If youre looking to discover new ways to improve your healthy eating habits even more, look no further than the five original Blue Zones for insight and inspiration.
Simple, easy changes to your diet can improve your health and your prospects of living an uber long time. Implementing one food choice from each of the Blue Zones is a great way to maximize your efforts to avoid age-related disease and reach a happy, healthy 100.
1. Centenarians in Ikaria Greece have a much lower rate of cancer and heart disease, and also suffer less depression and dementia. Im for that. Could it be partly because the people in Ikaria enjoy herb tea and small amounts of coffee each day. Couldnt hurt.
2. In the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, the people are more than twice as likely than residents of the United States to live to a healthy 90. How do they do it? In part, by eating a whole lot of legumesbeans, peas and especially lentils. Their evening meal is light, and eaten early. No more midnight snacks for me.
3. Okinawa, Japan. Home of the longest living women on the planet. The people of Okinawa have less cancer, heart disease and dementia than Americans. The Okinawan diet poses more of a challenge for me. Sure, they stir-fry lots of veggies, I can do that. But its the tofu (never been a fan) and Goya melon that pose a problem. Even if I liked tofu, (which I do not) theirs is a different version with a firmer consistency. And Goya melon? Never tried it. Ive seen it used on Chopped a few times, never with a whole lot of success. If trained chefs have a problem incorporating the bitter melon into a meal, what hope do I have? Goya tea anyone? The search is on.
4. Sardinia, Italy appears to have just the right combination of attributes for the male population to live a very long time. The people of Sardinia enjoy a daily glass or two of red wine. Now were talkin. They also drink goats milk. And while I cant go there, I can eat goat cheese. Pretty sure thats just as good.
5. Theres a small community of Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda California that outlive the average American by a good ten years, all while remaining healthy and active. Their secret? Nuts. Most folks in the community consume nuts at least five days a week. Eating nuts has been shown to cut your risk of heart disease in half.
So, throw back some nuts with your morning coffee. Lunch on lentils and herb tea. Eat a hunk of goat cheese in the evening with your red wine. And please, be sure to let me know when youve mastered the Goya melon.