The Blue Zones diet is a science backed eating program designed to make you live healthily for as long as possible. It focusses on five world areas with the longest-lived population. These areas are the following:
1. The Barbagia region of Sardinië.
2. Ikaria in Greece.
3. The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.
4. Seventh Day Adventists (mostly located in California).
5. Okinawa in Japan.
More than a diet, the Blue Zones approach is meant as a healthy lifestyle and it’s important to not only follow the dietary advice, but incorporate certain healthy benefits into your life as well. These trademarks are very important and include the following:
1. Make sure to move a lot during the day. Interesting is that Blue Zones long-lived people don’t work-out in a gym, but are just busy all-day gardening and doing house work. This once again shows how important it is to get off the couch!
2. Have a sense of purpose. Find a reason in your life to wake-up for. Try to find something that makes you happy and fulfills you.
3. Avoid stress. It seems like a no-brainer, but it cannot be said enough. In the Blue Zones people take a moment to nap, pray to their ancestors etc. Find your relax moment!
4. 80% rule. Make sure you eat enough to feel full, but never stuffed. In Blue Zones people also generally eat their first meal late in the afternoon or early in the evening and that’s all they eat for the day.
5. Go vegan! Even though fish and meat are or on the menu, it’s only eaten five times a month at most. And the servings are very small. This shows that a (mostly) plant-based diet is preferred.
6. Don’t despair just yet, because alcohol is allowed and recommended! Of course, it’s important to keep everything in moderation. Drink no more than 1-2 glasses wine every day, preferable when having dinner or with friends.
7. Being involved in some religious services seems to add 4-14 years to your life-expectancy. This again shows the importance of finding some meaning in your life.
8. Loving and taking care of your family is crucial. In all Blue Zones family comes first. Grandparents, parents and grandchildren will usually live together in great harmony. Also investing in a lifetime partner could add up to 3 years to your life expectancy! Isn’t that just great?
9. Surround yourself by family and friends that inspire good behavior. It’s been proven that: smoking, obesity and other unhealthy lifestyle choices are contagious. By keeping in touch with healthy people, you will become healthier too!
Incorporating the above points into your life could make a huge difference on your quality of life and life expectancy. The most important thing is to enjoy life, be together with your loved ones and mostly, to avoid stress! So don’t forget that daily Zen-moment!