Blue Zones: Longest Life Expectancy

Blue Zones are areas around the world where you can find the longest life expectancy as well as the lowest disease rates. 

There are five locations scattered around the world, they are: Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece. 

These “Blue Zones” as they were named by Emmy award winning and adventurist Dan Buettner, are in various geographic regions around the world. They represent the areas that have the longest life expectancy WITH the lowest cancer, diabetes, heart disease rates. Once Buettner and his team took a closer look into their cultures, diets & qualities of life. He was able to see similarities to get to the core of what makes these communities different from the rest of the world. 

Where there are a multitude of factors that play into a long healthy life, one of the primary factors discovered here was diet. Each of these areas plates might look different, they do have some base similarities in eating predominantly plant based, at least a half of a cup of greens and one cup of beans a day. Each group would eat “real, unprocessed foods, mostly plants. Rich in beans and other legumes and whole grains, and starchy vegetables, fresh fruits and greens, and other vegetables. In other words, every Blue Zone ate some variation of a whole foods, plant based diet.” (1) 

Most of the five areas do eat small amounts of meat, drink water, tea, coffee, & red wine & eat whole grains. The only one that is strictly against drinking alcohol is the Adventists of Loma Linda; of this group most of whom are also vegan or vegetarian. The Adventists are the longest living group on the planet and as they are intentionally preserving this way of life, they may soon become one of the last Blue Zones as Western Ideals & Manufacturing spreads further around the globe. 

The bottom line from this article is that the healthiest and longest living people in the world eat food, mostly plants. If they are doing it to this day, you can to. 

If you’d like more information about the Blue Zones and other research they’ve found, please go to www.bluezones.com. 

(1)Mackey, John; Pulde, MD, Alona; and Lederman, MD Matthew. (April 2017) The Whole Foods Diet, pp 83.