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The diet of Blue Zones may contribute to living to 100 years or longer!

Written By | Jul 28, 2020

Thanks to Prachi Palwe for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/YUIMwavk7AQ

SAN DIEGO, July 28, 2020– If there the desire is to live to be age 100 or more, unlocking the dietary secrets of the Blue Zones might just help in reaching this goal!

In a 1970’s report, published in National Geographic, with research conducted by Dan Buettner and team, found that there were certain longevity hotspots were longevity and quality of life were most prevalent, and included

Thanks to @Skiathos_io for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/gUzsm9gqKBE

Blue Zone longevity hotspots

Icaria, Greece
Loma Linda, California
Sardinia, Italy
Okinawa, Japan
Nicoya, Costa Rica

It was soon discovered that peoples from these particular countries, in addition to having high longevity rates, were superior in health compared to the elderly in the US, and were overall more active and youthful.




In fact, researcher Dan Buettner speculated that approximately 12 years of life could potentially be extended to the peoples in the US by following the Blue Zones dietary basics.


Related Read: Living longer: Blue Zones may have an impact on how long you live

Blue Zone Diet

Though there were found to be some variations in diet, greatly impacted by what types of foods were available in any particular geographical locale, common dietary denominators were discovered.

Consuming a predominantly plant-based diet of approximately 95% of the overall diet was found to be a standard theme.

Meat consumption rarely occurred and was limited to no more than 2-3 times per week, with seafood often replacing it; and, for 4 out of 5 Blue Zones, meat nor seafood was consumed at all.

The following foods are considered to be Blue Zones best

-Beans (all kinds)
-Greens (spinach, kale, chards, beet tops, fennel tops, collards)
-Sweet potatoes
-Nuts (all kinds: almonds, cashews)
-Olive oil (extra-virgin)
-Oats (slow-cooked or Irish steel-cut)
-Barley
-Fruits (all kinds)
-Green or herbal teas
-Turmeric (spice or tea)
-Bread (100%whole wheat bread

In certain communities tofu was consumed; and, a glass or 2 of red wine rounded out the day.

Thanks to Arseniy Kapran for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/p99ZKwVGBRA

Limiting meat, dairy, eggs, and sugar appeared to be a consistent standard

It is interesting to note that the largest meal each date was at breakfast, with the smallest meal occurring late afternoon or evening.

Eating until 80% full only was akin to utilizing a “small plates” strategy.

If desiring to snack, nuts were considered the top choice.

Reading about the Blue Zones dietary strategies would astound most peoples in the US, but vegetarianism and veganism are becoming ever-more popular.




Eat fresh

More and more fresh and frozen food items in plant-based categories are being offered in grocery and whole foods stores with an emphasis on organics and locally grown foods; and, restaurants are also stepping up with vegetarian and vegan options on their menus.

In addition to benefitting from consuming natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, plant-based foods are overall cost-effective food purchase choices.

Don’t forget to exercise

Though diet is not the only factor in assuring great health and long life, it has been thought that it is more significant than exercise, though exercise is no doubt highly important.

With the benefit of research studies, such as the Blue Zones, individual choices could be made which change aspects of life which could result in greatly enriching it.

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing
you can be.”
-Maya Angelou

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

(Main image: Thanks to Prachi Palwe for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁

 

Laurie Edwards-Tate

Laurie Edwards-Tate

Since 1984, Laurie Edwards-Tate has served as President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare, a non-medical Home Care Aide Organization, serving seniors, disabled, infirm and children. Laurie is Board of Director 2018 (elected), Palomar Health; Executive Board Member; Chair Board Human Resources Committee; Member of Audits & Compliance Committee; Community Relations Committee.