A Blue Zone Lifestyle to Improve Health and Longevity
Created by: Foodom, posted on 05/10/21
Do you know any centenarians? If you lived in a Blue Zone, you might! “Blue Zones” is the name given to geographic regions where people live quantifiably longer, healthier lives. In Dan Buettner’s book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, he discusses five regions of blue zones that he identified along with National Geographic and a team of longevity researchers. These zones included:
- Icaria, Greece
- Loma Linda, California
- Sardinia, Italy
- Okinawa, Japan
- Nicoya, Costa Rica
What made these areas different in terms of the health of their residents? Along with living longer, many of them reported far fewer chronic ailments than other parts of the world.
Food Choices Make A Difference
Through research it was found that the diets of people in Blue Zones have several similarities. They are:
- Mostly plant-based, consuming organic leafy greens, beans, sweet potatoes, fruit, nuts, and seeds.
- Light on meat (but fish is ok), any consumed was a very small amount, either on special occasions or as a side rather than the focus of the meal.
- Full of whole grains including oats, barley, brown rice, and ground corn. Sourdough bread is also eaten.
- Dependent on olive oil for use in cooking, as dressing, or taken on its own.
- Light on dairy, like cheese, milk, cream, and butter.
- Inclusive of daily snacking on nut and incorporate lots of beans.
- Light on sugar or sugar substitutes.
Getting Started Eating the Blue Zone Diet
If you’d like to give the Blue Zone Diet a try, but aren’t ready to go all in, here are some quick tips to get many of the health benefits of the diet.
4 Foods to Always Eat:
- Your favorite veggies and fruits
- 100% whole wheat bread
- Nuts (a small handful daily)
- Beans (dry or canned low-sodium)
4 Foods to Avoid:
- Sugar-sweetened beverages (diet soda is out too)
- Salty snacks
- Processed meats
- Packaged sweets
A Few Foodom Blue Zone Favorites
Ready to try? If this concept is new to you, and you are unsure what you might eat for dinner or lunch, Foodom has several delicious menu items that would be considered part of the Blue Zone Diet.
How fun can this diet be? Here’s some of our favorites: