There are niches among the population of the world that seem immune from the ravages of an aging body. Even though some have wrinkles to prove their 100 revolutions around the sun, their flexibility and mind/body vitality is astonishing!
Research on “The Blue Zones” showed 5 protective areas which are Ikaria in Greece, Loma Linda in California, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Okinawa in Japan and Sardinia in Italy.
If you reside in any of the above regions, chances are you will live at least a decade longer than the average American. What leads to a happier, better life for these populations?
They include quality foods, red wine, daily exercise, great friends, close family, belonging to organizations to spread karma, love and respecting yourself. Everyone has fun and humor plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Ikaria has the lowest amount of elderly with mental disorders on earth. They like the other “Blue Zones” engage in exercise during many of their daily activities.
Loma Linda is home to the Seventh Day Adventists. They are the only one of the five “Blue Zone” populations that avoid alcohol. This group also practices vegetarianism.
Nicoya group has a saying, “plan de vita” which means purpose of your life. They have a priceless reason for waking up in the morning, helping the community.
The Okinawans never stuff themselves with food. They practice the 80% rule called, “hara hachi bu.” This saying from early asian ancestors talk of only eating till your 80% full. They, like the other populations, consume their smallest meal for the day at dinner time.
As for the Sardinians, they have 1-2 glasses daily of their cannonau wine. A beverage that is high in resveratrols (antioxidants). This section of Italy has the highest concentration in the world of males living to hundred.
Our current generation of children here in the US will be the first that will have a shorter longevity than their parents. The food exploitation of the entire population has increased obesity and the resulting diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Filling ourselves up with convenience food doesn’t keep the body healthy. Many are also leaving out exercise because they are just too busy with other “priorities.” It’s a shame and it needs to change now.
Following these simple tips that may help lead to a longer, healthy life:
- Daily red wine
- Eat to live. Do not live to eat. 80% full rule.
- Help the community
- Daily exercise as part of your tasks.
- Join a tribe of people to share life with, be it a church, hobby group, sports society, etc.
- Downtime needed daily to unwind/relax
- Practice vegetarianism.
- If vegetarian, wine is an option you may opt out of if you so desire.
The average lifespan for an American is currently 78 years.
Hawaii, has the highest average longevity run which is 80 years young.
There is a study with Danish Twins that concluded human longevity is based only 20% on genes. The remainder (80%), is from the choice of lifestyle and environment of the human experience. You can observe this research published in Human Genetics 1996, Mar;97(3)319-23:
Make an active choice to control your path for reaching a long, healthy life. What you put into your mouth becomes a part of you. It could have been that banana that contributes potassium to normalize blood pressure keeping your arteries healthy. On the other hand, what about that greasy bag of barbecued chips, loaded with unhealthy fats, high salt levels and synthetic chemicals to flavor and color this meal all “natural.” Continued abuse with these types of junk snacks will lead to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, mobility problems and cancer.