The Blue Zones
Updated: Nov 2, 2019
Want to take a lesson on how to become a Centenarian? Simply look up the Blue Zones! I have been studying these areas for years, completely fascinated with the various population's cultures and detailed ways of life! Each new fact I find, I can't help but share it with whomever I see that day. It is incredibly exciting to know that we actually have power over the health and length of our years on this earth! As a natural health educator, I deeply realize and live this truth- BUT, to see it documented is a beautiful, hope-filled thing!
Who discovered the Blue Zones? These regions were named “blue zones” after the Belgian demographer Michel Poulain and the Italian doctor Gianni Pes discovered a population with a long-living population, and they marked out the area with blue ink.
What are the Blue Zones? These are areas where the people are living exceptionally long lives, many to 100 years+! They are called Blue Zones because when Dan Buettner (a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling author) and his colleagues were searching the zones, they drew blue circles around them on a map.
This post is a summarized, cliff-notes version of the Blue Zones book. To read more on this topic, please check out the resources at the end of the post!
People on this tiny Aegean island live 8 years longer than Americans do. They experience 20% less cancer, half the rate of heart disease, and almost no dementia.
Loma Linda, California
Adventist community outlive the average American by a decade. Following the guidance of Genesis 1:29 Adventists follow a plant-based diet.
Diet and lifestyle has evolved on this Mediterranean Island since the time of Christ. These mountain villages have produced more male centenarians than anyplace else.
Home to the world’s longest-lived women, these South Pacific islands offer 3 foods that can help every American live longer.
Nicoya, Costa Rica
People in this Central American region are more than twice as likely than Americans to reach a healthy age 90.
Power of 9 ~ Blue Zones Lessons
Shared traits of the world’s longest-lived people:
Move Naturally- The world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron or run marathons. Instead, their environments nudge them into daily moving.
Purpose - Why do you wake up in the morning? Knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to 7 years of extra life expectancy.
Down Shift - Stress leads to chronic inflammation, associated with major age-related disease. The world’s longest-lived people have routines to shed that stress.
80% Rule - “Hara hachi bu” – the Okinawans say this mantra before meals as a reminder to stop eating when their stomachs are 80 percent full.
Plants - What is the cornerstone of most centenarian diets? Plants and beans. They typically eat meat only 5x per month.
Wine @ 5 - Moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers, especially if they share those drinks with friends.
Belong - Attending faith-based services 4 times per month, adds up to 14 years of life expectancy.
Loved Ones - First Centenarians put their families first. They keep aging parents and grandparents nearby, commit to a life partner and invest in their children.
Right Tribe - The longest-lived people chose social circles that support healthy behaviors.
Other Longevity Blue Zone Tips:
Super Beverages- Port Wine, Tea (Green, Jasmine & Mugwort), Organic Black Coffee (Costa Rican).
Super Foods- Olive Oil, Goat’s cheese & milk, Fermented organic soy (tofu, miso), Maize, Beans and Legumes, Whole Grain Rice, Nuts & Seeds, Omega’s (salmon, flax, avocado), Root Veggies, Greens, Fruits (especially berries), Mugwort (Owkinowan mugwort fights Malaria!), Turmeric (curcumin- anti-inflammatory), garlic, Hot peppers (capsaicin - a natural disinfectant), & Ginger.
Plant a Garden- Keeping hands busy- not being idle. Example: Manual labor versus TV, technology, etc.
BioRhythm- Awake with the sun & settle down with the sun. Eat an early and light last meal, such as your dinner by 5pm.
* Information from the Book: The Blue Zones - How to Live Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, by Dan Buettner https://amzn.to/2N8pMBS
* Check out the gorgeous: Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to live to 100! By National Geographic https://amzn.to/2Nco9Dw