For a longer life and better health, try increasing the intake of foods found in the diets of people who live in the Blue Zones . According to a concept developed by researcher and National Geographic author Dan Buettner, blue zones are areas around the world where people tend to live longer and have surprisingly low rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
With its staggeringly high concentration of people living to be over 100 years old, the Blue Zones include the following regions: Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; the province of Ogliastra in Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California, Seventh-day Adventist Community; and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.
While food options vary from region to region, Blue Zone diets are primarily plant-based, with up to 95% of the daily food intake coming from vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes. People in the blue zones generally avoid meat and dairy products, as well as sugary foods and drinks. They also avoid processed foods.
However, a complete diet is not the only factor believed to lead to longevity for those who live in the Blue Zones. They also have high levels of physical activity, low levels of stress, strong social ties, and a strong sense of purpose .
However, adherence to a vibrant, nutrient-rich meal plan appears to play a key role in the exceptional health of Blue Zone residents. Here are seven foods to include in your Blue Zone diet.