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Surprising Signs You'll live to be 100
August 27, 2010
Marilyn and I hope you're enjoying adding healthier foods to your diet.

As you know, our motto is..."living longer and living younger."

So, with that in mind, today we thought we'd share with you how you can identify...

Surprising Signs You'll Live to be 100

You Eat Purple Food, Concord grapes, blueberries, red wine:

They all get that deep, rich color from polyphenols, compounds that reduce heart disease risk and may also protect against Alzheimer's disease, according to research.

Polyphenols help keep blood vessels and arteries flexible and healthy.

What's good for your coronary arteries is also good for your brain's blood vessels.

Preliminary animal studies suggest that adding dark grapes to your diet may improve brain function.

What's more, in a recent human study, researchers found that eating 1 or more cups of blueberries every day may improve communication between brain cells, enhancing your memory.

You Don't Like Burgers

A few palm-size servings (about 2 1/2 ounces) of beef, pork, or lamb now and then is no big deal, but eating more than 18 ounces of red meat per week ups your risk of colorectal cancer, the third most common type, according to a major report by the American Institute for Cancer Research.

Colorectal cancer risk also rises by 42% with every 3 1/2-ounce serving of processed meat (such as hot dogs, bacon, and deli meats) eaten per day, the report determined.

Experts aren't sure why red and processed meats are so harmful, but one of their suspects is the carcinogens that can form when meat is grilled, smoked, or cured, or when preservatives, such as nitrates, are added.

You can have an occasional hot dog at a baseball game, but just don't make it a habit.

And when you do grill red meat, marinate it first, keep pieces small (kebab-size), and flip them often, all of which can help prevent carcinogens from forming.

If you're baking or roasting it, keep the oven temp under 400°F.

You Run for 40 Minutes a Day

Scientists in California found that middle-aged people who did just that, for a total of about 5 hours per week, lived longer and functioned better physically and cognitively as they got older; the researchers tracked runners and nonrunners for 21 years.

What surprised us is that the runners didn't just get less heart disease, they also developed fewer cases of cancer, neurologic diseases, and infections.

Aerobic exercise keeps the immune system young.

If you don't like to run, even 20 minutes a day of any activity that leaves you breathless can boost your health.

You'd Rather Walk Than Drive

"Fit" people, defined as those who walk for about 30 minutes a day, are more likely to live longer than those who walk less, regardless of how much body fat they have, according to a recent study of 2,603 men and women.

Similarly, overweight women can improve their heart health by adding just 10 minutes of activity to their daily routine, says recent research.

So take a walk on your lunch hour, do laps around the field while your kid is at soccer practice, find ways to move a little more, every day.

You Don't Have a Housekeeper

Just by vacuuming, mopping floors, or washing windows for a little more than an hour, the average person can burn about 285 calories and lowering risk of death by 30%, according to a study of 302 adults in their 70s and 80s.

You Strengthen Your Legs

Lower-body strength translates into good balance, flexibility, and endurance.

As you get older, those attributes are key to reducing your risk of falls and injuries, particularly hip fractures, which often quickly lead to declining health.

Up to 20% of hip-fracture patients die within 1 year because of complications from the trauma.

Having weak thigh muscles is the number one predictor of frailty in old age.

To strengthen them, target your quads with the "phantom chair" move.

Here's how:

Stand with back against wall.

Slowly walk feet out and slide back down until you're in a seated position, ensuring knees are behind toes and lower back is pressed against wall.

Hold until your thighs tell you, Enough!

Do this daily, increasing your hold by a few seconds each time.

You're the Life of the Party

Outgoing people are 50% less likely to develop dementia, according to a recent study of more than 500 men and women age 78 and older from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Participants also described themselves as not easily stressed.

Researchers speculate that their more resilient brains may be due to lower levels of cortisol, studies show that oversecretion of this "stress hormone" can inhibit brain cells' communication.

Science-backed ways to cut cortisol levels:

Meditate, sip black tea, or take a nap.

You're a Flourisher

That's what older people in good health said in a recent survey of more than 500 men and women age 70 and older.

Feeling youthful is linked to better health and a longer life.

It can improve optimism and motivation to overcome challenges, which helps reduce stress and boost your immune system and ultimately lowers your risk of disease.

You Feel 13 Years Younger Than You Are

That's what older people in good health said in a recent survey of more than 500 men and women age 70 and older.

You Embrace the Challenge

People who consider themselves self-disciplined, organized achievers live longer and have up to an 89% lower risk of developing Alzheimer's than the less conscientious, according to two studies.

When you're good at focusing your attention, you use more brainpower, says the lead researcher in both studies.

Set personal or career goals, and challenge yourself to meet them by a certain time.

Also, try new things to stimulate your brain:

If you always read fiction, pick up an autobiography instead.

The next day, try to recall three facts you learned from the reading.

You Really Like Your Friends

Good interpersonal relationships act as a buffer against stress.

Knowing you have people who support you keeps you healthy, mentally and physically:

Chronic stress weakens the immune system and ages cells faster, ultimately shortening life span by 4 to 8 years, according to one study.

Not just any person will do, however. "You need friends you can talk to without being judged or criticized.

...and They're Healthy

If your closest friends gain weight, your chance of doing the same could increase by 57%, according to a study in the New England of Journal of Medicine.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it's important to associate with people who have similar goals.

Join a weight loss group, or train with a pal for a charity walk.

You've Been a College Freshman

A recent Harvard Medical School study found that people with more than 12 years of formal education (even if it's only 1 year of college) live 18 months longer than those with fewer years of schooling.


The more education you have, the less likely you are to smoke.

In fact, only about 10% of adults with an undergraduate degree smoke, compared with 35% of those with a high school education or less, according to the CDC.

You Embrace Techie Trends

Learn to Twitter or Skype to help keep brain cells young and healthy.

Many of the oldest Americans send e-mails, Google lost friends, and even date online.

Researchers say using the latest technology helps keep us not only mentally spry but socially engaged:

Stay connected to friends, family, and current events, and you feel vital and relevant.

Your Pulse Beats 15 Times in 15 Seconds

That equates to 60 beats per minute, or how many times a healthy heart beats at rest.

Most people have resting rates between 60 and 100 bpm, though the closer to the lower end of the spectrum, the healthier.

A slower pulse means your heart doesn't have to work as hard and could last longer.

You Started Menopause After Age 52

Studies show that naturally experiencing it later can mean an increased life span.

One reason: Women who go through menopause late have a much lower risk of heart disease.

You Had a Baby Later in Life

If you got pregnant naturally after age 44, you're about 15% less likely to die during any year after age 50 than your friends who had their babies before age 40, reports a recent University of Utah study.

If your ovaries are healthy and you are capable of having children at that age, that's a marker that you have genes operating that will help you live longer.

Your Mom Had You Young

If she was under age 25, you're twice as likely to live to 100 as someone born to an older mom, according to University of Chicago scientists.

They suspect that younger moms' best eggs go first to fertilization, thus healthier offspring.

You Don't Snore

Snoring is a major sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that causes you to stop breathing briefly because throat tissue collapses and blocks your airway.

In severe cases, this can happen 60 to 70 times per hour.

Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, memory problems, weight gain, and depression.

An 18-year study found that people without OSA were 3 times more likely to live longer than those with severe apnea.

If you snore and have excessive daytime drowsiness or mood changes, talk with your doctor about a referral to a sleep center.

You Get Your Blood Tested for Vitamin-D Levels

For optimal disease protection, we need at least 30 nanograms of vitamin-D per milliliter of blood, reports a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Nearly 80% of Americans have less than that.

Vitamin-D not only helps bones ward off osteoporosis but may also reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and infection.

If needed, you can take a daily supplement to get your numbers up.

Doctors can measure your levels with a simple blood test, but periodic monitoring may be necessary, vitamin-D turns toxic at 100 to 150 ng/mL.

Here's an awesome summertime, or anytime grilling recipe.

Beef Kabobs with Yogurt & Spices

Grill up tasty skewers (satays) of lean beef sirloin and a colorful array of peppers for this no-fuss supper that needs only 15 minutes of cooking time.


* 1/2 c. low-fat plain yogurt
* 1 Tbs. soy sauce
* 1 Tbs. lemon juice
* 1 tsp. ground ginger
* 1 tsp. ground cumin
* 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
* 1 1/2 lbs. boneless beef sirloin, fat trimmed, cut into 1 1/2" cubes
* 2 small red and/or green bell peppers (6 ounces), cut into 1 1/2" squares


1. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, cumin, and black pepper.

Add the beef, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.

2. Coat a grill rack with cooking spray.

Preheat the grill.

Thread the beef onto skewers, alternating with the bell peppers.

Place the skewers on the grill rack and cook, turning to brown all sides, until no longer pink and a meat thermometer registers 145° for medium rare, 12 to 15 minutes.

Recipe Notes:

Make extra portions of this dish for a speedy supper or lunch later in the week.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To reheat, arrange on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish and bake at 400°F until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Serve with a little steak sauce to replace lost moisture.

To make sandwiches, tuck the beef into whole wheat pitas or roll into tortillas.

Nutritional Facts:

per serving

Calories 266.5 cal.

Fat 8.6 g.

Saturated Fat 3.2 g.

Cholesterol 81.8 mg.

Sodium 372.5 mg.

Carbohydrates 5.6 g.

Total Sugars 3.8 g.

Dietary Fiber 1.1 g.

Protein 39.9 g.

Sadly, that's all the time we have for today.

We hope you found some value in this edition!

Until next time, we want you to,

Live Longer & Live Younger!

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JR & Marilyn

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