In the early 2000s, Dan Buettner embarked on a mission to determine what specific aspects of lifestyle and environment help humans live longer. He teamed up with National Geographic and the National Institute of Aging on his quest, and through research, they were able to identify five areas with the highest percentage of centenarians (i.e. a person who is 100 years old or older). Known as the Blue Zones, these areas also have low rates of chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Buettner and his team of anthropologists, epidemiologists, and researchers traveled to these particular areas to study the lifestyle characteristics of the people who lived in these Blue Zones. From there, the “Blue Zone” diet became of interest to help people outside of these locations practice that way of life. Here’s everything you need to know about the Blue Zones, including diet recommendations and more.
What are the five specific locations of the Blue Zones?
- Sardinia, Italy: Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and home to some of the world’s longest-living males. The local shepherds walk at least five mountainous miles daily and follow a predominately plant-based diet. Meat is enjoyed on Sundays and special occasions only.
Excerpted from Good Housekeeping