What are Blue Zones?
The Five Blue Zones are communities scattered across the globe that have the highest number of centenarians per capita.They happen to be the focus of study for Dan Buettnerwhere his aim is to take the lessons and lifestyle choices from the people living in each of these zones, and make them known on a larger scale. By putting said longevity habits on centre stage and giving others access to the secrets to a long healthy life, the lowest rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity he is helping the collective as a whole.
The key messages that Dan takes from Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California are as follows:
- Eat a 95% whole food, plant-based diet abundant in Whole Grains(brown wheat, brown rice, corn and steel cut oatmeal), Leafy Greens, Black or canned Beans and Nuts(a handful of any type of nut eaten daily will add 2 years to your life he claims).
- Slash sugars, retreat from meat, go easy on fish and reduce dairy and eggs almost completely.Processed and fast food is void from their diets of these centenarians.
- When individuals in these communities DO eat meat or fish, it is 3-4 times a month, never processed and a quantity the size of your palm.
- Water, green tea, black tea, black coffee and red wine are the only beverages consumedin blue zones
- Power naps and a good night sleep are vital for good health.
It is worth noting that none of these communities are particularly wealthy and the food they generally eat is dubbed ‘peasant food’. However, if you can make this food tasty, you are one step ahead in living a longer, healthier life. To help you do this, Dan has written a Blue Zones recipe book titled ‘Blue Zones Kitchen’ which you can find here.
Watch this 75 second clip which illustrates what makes these longevity zones special and how you can adopt some of their habits into your lifestyle.