Leading a long life happy and healthy sounds like a dream! And it’s all possible if you know the right spots to settle in. Enter blue zones, the five locations in the world which are home to some of the healthiest communities. Let’s check out these incredible areas and their secret to a longer lifespan for the residents.
Sardinia became the first-ever identified blue zone in 2004. As per the Blue Zones website, a rare genetic quirk was found here being carried by the larger part of the inhabitants that links to the overall long life of the population. But, the other secret key to this longevity is the active and healthy lifestyle of the residents. According to the website, Sardinian people still continue to fish, hunt, and harvest most of the food locally. They take a largely heart-friendly diet of whole-grain bread, garden vegetables, beans, fruits, and mastic oil.
As the Blue Zones Website notes, residents of Okinawa are surprisingly fortunate to have a long life with extremely low rates of heart diseases, dementia, and cancers. More astonishingly, this longevity can be attributed to the strong social ties of the community, giving the people a deep sense of purpose. The website reports that the purpose-imbued lifestyle gives the residents clear roles of responsibility and the innate feelings of being needed, even into their 100s! Also, the inhabitants there mostly favor a plant-based diet, which only adds to their life span.
Nicoya, Costa Rica
With a lifestyle mantra of Pura Vida or pure life, the people of Costa Rica enjoy a happy and long life. With a common belief that everyone should adapt over time, they never lose the lust for living life to the fullest and get rewarded with a few extra healthy years in return, especially in Nicoya. The sense of existential purpose, strong familial bonds, and a healthy diet are also prevalent here. The Nicoyans usually take fewer calories and eat a light early dinner. Also, the centenaries mostly depend on a traditional Mesoamerican diet highlighted with corn, beans, and squash.
The Greek island of Ikaria is home to a healthy bunch of barely 10,000 inhabitants. According to the website, the entire population is nearly free of chronic diseases and dementia. Not to mention, almost one in three residents live well into their 90s. The secret here is the healthy diet, mundane activity levels, and socio-centric culture! The Ikarian community enjoys a clock-ignoring relaxed pace of life. Additionally, the warm breezes, clean air, and rugged terrain of the island draw the people outdoors into an active lifestyle.
Loma Linda, California
Though the region of Southern California offers a generally pleasant environment, Loma Linda seemingly gets it better than most. As the website notes, people in Loma Linda live almost a decade longer than any average person, thanks to their love for exercise and strict vegetarian diets. Their passion for helping others is also a factor here. The tight-knit community of the area stays active, practices finding a sense of purpose together, and most importantly, staves off depression by focusing on helping others.