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MIND/BODY Longevity

According to the November ’08 Prevention, “In the 20th century, the average life expectancy shot up 30 years—the greatest gain in 5,000 years of human history.” In “Surprising Signs You’ll Live Longer Than You Think,” author Sandra Gordon lists many of those, including the following:

1) Your mom had you at a young age. If she was under 25, you’re twice as likely to live to 100 as someone born to an older mother.

2) You drink tea regularly. Both green and black tea contain antioxidants and heart-healthy nutrients.

3) You walk. About 30 minutes a day has a significant effect on longevity.

4) You don’t drink soda (even diet). Drinking one or more a day doubles your risk of contracting metabolic syndrome.

5) You have strong legs. As you age, lower-body strength prevents catastrophic falls.

6) You eat purple food. Grapes, blueberries and red wine contain protective compounds that keep arteries flexible, blood flowing and Alzheimer’s at bay.

7) You had a healthy weight as a teen. Being overweight in your youth increases the risk of type 2 diabetes in adulthood.

8) You don’t eat burgers often. Eating more than 18 ounces of red meat a week increases your risk of colon cancer.

9) You’ve been a college freshman. People with more than 12 years of formal education live longer than those with 12 years or less.

10) You have a positive outlook on life. Strive to flourish.

—Becky Holman

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