Published On: November 28th, 2023Categories: Culture & LifestyleTags: , , ,

You Might Live Longer in a Blue Zone City

You Might Live Longer in a Blue Zone City

The idea of Blue Zones came from demographic research emphasizing areas with unusually high numbers of centenarians. Not only are these sites known for residents with long lives, but a great quality of life in aged individuals has been observed as well.

That said, let’s have a look into the five famous Blue Zones around the world and uncover the secrets behind the healthy, extended lifespans of the people living there. From dietary habits in Okinawa, Japan, to community-focused existence in Loma Linda, California – each zone provides us unique wisdom on how to live our later years gracefully.

1. Loma Linda, California

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Loma Linda is the only region in the US that is considered a Blue Zone. While its location gets a bit of the credit, a major role is played by the Seventh-day Adventist community, which consists of around 9,000 individuals. According to a rough estimate, they live almost ten years more than an average American.

Residents of this area love indulging in outdoor sports like pickleball. In fact, you’re most likely to find people above 80 playing such games as if they are in their youth. In addition to a close-knit community, the diet also plays a major role. They usually stick to a healthy diet plan, which encompasses good fats, whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. Red meat is not a commonly preferred dish here. Around half of the Adventist community is vegetarian or vegan in Loma Linda.

2. Okinawa, Japan

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Okinawa is often nicknamed the island where people forget to die. With fewer instances of diseases like cancer, heart attacks, and dementia, women here live longer than anywhere else on the planet. The key to Okinawans’ longevity lies in their diet and lifestyle. They mainly eat sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, and soy products. Moreover, they also consume fish a few times per week.

Above all, the Confucian mantra Hara Hachi Bu, which translates to a practice of eating only until you are 80% full, is the secret behind their long lives. It helps with portion control and avoids overeating. But there’s more than just food involved – Okinawa boasts an amazing social support system called moai that provides emotional reinforcement as well as financial help if needed, promoting a relaxed lifestyle.

3. Barbargia, Italy

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This paradise hidden in the mountainous region of Sardinia is especially famous for its high number of male centenarians. They follow a classic version of the Mediterranean diet, which includes whole-grain bread, beans, garden vegetables, and fruits. It also includes one type of red wine called Cannonau, loaded with polyphenols. The wine’s composition imparts anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body, promoting good physical health.

The close-knit communities undoubtedly contribute to their remarkable health and life expectancy. In addition to this, physical activity is an integral part of life in Sardinia. People don’t necessarily structure it as exercise. However, they stay active by herding livestock, walking around the area for daily tasks, and performing manual labor chores. 

4. Ikaria, Greece

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Ikaria, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, is renowned for its slow-paced lifestyle and minimal rates of dementia and chronic illnesses. The diet on this particular island follows Mediterranean principles with an abundance of olive oil, veggies, beans, and fruits. It is well accompanied by moderate use of alcohol as well as limited amounts of dairy/meat products thrown into the mix.

Napping has been widely accepted here, leading to stress relief and providing heart health benefits.

At the same time, strong communal connections where elders are respected & included in everyday proceedings contribute positively to their mental & bodily well-being. Also, late-night domino games are quite popular here. People usually ignore clocks without worrying about following a strict schedule. The high air quality, rugged terrain, and warm breezes are a few other factors behind the long lives of the islanders. 

5. Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

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The folks living around Costa Rica’s famous Nicoya Peninsula are driven by something they call plan de vida. It basically means searching for that allusive harmony between being busy yet still having plenty of time to rest and enjoy the journey. Also, being surrounded by lots of supportive people plays a key role.

BBC report suggests that people here are likely to live past 100, three and a half times more than the world’s average. Just like every other zone, the diet is also an important factor. It is prosaic and typically involves beans, rice, and animal protein. These food items’ low glycemic index and high fiber content promote strong physical health. Nicoyans also drink calcium-rich water to meet their daily nutritional requirements.

The Secrets to Longevity From the Blue Zones

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Blue Zones are areas of the world where people reportedly live much longer than average. Although the evidence is anecdotal, there are enough examples of centenarians in those locations that scientists continue to research the regions.

The Secrets to Longevity From the Blue Zones

Best Beach Towns for Retirement Abroad

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For a majority of Americans, reaching retirement age means an opportunity to break away from their old life. Empty nesters might seek a permanent vacation after decades spent raising children. Single seniors are looking for a fresh start in a laid-back locale. For those retirees and more, we’ve gathered the best beach towns for retirement abroad.

Best Beach Towns for Retirement Abroad

Best Countries for Seniors & End-of-Life Care

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Duke University created a study on end-of-life care and published an article called “Where is the Best Place to Die?” Their results ranked the U.S. 43rd of the 81 countries considered, based on criteria they created with 1200 experts and 181 palliative care experts. These were the 10 best countries for seniors:

➤ Best Countries for Seniors & End-of-Life Care

Zobia Shazi, Expatsi contributor
+ posts

Zobia Shazi is a freelance writer from Pakistan and travel enthusiast. With a Bachelor's degree in IT and four years of professional writing experience, she's passionate about crafting compelling content for people all over the globe. When she's not busy typing, you can find her reading books in a nice cafe or exploring new places.

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Zobia Shazi, Expatsi contributor
+ posts

Zobia Shazi is a freelance writer from Pakistan and travel enthusiast. With a Bachelor's degree in IT and four years of professional writing experience, she's passionate about crafting compelling content for people all over the globe. When she's not busy typing, you can find her reading books in a nice cafe or exploring new places.