It’s a little known fact that the secret to immortality isn’t some mythical fountain of youth or the bite of a lovelorn, perpetual teenager who turns into a sparkly diamond in the sunshine (yes, we’re making fun of you, Twilight). If you want to live forever, the ticket you really need to buy is a one-way ticket straight to the produce aisle. Yes, eating vegan makes you live forever! (Cue thunderclap and ominous organ music here.)
Okay, we’re kidding. As Jim Morrison said, depressingly enough, no one here gets out alive. We all know that, and yet it’s pretty safe to say that living a long and healthy life is a goal that many people aspire to. Everyone wants to be active for as long as they can, stay well, and have enough energy to run around with their grand kids and pets well into their golden years. We can’t live forever, but it would be great to enjoy the time we’ve got for as long as humanly possible, right?
Turns out, if the option to go full Nosferatu doesn’t present itself, there’s a way that we can do that. A longevity study done on over 73,000 participants over the age of fifty showed that the mortality rate was 12 percent lower for the vegetarian group than for the omnivore group. That’s not the only study to come to that conclusion either. A review of six cohort studies recently showed that four of six studies found those who ate the least meat and adhered to that lifestyle the longest boasted the greatest longevity.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at these people who credit their plant-based diets with the age-defying vitality that they’re currently enjoying!
1. Bernadette Bohan
After her second bout with cancer, Bohan decided to make sweeping changes to her life, which included adopting a raw vegan lifestyle. Now, 15 years later at the age of 60, Bohan credits her habits with her youthful appearance and good health.
“Look, there is no magic cure,” she explains. “You are going to age. But you can slow down the process by eating good food that nourishes the cells and strengthens the immune system.”
2. Christie Brinkley
A pescatarian since the age of 12, Clark Griswold’s dream girl recently transitioned to an almost entirely plant-based diet and references that whenever people ask how she stays so youthful at the age of 61. Her new vegan skin care line probably helps a bit too!
Saying of her dedication to her health, “Because I’m an older mom, I have a responsibility to my kids as well as myself. I want to be there for them.”
3. Annette Larkins
Another devotee of the raw movement, Larkins has been a juicing, mung bean sprouting, health enjoying vegan for the last 27 years (despite the fact that her husband owned a butcher shop at the time!) That’s probably why at the age of 70 she looks about 35. Though once more reserved about discussing her lifestyle, Larkins has begun to feel more comfortable with speaking out about the choices that she credits with giving her such astounding vigor.
“A 22-year-old girl wrote to me and she said, ‘Now that I have seen you, I’m no longer afraid of growing older, because I know that if I take care of myself, if I eat well, I know that one day I can be like you,’ she says. And it so impacted me, I said to myself, It would be selfish of you to have lived this life and enjoyed it so fully and been so blessed, and people are coming to you asking you for it… It would be selfish of you not to help these people.
4. Michelle Pfeiffer
Honestly, how does Michelle Pfeiffer still look like she could hop onto the back of a motorcycle while singing about needing a “Cool Rider?” Really, you don’t remember Grease 2? What is wrong with you? Google it and you’ll see what we mean, this Pink Lady hasn’t changed much with the passage of time and she feels that her more recent move to a vegan diet after watching “The Last Heart Attack” and reading Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn‘s book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure,” could be part of the reason.
Speaking specifically about how the information in Dr. Esselstyn’s book effected her, Pfeiffer said, “I just felt like…there was science behind it. And, you know, it was sort of irrefutable. … I couldn’t not listen to it. My father died from cancer, and the older you get, there’s a lot of disease around you. And you see people struggling with chronic disease. You see people dying with terminal illnesses. And if in any way …. this is true, then you kind of have to listen to it.
5. Dr. Ellsworth Wareham
At the age of 50, cardiologist Ellsworth Wareham adopted a plant-based diet after learning of the Cleveland Clinic’s China Study findings. That’s noteworthy enough, but it pales in comparrison to the fact that he did this 50 years ago. Yes, your math is correct. That makes him 100-years-old! Want to have your mind blown even more? He only retired from medicine 5 years ago at the age of 95 and still does all of his own landscaping.
“If your cholesterol is under 150, your chances of getting a heart attack are very low,” Wareham says. “My cholesterol is 117. I wouldn’t even bother getting an electrocardiogram (EKG) if I had chest pain. One-third of people in the U.S. will die of coronary heart disease. If you can prevent it, it’s worthwhile.”
6. Robin Quivers
At 62-years-old, Robin Quivers has earned her place among the lexicon of greats in radio broadcasting. A former nurse and United States Air Force Captain before she began her radio career more than thirty years ago, Quivers feels that her plant-based diet saved her life as she underwent treatment for endometrial cancer.
“My plant-based diet was helping my body heal,” Quivers wrote in her book The Vegucation of Robin. “I couldn’t believe the difference I saw. I’d never had such a dramatic shift in my health — not when I was taking medication, not when I was wearing a neck brace, and certainly not when I was eating whatever I wanted. I no longer had to rearrange my entire life around being sick.”
7. Mimi Kirk
A vegetarian since she was in her mid-thirties, a health scare at the age of 69 prompted Kirk to make the choice to adopt a raw vegan lifestyle and she’s never looked back. Now, at almost 76-years-old, she doesn’t feel her age one bit.
“I feel like I took ages off of myself. All of my aches and pains are gone and my skin looks younger. I was looking at senior living homes for my sister, who is 88 and I saw people there that were much younger than me. I really don’t buy into this “old age” stereotype. You can feel and be full of life at any age. A lot of it is your attitude and outlook on life. Raw food makes me feel fantastic.”
8. Jim Morris
Jim Morris is a bodybuilder. He’s also closing in on 79 years young. What?! Aside from making us feel like we should try to hit the gym just a bit harder…or at all, Morris reminds us that age has less to do with how you feel and perform as time goes on than lifestyle choices do. The former Mr. Universe hasn’t eaten meat, dairy or eggs in over 10 years and, based on how awesome he feels without it, has no plans to go back.
“At one point I was getting cortisone injections directly into both elbows every week. The arthritis kept me awake at night. Since becoming vegan all my health problems have completely disappeared.”
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Lead image source: JStone/Shutterstock
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