Do you know why people in Blue Zones live over 100? And if you don’t know what the Blue Zones are, we are here to explain this term to you. The Blue Zones are places in the world where people tend to live longer, and they usually keep celebrating their birthdays even after they are past 100 years old.
The Blue Zones are located in the following places: Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California. At first, when you look at all of these places and also on a map, you might say that they are extremely different and don’t have much in common.
But, on a closer look, these areas have cultures that promote the same values and have the same healthy habits.
Unaware of it, people who reside in a Blue Zone give quality of life top priority! In addition to living far longer lives than the typical person, those who live in the Blue Zone appear to have a substantially lower prevalence of disease than the rest of the world’s population.
Let’s find out why people in Blue Zones live over 100! Can you learn something from them?
1. Wholesome diet
You are what you eat! These are some powerful words, and they also describe very well why people in Blue Zones live over 100. The residents of those places know this very well, and they always try to have balanced meals.
Generally, the food you consume is your main source of energy, and because of this, you probably want to eat meals that can make you feel fulfilled and that also give you the nutrients and energy you need.
Meat is a great source of protein, but eating too much meat is not the healthiest choice. What people who live in the Blue Zones do differently from us is how they manage to balance their meals and successfully combine meat with a lot of vegetables and fruits.
Many times, these fruits and vegetables are gardened by the people who eat them, or they come from a community garden. This is why they are always fresh and full of much-needed nutrients.
Also, those who live in the Blue Zones generally cook their meals themselves, which means they don’t eat processed food or fast food at all.
So, you should try to have a diet that is based more on vegetables and less on meat. For example, the maximum quantity of poultry an adult should eat per week is 26 ounces. Do you eat more than this?
2. Physical activity
After a healthy diet, the next thing that explains why people in Blue Zones live over 100 is the fact that they are constantly moving. Really! These folks consider physical activity a normal part of their lives, and they move without thinking about it.
The residents of the Blue Zones don’t need to go to the gym in order to do the activity they need. We say this because they clean using traditional tools, garden, and hang their clothing outside, all of which stimulate unintentional movement and activity.
All this movement is good because it is incredibly healthy. It improves the levels of blood sugar and the heart rate. Also, it is a well-known fact that regular physical activity reduces stress levels.
They also regularly engage in low-intensity activities like swimming and walking as part of their daily routines, which helps to lower their total body fat, enhance cardiovascular health over time, and minimize the risk of developing disorders like chronic illnesses and high blood pressure.
This is for sure a reason why people in Blue Zones live over 100, and we can learn a thing or two from them.
3. Community is a big part of their lives
If we look at how these people live their lives, we can see that they are also more socially active than we generally are. This is something they all have in common, and it is also one of the reasons why people in Blue Zones live over 100. Believe it or not, getting along with your peers and spending time with them can greatly improve your well-being. And this is later reflected in the quality of your life.
Communities, solid connections, and social support are important components of the cultures found in the Blue Zones. These people frequently cook together, garden together, do grocery shopping together, spend hours each day with friends and family, do chores together, and generally live more peacefully even while they are working.
We, as humans, are social beings, and because of this, human interaction is a huge part of our lives. We can’t just isolate ourselves and hope everything will be okay. There are numerous studies and research studies that show how loneliness can negatively impact us.
The way the brain works, mood, and some health habits were all negatively connected with loneliness. The studies came to the conclusion that having a solid social support system is good for one’s physical and mental health.
If you were wondering why people in Blue Zones live over 100, this is definitely one of the factors. Even if social media and the internet are amazing and can help us with a lot of things, we should be aware that they can also make us feel more isolated.
4. They sleep well
If you look at how these people live, you can easily notice that resting is a big part of their culture. It seems that everybody knows how important sleep is and respects that. For us, it is not that unusual to hear that someone sleeps 6 or 7 hours per night. In many cases, this is the average. But is this healthy?
Obviously not. Sleep is extremely important when we want to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and not getting enough sleep is a factor that can literally take years of your life. That’s exactly why those who live in the Blue Zones prioritize sleep in their lifestyle.
These people usually sleep somewhere between 8 and 10 hours per night, and taking a nap in the afternoon is a habit that many of them have. Getting a good night’s sleep is a huge component that explains why people in Blue Zones live over 100.
This restful sleep is the sum of many variables. Sleep is clearly affected by all the elements of the Blue Zone lifestyle: a plant-based diet offers enough nutrients to promote peaceful sleep, regular exercise helps burn excess energy, and social support helps reduce stress.
In conclusion, this is why people in Blue Zones live over 100. They can find a balance between their social life, diet, and activity, and lastly, they sleep so much better than us. Combine all of these factors, and you get a healthy lifestyle that will help you live well and for longer than average.
This is not easy to achieve, but if you decide that you want to try and improve your life by following the habits of those who live in the Blue Zones, go for it!
If you decided that it was time to eat more healthy and you want to try a diet similar to that of those living in the Blue Zones, this cookbook might be a good start: The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100
You should also read: 15 Sleeping Habits You Should Try NOW