When people are asked what they desire the most in life, a lot of them may say that they aim to achieve a healthier and longer life. There is a specific term that they use for having a diet and lifestyle that aims for longevity; and they are called the Blue Zone Diet. First, let us know how it came to being called Blue Zones and what it really means if a diet is considered to be one of them.
Blue Zone Diet: Why Is It Called Blue Zone?
You may have thought about it already but yes, the word “zone” refers to a geographical area wherein there are many of the residents that are able to have a lifespan for up to 100 years old. According to specialists, it always has something to do with their healthy lifestyle which is why they tend to live longer compared to people from other places; especially compared to the areas where people lead unhealthy lifestyles by eating processed and fast foods more.
Actually, it was an author who was able to name those specific geographic areas into blue zones. While the author, named Mr. Dan Buettner, was having a study on which places in the world are known to have the most residents who reach the ages 90 and above; he used a map and a blue marker so he can easily identify those areas. He was with his friends during that time, but the moment he was alone he may have thought of calling them blue zones. He even made a book so he can elaborate more on how the supposed blue zones’ residents are able to achieve the longevity that almost everyone around the world have long desired.
When identifying which areas are considered as a blue zone, we may notice that there is something similar between them and they all have this distinct quality. Before they were named as the blue zones, those areas are already some of the known birthplaces of many healthy and longevity-induced diets such as the Mediterranean Diet and the Okinawa Diet. according to the book authored by Mr. Buettner which was titled as The Blue Zones, there are five major blue zones in the world and they are:
When it comes to the Mediterranean Diet, this place has the most number of well-known pioneers of a healthy diet. Icaria is known to be an island and is part of the country of Greece. It may be due to their geographical situation which made them appreciate eating natural and homegrown food produces more. Their diet consists of olive oil and organic vegetables, they also love having their few glasses of red wine every day.
Ogliastra, Sardinia (part of Italy)
According to studies, Ogliastra is where we can find a lot of the oldest men who are already on their 100th year of living. The area is said to be made of mountainous regions and this, again, may also be the exact reason why they were used to following a diet of consuming healthy and fresh plant produces. Most of the people who live in Ogliastra are dependent on farms, which are also their main source of living. They obtain their fresh food from the farms, and it is said that the residents also enjoy frequent glasses of wine.
Ever heard of the Okinawa Diet? It was actually named and based on how the original Okinawans are able to achieve longevity through their unusual Japanese diet. They are unusual when compared to the normal diet of most Japanese people because they do not eat as much rice as them. Instead of eating rice, they use other healthier alternatives such as sweet potato. Okinawa may be considered as the top geographical area in Asia that has the most number of oldest residents (mostly women) since it is also the only Asian place to ever be included as a blue zone. In addition, they are known to perform a lot of meditative exercises such as tai chi which is said to contribute to longevity because of how it helps maintain improved mental health and overall body condition.
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
It may be surprising to see a Central American country as a part of the blue zone, but this specific area in Costa Rica has residents who eat diets that are a lot healthier than other normal Costa Ricans. In the Nicoya Peninsula, they established their own diet called the Nicoyan diet; and the food that they eat the most are healthy beans and corn tortillas. The people are also very active since they prefer doing jobs that require physical strength, that in turn becomes their daily form of exercise and because of that their bodies become stronger and they get increased endurance. They also believe in an idea called plan de vida which is the life purpose of most Costa Ricans and it is said that this belief is what keeps them going in life.
Loma Linda, California, U.S.A.
There is a specific group of people in Loma Linda who are very strict with their diet because it has something to do with their belief – the Seventh-day Adventists. They are known to be vegetarians and they follow very strict lifestyles wherein it may be considered as a sin when they are not followed, so they would prefer to be obedient with all their practices.
The main idea of the Blue Zone diet is the consumption of whole plant foods and having healthy well-being which has an impact on a person’s life. People who adhere to this diet love doing physical work and they believe that a healthy mentality and psychological stance will keep them away from bad energy and possible illnesses that will greatly affect their health. In short, they take care of themselves in all aspects and those practices have proven that they are good answers for longer life.