The Blue Zones: Where Longevity Thrives
April 19 2022
Did you know that there are certain areas of the world where people live exceptionally long and healthy lives? These places are known as the world’s “blue zones” and consistently have the highest rates of centenarians in the world. Centenarians are people that live over the age of one hundred, and in the blue zones, you can find many of these people living out healthy and happy lives.
By studying blue zones, we can learn what factors lead to longevity and a lower likelihood of developing chronic diseases as we get older. There are five total blue zones across the world, and they have similarities in their way of life that give us clues about how to live well and thrive well into our nineties.
So what are some of these ways of life? How can the average person increase their life span and cut down on the likelihood of developing serious health complications? We wanted to highlight exactly that in this article, so keep reading to learn more!
Blue Zones Across the World
There are five distinct Blue Zones across the world:
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Loma Linda, California
Within these places, people follow a way of life that leads to exceptionally long lives for residents. As home to some of the world’s oldest people, these Blue Zones can show the rest of the world what it takes to avoid chronic diseases and live happily as we age. Let’s take a look at how these communities eat, drink, stay active, and socialize to better understand the keys to their well-being.
Staying Active Naturally
When it comes to staying active, people in Blue Zones tend to do so in a way that naturally fits into their lives. Instead of always being at the gym, they do things around the house and in their neighborhoods that keep them moving. For example, lots of people in Blue Zones tend to gardens on a regular basis. They also take the stairs, cook, and do chores that cause them to constantly be in motion throughout the day. This constant movement is great for their minds and bodies, especially when done consistently for years.
Eating a Plant-Based Diet
When it comes to food, Blue Zone communities tend to eat a plant-based diet that minimizes meat consumption. For example, instead of having beef or chicken at every meal, they substitute these portions with beans, lentils, and vegetables.
Most of these regions also drink moderately, enjoying a glass or two of wine every day. Processed food and smoking are not common or generally consumed within these areas. Overeating is also not common within the Blue Zones, and most people only eat until they are about 80% full.
Strong Social Ties
People in Blue Zones place a large importance on their social networks. They have strong ties to family and friends that they nurture over many decades. They also have large networks of acquaintances and community members with which they interact regularly. There are many benefits to having a healthy social life and strong connections with other human beings. This support and interaction can stave off loneliness and boost well-being for aging adults.
As you can see, there is a lot we can learn from the Blue Zones when it comes to boosting longevity and well-being. By eating a plant-based diet, moving regularly, and building strong social ties, human beings can increase their odds of living a longer life. Doing so can also improve a person’s health and make it less likely that they will suffer from chronic diseases in the later years of their life.
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