You’ve probably heard about the fountain of youth, or seen in movies like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’. We all know that they are just myths. Surprisingly, there are few “Blue Zones” on earth, where native people found their personal kind of anti-ageing sources to live to be 100 years. Yes, the people in these blue zones are healthier, happier and living longer than the people living anywhere else on the earth. So, what are the blue zones? And what we should learn from the people living in blue zones?
What is a Blue Zone?
A ‘Blue Zone’ is a specific magic spot where average human lifespan is around 100 years at extraordinarily high rates. Most of the people living in this areas are centenarians and have lowest mortality rate for middle-aged people. When Mr. Dan Buettner, a Nat Geo explorer first started exploring these surprisingly healthy places, amazingly he finds that the people living in blue zones have shared some natural lifestyle habits in common.
5 Blue Zones in The World:
- Sardinia – Italy
- Okinawa – Japan
- Ikaria – Greece
- Nicoya – Costa Rica
- Loma Linda – California
What Should We Learn From People Living in Blue Zones to Live Longer Life?
Key lifestyle lessons to learn from blue zones to lead a healthy, happy and longer life:
Vegetarian Habits and Avoiding Processed Food:
People in blue zones aren’t 100% vegetarians, but plant-based foods have high prominence in their diet. They mostly depend on their own homegrown and organic foods. These people always prefer to eat nutrition rich foods they produce in their own gardens. Also, they take small animal protein, dairy foods, whole grains and beans in addition.
Consuming plant-based foods deliver loads of fibre, anti-oxidants, potential natural anti-cancer agents (insoluble fibre), cholesterol reducers and blood-clot blockers, plus essential minerals. This is likely one reason why people suffer much less from heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, dementia, and cancer than people living in any other places on the earth. Also, these types of foods lower inflammation, as we know inflammation is the root cause of most diseases.
The 80% rule:- People from Okinawa says, stop eating when you are 80% full. The secrete of living to be 100 is lies in between ‘enough’ and ‘too much’.
Physical Activities in Natural Motion:
“Spending time in nature lower stress, reducing inflammation and working in mud/soil will increase the immune system. Hence, they can lead a long and healthy life.”
Blue Zoners do not prefer to go gyms or run on a treadmill to melt down their fat into the sweat. They just stay active naturally by keeping up physical work of their day to day life. They prefer to do chores with their own hands instead of machines, and they travel near distances on foot. They tend to be active by playing outdoor sports and games with friends. Also, they do jobs that physically demanding, such as forming and gardening, most of them have gardens of their own which gives them some physical work. Staying active with
The blue zones claim that “spending quality time in nature and participating in outdoor games activities with family and friends provides consistent exercise, relieve stress, strengthens family and social networks.”
Downshift Stress With Healthy Social Support System:
“Always surround yourself with the family members, close friends and positive people who can share your feelings and values. Social engagement is the natural way to kick the stress and improve the quality of life.”
Perhaps, this is the most powerful thing you can do to change your lifestyle for the better. Mr. Buettner said “residents of the blue zones are socially well connected with family members and close friends who share their feelings and values. Social connectedness is naturally ingrained into their culture” in his book “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. National Geographic Books”.
Unfortunately, in this mechanical lifestyle, we limited our social life to social networking sites. Unlike that, people living in blue zones “have a stronger social support system, they’re much more engaged with and helpful to each other, more willing and able to express feelings, including grief and anger, and other aspects of intimacy.”This type of social support system will reduce the stress and boost positive behaviour of people and build a healthy community.
Living A Purposeful Life:
In blue zones, old-age people are encouraged to stay active and support the community. Blue zoners tend to take care of their elders, especially old-aged people. They claimed “A combination of family duty, community expectations, and genuine affection for elders keeps them living with their families in their 90’s. With active participation in their families and society, older people experience less stress and live purposeful lives.”