There are a few geographical locations worldwide called “Blue Zones” where individuals live about 100 years old. Dan Buettner, an author, and scientific researcher traveled worldwide to find longevity among certain people. He and his colleagues circled with a blue marker the areas on the map where people lived to 100, coining the term “Blue Zone.” He observed that the Centenarians also tend to be happier with their life. In this blog, we will discuss a few facts about how to live longer, healthier, and more satisfied with the secrets of Blue Zones.
The five known places to be Blue zones are Icaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California. Even though these places are different culturally and geographically, they have certain similarities between, such as ways to improve your health, happiness, and life. A few of the similarities are longevity, lower rates of chronic disease, fewer mental health issues, constantly engaged with people, and just being happier than most people. Interestingly, genetics probably only account for 20–30% of longevity, according to PubMed Central.
A common thing in Blue Zones is that the individuals who live there are always active. Many individuals work on cultivating their land, maintaining their house, doing chores, walking, and socializing every day. Light to moderate activity is essential to reducing chronic illness and reduce death by 39%. For example, the Sardinian Blue Zone shows men walking on steep slopes, traveling long distances, and raising animals. Also, the people living in the Okinawan Blue Zone are active walkers and grow vegetables from their gardens.
Typically, people living in Blue Zones fast often and follow the 80% rule. The 80% rule is where a person only eats until they feel 80% full. Numerous studies are showing that eating too many calories can lead to obesity and chronic disease. Blue Zoners residing in Loma Linda have a statement that says,” Breakfast like a king; lunch like a prince; dinner like a pauper.” Also, many individuals, such as the Icarians, fast throughout specific times in the year due to religious purposes.
95% of people who live in Blue Zones eat a diet full of whole plant foods. Many of the groups are not vegetarians and tend to eat meat around five times a month. Their diet richly consists of vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fruit, nut, and good fats such as coconut. These types of food avoid inflammation. Icaria and Sardinia are two places where fish is often consumed because it promotes omega-3 fats essential for heart and brain health.
Relationships are one of the keys to promote a healthy life. The best influence for health is creating friendships that edify happiness, contentment, longevity, and excellent mental health. Lots of these areas have solid spiritual communities that help them with social support and reducing depression.
Limited Alcohol Consumption
People in Blue Zones typically don’t over-consume alcohol. The National Institutes of Health state that “drinking one to two alcoholic drinks per day can significantly reduce mortality, particularly from heart disease.” Also, those who do consume wine receive high levels of antioxidants from the grapes. Antioxidants are known to prevent damage to DNA that can contribute to aging.
The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica has a saying, “Plan de Vida,” translated to “reason to live.” Most people living in Blue Zones have a purpose of living and don’t stress the small stuff. They develop daily habits such as sleeping early, mediating, naps, and hanging out with friends.
The lives of individuals living in Blue Zones are an incredible and inspiring push for us to live better. These helpful habits not only help us with our longevity but bring more happiness. Home Instead Senior Care understands the importance of these principles and offers personal care that helps your loved ones with specific needs. We have the best caregivers to help your family eat healthier, exercise, and feel happier with our friendliness. For more information, visit our website.