Secrets for a longer life – What can we learn from the blue zones?

MEAx Australia | Want the secrets of a longer life? | 9th February 2022

For over a decade, explorer and author Dan Buettner has been working to identify hot spots of longevity around the world. With the help of the National Geographic Society, Buettner set out to locate places that not only had high concentrations of individuals over 100 years old, but also clusters of people who had grown old without health problems like heart disease, obesity, cancer, or diabetes.

They found five places that met their criteria : –

  • Barbagia region of Sardinia – Mountainous highlands of inner Sardinia with the world’s highest concentration of male centenarians.
  • Ikaria, Greece – Aegean Island with one of the world’s lowest rates of middle age mortality and the lowest rates of dementia.
  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica – World’s lowest rates of middle age mortality, second highest concentration of male centenarians.
  • Seventh Day Adventists – Highest concentration is around Loma Linda, California. They live 10 years longer than their North American counterparts.
  • Okinawa, Japan – Females over 70 are the longest-lived population in the world.

Interestingly, residents of these blue zones (all in very different parts of the world) have nine commonalities that lead to longer, healthier, happier lives.

  1. They move naturally – they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it.
  2. Purpose – that having a clear reason for ‘getting out of bed every morning’ – something that has been backed up by preofessor Becca Levy at Yale who has established that a sense of purpose can be worth up to 7.5 years of extra life expectancy
  3. Down Shift – they experience less stress and practice daily routines to shed stress.
  4. 80% Rule – they don’t over eat and they eat their smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening.
  5. Plant Slant – Beans are the cornerstone of most centenarians diets
  6. Wine@5 – Most drink modertley and regularly, with friends and/or with food.
  7. Belong – Most belong to some faith based community.
  8. Loved Ones First – They put their families first
  9. Right Tribe – chose–or were born into–social circles that supported healthy behaviors,

Stay curious,
The MEAx Team


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