Live Longer and Healthier With the “Blue Zone Diet”

Dubbed the Blue Zones, these are unique communities around the world where people live long past 100 years old, free of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer. There are five Blue Zones: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece and Loma Linda, California. Researchers found they share a common lifestyle that contributes to their longevity.

The cornerstone is their whole foods plant centered diet, the way of eating that I have been following and espousing now for over ten years. As we know, this way of eating not only supports longevity but also helps with a wide array of health conditions.

The Blue Zone pattern is similar to the well known Mediterranean diet but with less emphasis on seafood. It’s about 95% vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes. There’s little dairy and no sugary foods or drinks or processed food. The emphasis is on beans, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and healthy oils like olive oil. And when it comes to meat, people in Blue Zones eat small amounts of free-roaming pork, chicken, or lamb, about two ounces or less at a time, about five times per month.

However, scientists found that their food was not the only reason that people in Blue Zones live long healthy lives. They also did a lot of physical activity, had low levels of stress, were connected socially (to re-enforce healthy behaviors) and had a strong sense of purpose in life.

If you’re interested in learning more, I recommend you check out, National Geographic explorer and authority, Dan Buettner’s newest book, “The Blue Zones American Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100”.

To jump in now for some plant based yumminess, here’s a link to one of my own favorite recipes: Delicious Anytime Skillet

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