What They REALLY Eat in the Blue Zones

Mr. Fireside
11 min readSep 20, 2023
Photo by Clint Bustrillos on Unsplash

The “Blue Zones” refer to specific regions around the world where people have notably longer life expectancies, higher concentrations of centenarians (people who live to at least 100 years old), and generally enjoy better health and well-being in their later years compared to other parts of the world. The concept was popularized by National Geographic explorer and author Dan Buettner, who identified five such regions:

  1. Ikaria, Greece: An island in the Aegean Sea where people live about 8 years longer than Americans, and experience 20% fewer cases of cancer and half the rate of heart disease. They also have one of the world’s lowest rates of middle-age mortality and the lowest rates of dementia.
  2. Okinawa, Japan: Known for its large number of centenarians. Elderly Okinawans have historically enjoyed lower rates of cancer, heart disease, and dementia.
  3. Sardinia, Italy: Particularly the Nuoro province, which has the highest concentration of male centenarians in the world.
  4. Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica: Here, middle-aged mortality is 64% lower than in the United States. Residents have a higher probability of reaching 90 years old than Americans do.
  5. Loma Linda, California: A community of Seventh-day Adventists, who outlive their North American counterparts by about a decade.

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