The term Blue Zone was coined by researcher and author Dan Buettner, who wrote the book ‘The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from people who lived the longest’ about it. In that book he mentions places where a relatively large number of people live over 100 without health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, cancer or diabetes.
According to Buetter, people in the Blue Zones have a few things in common: a healthy lifestyle. Among other things, lots of (natural) exercise, healthy and conscious eating, a sense of togetherness and plenty of room for reflection, relaxation and spirituality are a number of things that are important for the inhabitants of the Blue Zones.
But where are those places? They come:
On the Greek island of Ikaria, a third of the inhabitants live to be 90 or older. Most of them in good health. The secret? The islanders have a strong sense of community and take a nap every day. Their Mediterranean diet also ensures that they age healthily: on Ikaria people eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, beans, whole grain products and olive oil.
In Okinawa it is very common to practice yoga daily and to eat small portions. The inhabitants of Okinawa even have their own term for this: hara hachi bu. In short, that means that you stop eating as soon as you are 80% saturated.
Loma Linda, California
Loma Linda is home to many Seventh Day Adventists. They pray every day, do not drink alcohol, have a strong sense of belonging and celebrate a day of rest from Friday evening to Saturday evening. In Loma Linda, little meat is eaten and a relatively large number of plants and nuts. The Americans in Loma Linda live on average 10 years older than their fellow countrymen.
A plant-based diet, lots of daily exercise and close family ties. It ensures that the Ogliastra region has the greatest concentration of centenarians male.
Nicoya, Costa Rica
Nicoya eats a relatively large amount of beans, pumpkin, corn and tropical fruit. This nutritious plant-based diet combined with plenty of exercise helps Nicoya residents grow old strong and healthy. The inhabitants are also very spiritual.
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