7 Blue Zone Foods To Eat For Longevity

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Wellness

oi-Neha Ghosh

The food that we eat as a part of our diet plays a crucial role in how we look and feel. Eating the right foods that contain a good amount of healthy fats, nutrients and antioxidants can help us to lead a long and healthy life. And boosting your intake of foods that are a part of the blue zone diet can aid in longevity. Yes, the blue zone diet, a concept that was developed by Dan Buettner, CEO of Blue Zones LLC, who teamed up with National Geographic and the National Institute on Aging to find out the areas around the world where people have low rates of chronic diseases and live longer than anywhere else [1].

What Is A Blue Zone?

Blue Zone is a term given to geographical areas around the world where people live exceptionally long lives. These areas are called blue zones because Dan Buettner and his team were searching for these areas and drew blue circles around them on a map.

The Blue zone regions include Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy and Loma Linda, California (USA) [1]. People who live in these areas live over 90 and 100 years due to their healthy food and lifestyle habits [2] [3].

People who live in the blue zone areas eat primarily plant-based foods and avoid eating meat, dairy products, sugary foods and processed foods.

In order to lead a long and healthy life, you can add the blue zone foods into your diet. We’ve listed the blue zone foods that people eat as a part of the blue zone diet. Have a look.

Blue Zone Foods To Include In Your Diet

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1. Legumes

Legumes such as chickpeas, peas, and beans like black beans, soybeans, fava beans and lentils are a major part of the blue zone diet. Legumes are loaded with protein, fibre and an array of vitamins and minerals. Studies have shown that eating legumes are linked to lower mortality [4] [5].

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2. Whole grains

Whole grains such as oats, rye, buckwheat, bulgur wheat, millet, barley and spelt are high in fibre. A high intake of whole grains can lower the risk of cancer, heart disease and dementia [6]. According to a study, people who live in Ikaria, Greece have lower rates of cancer, heart disease and dementia because they eat a variation of the Mediterranean diet that includes plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, potatoes and olive oil [7].

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4. Fruits

Fruits are an excellent source of fibre, vitamins and minerals and studies have shown that increasing the intake of fruits can decrease the risk of cardiovascular mortality [9]. A study found that increased fresh fruit consumption could significantly lower mortality from several vascular and non-vascular diseases among Chinese adults [10].

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6. Nuts

Nuts are a good source of vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats and fibre. Eating nuts may help lower the risk of many chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes [13] [14].

Apart from the healthy foods that the people in the blue zones consume, there are other diet tips that they follow, these include: [15]

• People living in the blue zones stop eating when their stomach is 80 per cent full which helps in managing their weight.

• Meat, especially pork is eaten in smaller portions. It is eaten on an average five times per month.

• Drink wine in moderation.

• People eat their smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening.

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