Blue Zones helps people live longer, better lives. Dan Buettner set out to determine areas around the world where people live measurably longer, better lives. He teamed up with National Geographic and the world’s best longevity researchers to discover these pockets around the world and identified 5 Blue Zones where people reach the age of 100 at rates 10 times greater than in the United States. Teams of scientists were sent to each location to identify lifestyle characteristics that might explain longevity. Nine specific characteristics were discovered and shared among the residents of all 5 Blue Zone areas; that are also known as the “Power 9®.” In 2009 Dan and AARP and the United Health Foundation applied the 9 specific principles to Albert Lea, MN and it worked. They proved after just one year, participants added an estimated 2.9 years to their average lifespan while healthcare claims per city worker dropped 49%. They are now building Blue Zones in cities and businesses around the United States and their mission to help people live longer, better lives is spreading.
5 Blue Zones Around the World Ikaria, Greece
“People on this tiny Aegean island live eight years longer than Americans do. They experience 20% less cancer, half the rate of heart disease, and almost no dementia.”
Loma Linda, California
“An Adventist community in California outlive the average American by a decade.”
“A diet and lifestyle has evolved on this Mediterranean Island since the time of Christ. See how these mountain villages have produced more male centenarians than anyplace else.”
“Home to the world’s longest-lived women, these South Pacific islands offer three foods that can help every American live longer.”
Nicoya, Costa Rica
“People in this Central American region are more than twice as likely than Americans to reach a healthy age 90.”
Costa Rica owes some of its longevity to its economic security and excellent health care. The Caribbean nation enjoys higher life expectancy than many developed countries while spending only 15% of what America does on health care. Nicoya, an 80-mile peninsula just south of the Nicaraguan border boasts especially long lifespans. Dan describes it as “an exception within an exceptional country.”; and he enjoyed uncovering what gives Nicoyans that extra push to reach 100 at even higher rates than the rest of Costa Rica.
Nicoyan culture is full of faith and family, which helps Nicoyan elders maintain a positive outlook and active lifestyle. Nicoyans eat plenty of antioxidant-rich tropical fruits and little to no processed foods. But the most unique secret was found in their water; it is rich in calcium and magnesium, which is said to ward off heart disease and promote strong bones.
The following information of Nicoya, Costa Rica was identified during testing on ways to live longer and be happier. Nicoyans have a plan de vida, or reason to live. A centenarian is a person who lives to or beyond the age of 100 years. And successful centenarians have a strong sense of purpose and want to contribute to a greater good. Nicoyans drink water that contains the country’s highest calcium content. Nicoyans maintain focus on family, as they tend to live with their families and children and grandchildren. Families living together provide needed support and establish a sense of purpose and belonging. Nicoyans eat light dinners early in the evening, and eating fewer calories is the surest way to add years to your life. Nicoyans maintain social networks. Nicoya residents get frequent visits from neighbors and are considered people who know how to listen, laugh, and appreciate what they have.Nicoyans keep hard at work. Centenarians typically enjoy physical work and find joy in everyday physical chores. Nicoyans take in the sunshine on a regular basis, which helps their bodies produce vitamin D for strong bones and healthy body function. Vitamin D is considered a vital nutrient as its deficiency is associated with problems such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Nicoyans embrace a common history. Their roots trace back to the indigenous Chorotega and their traditions have enabled them to remain relatively stress-free. Nicoyan’s traditional diet of fortified maize and beans is considered the best nutritional component for longevity the world has ever known.