Context: About 15 years ago, National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner identified the places around the world where people live the longest and he drew a blue line around each area. He discovered specific dietary habits that people in those Blue Zones had in common, and developed this cookbook filled with recipes inspired by those locations.
“Blue Zones” are geographic areas with lower rates of chronic diseases and a longer life expectancy. Diet, fasting, and exercise are factors associated with Blue Zones. Italy, Greece, Japan, Costa Rica, and the US have a Blue Zone.
It includes Ikaria in Greece, Okinawa in Japan, The province of Ogliastra in Sardinia, Italy, The community of Seventh-Day Adventists in Loma Linda, California and The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. People living in the blue zone live the longest lives because of their approach towards food, rest and relationships with family and social circle.
Blue zones in the World
- Ikaria, Greece
- Okinawa, Japan
- Ogliastra Region, Sardinia
- Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
- Loma Linda, California
- Singapore is the latest addition to the club
What is the Blue Zones diet?
People living in the five Blue Zones are consuming more plant-based foods. Their diet contains whole grains such as corn, wheat and rice, and also greens, sweet potatoes, and beans. They have sheep’s milk cheese or goat’s milk cheese.
Their diet contains very little sugar and no processed food.
These people also consume some meat, but only about five times a month. They eat fish once or twice a week only.
Benefits of the Blue Zones diet
This diet helps attain a long life, aids in weight loss and lowers cholesterol, and results in higher energy levels and attention span. These are some of the benefits of the Blue Zones diet.
What is reason for long life?
Icaria, Greece: Icaria, an island nestled within the embrace of Greece, is renowned for its denizens partaking in a Mediterranean culinary regimen replete with the bounties of olive oil, crimson libations, and locally cultivated verdant produce.
Ogliastra, Sardinia, Italy: In the heart of Sardinia, the Ogliastra expanse is a bastion for some of the planet’s most venerable men. These resilient individuals inhabit mountainous terrain, toiling diligently on agrarian homesteads while indulging in copious quantities of crimson nectar.
Okinawa, Japan: Okinawa stands as the dwelling place of the Earth’s most seasoned women, a testament to their consumption of soy-based sustenance and their devotion to the contemplative practice of tai chi, an exercise form that instills tranquility.
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica: The culinary ethos of Nicoya Peninsula centers on legumes and corn tortillas, with its inhabitants engaging in physically demanding pursuits well into their later years. They also hold a profound life purpose known as “plan de vida.”
The Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California, USA: In the enclaves of Loma Linda, California, reside the devout Seventh-day Adventists, a congregation of individuals devoutly adhering to vegetarianism and dwelling within tightly-knit communal enclaves.
Is there a blue zone in India?
Researchers have identified five such Zones, where people live long and healthy lives, around the world. In India, there are similar healthy habits such as cooking lentils in earthen pots and eating with hands.
What do Indians eat in the blue zone?
Plant-based foods make up the vast majority of what those in Blue Zone areas eat. They tend to eat a lot of beans, whole grains, olive oil, nuts and alternate forms of dairy like sheep or goat’s milk and cheese. In terms of liquids, they prefer water and keep their caffeine and alcohol intake minimal.
What are the right ingredients?
- -Incorporate more raw fruits, seeds, nuts, sprouts and vegetables in your salads
- -Switch to nut butters, coconut oil or olive oil
- -Go for fresh produce and catch – such as small locally available fish, sea fish
- -Opt for traditional varieties of lentils & legumes
- -Add more local, seasonal and dark leafy greens to your diet
- -Add more millets, whole grains to your diet.
- -Minimise eggs and meat consumption to once or twice a week
- -Opt for broths and lighter curries instead of thik, rich gravies
Eating half full– 80% Blue zoners eat up till they are 80% full. Ayurveda also recommends the same.