Secrets of Longevity: The Link Between a Healthy Lifestyle and the Blue Zones
Statistics aid us in identifying factors that help determine life expectancy in different areas of the world. Through research, we learned of the existence of “Blue Zones.” These zones have the highest percentage of people in the world that live past 100 years old. In fact, researchers report that there are 10 times as many Centenarians living in those zones than in the rest of the world.
Dan Buettner, an American researcher, first highlighted Blue Zones. He identified five such zones worldwide and found that people living in them followed a particular diet. Let’s take a closer look.
A Blue Zone Diet is a Major Factor in Supporting a Healthy Lifespan
In the past, scientists have speculated that genetics was very important in predicting a human’s lifespan. Genetics does play a part, of course, but only about 20 – 30% can be attributed to it.
Research has shown that people living in Blue Zone populations enjoy a long and healthy lifespan mostly due to lifestyle factors. After extensive studies, researchers have concluded that, although aging is inevitable, deterioration is not.
Buettner and his colleagues isolated specific traits and habits of Blue Zone populations, including the following:
- People in Blue Zones eat mostly plant-based food.
- Blue Zone communities will often fast or restrict their caloric intake.
- People living in the Zone have a sense of purpose in life.
- People living in such regions have a lifestyle that encourages natural, vigorous movement.
- People incorporate stress relief in a purposeful, regular manner.
- These communities have stable and extended family structures.
- They have supportive social networks that encourage healthy, happy lifestyles.
What is a Blue Zone?
In Blue Zones, people live in community. The healthy lifestyle habits of the community have a strong influence on the individual members.
- By eating together, people encourage healthier eating habits for themselves and others.
- By playing together, the community reinforces healthy behaviors and can improve mental health.
- Stress is less prevalent because healthy connections support a regulated nervous system.
Rather than simply giving people information about following a healthy lifestyle, it’s better to demonstrate and model healthier habits. We learn to live healthy lives by observing the people in our community. Our physical and mental health improves, and there is a high value placed on mutual respect and trust.
Blue Zone communities desire a health-promoting environment rather than more healthcare. By targeting environments that are already healthier, there is a much greater impact compared to those that target individual decisions. Ultimately, the Blue Zone communities encourage a healthy lifestyle by default.
Zero Effort Nutrition, Supporting the Health of Communities
Many people lead busy lives. Although they know the benefits of eating nutritionally, they may struggle to supply that food daily. The less time community members spend on meal preparation, the more time they can focus on other ways to support their community.
That’s where Z.E.N. Foods can step in with dynamic, delicious, and personalized meal plans for you and your community. Plus, each client is assigned a dedicated consultant who regularly checks in and supports your journey to a healthier, happier life. Take a look at our sample menu, and call us at (310) 205-9368 to set up a plan with one of our consultants today!