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‘Blue Zone’ for longevity

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There are key lifestyle factors that contribute to a triple digit age. You may know them as they are considered the gold standard.

* Optimal nutrition. Eat whole, unprocessed food often. Increase consumption of vegetables and fruits. Drink clean water generously. Minimize the intake of red meat and refined sugars and sweets. Take moderate amounts of whole grain and complex carbohydrates. Minimize alcoholic beverage intake.

* Do not smoke.

* Have seven to eight hours of sleep.

* Exercise 25 to 30 minutes daily.

* Keep busy. Avoid a sedentary life.

* Manage stress levels. Control your anger.

* Stay close to nature. Get some sunlight.

* Make time for daily meditation.

* Stay motivated. Live purposefully.

KATHERINE HANLON MAKE time for exercise and meditation. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH

Blue Zone
The book The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer and author, has been received with much enthusiasm by health enthusiasts. In it, he describes countries that were relatively pristine and isolated whose people lived based on their traditions, including their diets. Well researched by a team of epidemiologists, anthropologists and demographers, it illustrates just how one’s way of life can have a dramatic impact on longevity.

The areas that made it to the Blue Zone listing are Nikoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; Olgiastra Region, Sardinia; Okinawa, Japan; and Loma Linda, California.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/
ELENA KOYCHEVA

Closer look
What wisdom we can derive from these communities can help us along on our path to wellness.

*Ikaria: Emphasis on goat’s milk, potatoes, honey, legumes (like black-eyed peas, garbanzos, lentils), organic vegetables, fruit, fish, minimal goat meat, feta cheese, lemon and herbs like sage and marjoram which are taken also as a tea.

* Okinawa: Seaweed, turmeric, brown rice, sweet potato, tofu, green tea, shiitake mushrooms, minimal milk and meat.

SALAD for good health.

* Sardinia: Goat’s and sheep’s milk, sourdough, barley, fava beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, almonds, grapes, fennel, milk thistle tea, locally-produced wine
* Loma Linda: The
Seventh-Day Adventist diet is Biblically-influenced. Dates, figs, fish with scales, no refined foods/sugars, avocados, salmon, beans, oatmeal, soy milk and whole-wheat bread, no alcoholic beverages.

* Nikoya: Beans, corn, squash, papayas, yams, bananas, peach palm.

TOWFIQU BARBHUIYA AND DAVID FEDULOV LOMA Linda, Californian diet. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF UNSPLASH

For free recipes, go to www.bluezones.com.

In summary: To reach a triple digit age well into 100, we should listen to actual centenarians from the Blue Zone.

Affirmation: “Yes to longevity, and I have the will to make a decision today.”

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