If you’re looking to live a centenarian lifestyle, you should reach for greens and beans.
One of the key takeaways from Dan Buettner’s new book, “The Blue Zones Solution,” is that, in order to live a long and healthy life, it’s your diet that matters.
Buettner, a National Geographic explorer, who originally sought to uncover the lifestyle secrets to longevity in 2000, writes about the people who live in the Blue Zones — five regions in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the U.S. researchers have identified as having the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world:Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Ogliastra Region, Sardinia; Loma Linda, Calif.; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica.
Buettner worked with anthropologists, demographers, epidemiologists and other researchers to travel around the world to study communities with the highest percentages of centenarians, figuring out what they had in common with each other.
Their findings were reported in Buettner’s first book, “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.” For Buettner’s lastest book, which was released April 7, the author distills the research on what all the Blue Zones have in common when it comes to their diet.
It turns out that the diets of those who live in the Blue Zones are traditional, and harken back way before fast food came onto the scene. They tend to eat the smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon or evening, and they eat mostly plants, especially legumes, and eat meat rarely (another fun fact: they also drink 1-2 alcoholic beverages a day). Their communities are largely free of afflictions like heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes, so, clearly, they’re eating their way to good health.
Buettner understands that the temptation of hamburgers and cookies is prevalent in the U.S., but he’s doing what he can with his project. You can even find recipes from the Blue Zones on his website.
Of course we’ve known for a while that eating a vegan diet is a good way to ensure longevity, but we’re glad to see that it’s being promoted on a more massive scale.