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
Loma Linda, California
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.
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)
-Nuts (all kinds: almonds, cashews)
-Olive oil (extra-virgin)
-Oats (slow-cooked or Irish steel-cut)
-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.
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.
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.”
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
(Main image: Thanks to Prachi Palwe for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁