the poor victim, imagining himself perfectly secure, goes on and on, until every barrier is broken down, every principle sacrificed.” That is from Healthful Living, page 112.
Perhaps God’s messenger to the Remnant was right after all.