How People In The ‘Blue Zones’ Are Living Longer Than The Rest Of Us
More red wine? Sounds good to me.
Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow, and bestselling author, is the founder of ‘Blue Zones.’ The non-scientific term refers to five places in the world where people live longer and are healthier than the rest of us.
Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Ikaria in Greece, and Loma Linda in California – are the five Blue Zones, each with a life expectancy rate of over 90 and 100.
Genetics only account for 20-30% of longevity. So this means that a person’s lifestyle and diet has a massive impact on your lifespan.
Most groups in the Blue Zones live on a 95% plant-based diet – eating meat around five times a month.
Avoiding meat consumption has proven to reduce heart disease, cancer, and strokes, and diabetes.
Lifestyle choices that contribute to the healthy lives of those in the Blue Zones are:
- Restricting calories - following ‘the 80% rule’ (hara hachi bu). This rule consists of eating at a slow pace until you are only 80% full.
- Periodic fasting - Fasting reduces weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Icarian people have a long line of history relating to a Greek Orthodox Christian background. Fasting during religious holidays is a popular act of worship for this religious group.
- Moderate alcohol consumption – drinking red wine instead of others, as it has a high number of antioxidants.
- Exercise – not going to the gym, but walking, cooking, swimming, gardening, etc.
- Getting a good amount of sleep - having daytime naps of less than 30 minutes.
- Being in touch with your spiritual side – it reduces depression.
- Surround yourself with younger people – for people above the age of 40, being in the company of young people, keeps you young!
- Have a healthy social circle – to avoid picking up unhealthy habits.