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    People who live the longest – Blue Zones

    An innovative study, lead by Dan Buettner and National Geographic, has been conducted on the diets of individuals who live the longest, which then evolved into demographics and/or geographic areas of the world where people were healthier and lived measurably longer than the average individuals. These areas have been named “Blue Zones” and include cities like  Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Icaria in Greece and Vilcabamba in Ecuador. (Learn more about the Blue Zone story here).

    Significant correlations in both diet and lifestyle were observed for these different areas where people live longer and have a better life quality. There include (but are not limited to):

    1. Family comes first and the communities are socially engaged.

    2. Less to no smoking.

    3. More plant-based diets and eat only until they are 80% full.

    4. Constant moderate activity.

    Other interesting characteristics about these zones include that moderate consumption of wine is also part of the diet in some cases. These wines provide a high polyphenolic (antioxidant) content which promotes the health of consumers. Another characteristic is that the individuals in these zones have no “time urgency”, meaning they are never pressed for time or under the stress that most of the world is under. And therefore stress related aging is eliminated. Gardening is also popular among these areas, which also contributes to the constant moderate activity aspect and plant based diets. 

    To improve our own healht, we can learn from these traits and incorporate it into our own lives.

    For more reading, consider the book The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner.

     

    (photo from http://bocadeltorocarrillo.com/blue-zone.php)

     

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