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The ultimate secret to longevity is something humanity has been exploring for years. Internet searches for “how to avoid premature wrinkles'' and “ways to reverse aging” are filled with complicated steps and unnecessary purchases, not to mention, a bucket full of empty promises. But for those who reside in the world’s famous Blue Zones, their simple, traditional lifestyle and culture hasn’t been subject to new-age outside influences, which has positively impacted their longevity overall. Maybe, that internet search has switched to “where are these places located?” and when can I book my flight?

To no one’s surprise, these regions are located near beautiful coastlines and are rich in agricultural resources. Ikaria, Greece, Loma Linda, California, Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica make up the world’s five “blue” zones and have been dubbed regions where people seemingly, “forget to die.”

Extensive research of the world’s Blue Zones has been going on for years.Where are they? How are they defined? What commonalities do they share? An assembled team of medical researchers, anthropologists, demographers and epidemiologists were able to determine nine common denominators that resulted in longer, healthier lives:

  • Natural movement

  • Sense of purpose

  • Minimal stressors

  • Eating until 80% full

  • Plant-based diet

  • Moderate consumption of alcohol

  • Sense of belonging

  • Priority familial relationships

  • Close social circles

While every zone shares these values, each one has their own unique attributes. A large portion of the diet for those residing on the Greek island of Ikaria, is grass-fed goat’s milk. Why? It’s high in both potassium and tryptophan (stress relieving hormone). Those living in the community of Loma Linda, located just East of the bustling metropolitan city of Los Angeles, take part in a 24 hour Christian Sabbath every Saturday to focus on family, God and nature. Head over to Sardinia, Italy and you’ll find the greatest concentration of male centenarians. In Okinawa, Japan, women live longer than anywhere else in the world, while residents of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rice have the history’s best longevity diet due to the large quantities of fortified maize and beans incorporated into their diet.

One of the common threads that weaves throughout these regions is the concept of remaining grounded in what Mother Nature gave them. Each zone feasts on plant based diets with the exception of Sardinia, Italy where people eat small amounts of meat on Sundays and special occasions. Not only do blue zoners value what they put on their table, but more importantly, who is sitting around it. Building and prioritizing strong relationships that last a lifetime is the foundation for all Blue Zone communities. Friendship is a virtue that gives these individuals purpose and creates a sense of belonging. In Okinawa, Japan people maintain a “moai”, or close circle of friends they meet with regularly and support throughout their lives. In Italy, people gather regularly in the streets to sing and dance together after the day's work is finished. Sounds like a pretty great day to end a work day if you ask us.

Life in a Blue Zone is seemingly blissful. There’s no pressure from social media to look like everyone else or buy the newest car on the market. Time is spent connecting with the Earth and with one another. It seems that mindfulness grows organically and the strong focus on family and friendship bonds communities for life. We could all learn a thing or two about life from people in the Blue Zones, and while we might not become shepherds by tomorrow afternoon, being a bit more blue should be on everyone’s To Do List.










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