Most of us strive to live as long a life as we can, and our lifestyle choices
truly play a huge role. The better we eat, the more we exercise, and how
we release stress all make an impact. After National Geographic’s explorer
and author Dan Buettner set out to find the secrets to longevity, he wrote a
book called The Blue Zone Solution which aims to make people aware of
what those who live to 100 or more in the Blue Zones (consisting of 5
regions in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and parts of the US) are doing to
live such long lives.
Not surprisingly, much of it boils down to what you’re eating and drinking.
Here’s a quick rundown on the Blue Zones and how you can incorporate
these tips for longevity into your diet.
1. Make plants the star of your meals
One thing we seem to be doing wrong is eating more animal protein than
plant-based ingredients. A good rule of thumb is to simply let your fruits,
vegetables, and other natural plant products take center stage on your
plate. Most of your days should revolve around meatless meals.
2. Choose non-industrial meats
When you do buy meat, buy free-range and locally-raised. Anything that is
industrially-produced isn’t part of the Blue Zone.
3. Eat more fish
On the other hand, eating more fish is encouraged. You can eat fish
regularly, though for the Blue Zone diet, you should choose fish like
snapper, trout, grouper, anchovies, or sardines. Avoid any fish that is
farmed, opting for wild-caught for the healthiest choice.
4. Cut down on your dairy intake
We consume far too much dairy under the notion that we need it for the
calcium. You can get calcium through plants such as seaweeds, kale,
beans, and nuts, to name a few. If you do choose to consume dairy, go
with grass-fed types from goat or sheep’s milk instead, and see how you
5. Eat free-range eggs sparingly
Those living in the blue zones only eat eggs on the side. You could try to
cut down egg consumption to 3 eggs or less per week and choose eggs
that are free-range to avoid exposure to hormones and antibiotics. See if
you feel a difference when you try this.
6. Fill up on beans
Like fish, you should eat more beans. A half-cup of cooked beans is the
7. Leave sugar behind
While you do get natural sources of sugar through fruits, those living to the
age of 100 and beyond seldom consume sugar from refined sources. Make
those cookies, cakes, and other goodies the rare treat in your life for
special occasions rather than a daily occurrence.
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