Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – People who live in the Blue Zone are known for their longevity and live to be over 100 years old. The blue zone consists of Ikaria in Greece; Okinawa in Japan; Ogliastra Region in Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda in California, United States of America (USA); and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.
According to NPRthe researchers found that the longevity factors for the people of the Blue Zone are healthy behavior, having free time to relieve stress, joining a religious community, and being highly committed to family.
According to the book The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner, people in the Blue Zone tend to avoid the risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes, one of which is thanks to avoiding oily and high-sugar fast food.
So, what is the secret to the diet of the Blue Zone people for longevity? The following is a summary according to the book The Blue Zones Solution.
- Stop eating when your stomach is about 80 percent full to avoid gaining weight.
- Consume light meals a day in the afternoon or evening.
- Expand the portion of plant-based food in the diet, especially nuts.
- Reduce consumption of meat. If you want to eat meat, just consume it in small portions, which is around 3 to 4 ounces.
- Drink alcohol moderately and regularly, ie 1-2 glasses a day.
The following are the diet secrets of the Blue Zone people for the longevity of each country.
1. Ikaria, Greece
In an article entitled ‘The Island Where People Forget to Die’ by Buettner in 2012, the secret to longevity of the people of Ikaria, Greece is that they tend to eat feta cheese, lemon and some tea spices, such as sage.
“What sets Ikaria apart from the rest of the region is its emphasis on consumption of potatoes, goat’s milk, honey, legumes (particularly cicer beans, black beans, and lentils), wild vegetables, several types of fruit, and relatively large amounts of fish.” a little,” Buettner wrote, quoted Thursday (31/8/2023).
2. Okinawa, Japan
Photo: AFP via Getty Images/TORU YAMANAKA
Resident of Okinawa, Japan (Photo credit should read TORU YAMANAKA/AFP via Getty Images)
Okinawa has one of the highest ratios of centenarians in the world, at around 6.5 out of 10,000 people. This is much higher when compared to the US which is only 1.73 out of 10 thousand people.
According to Buettner in his writings, Okinawans began to eat less healthy foods, such as seaweed, turmeric, and sweet potatoes after 1949 due to Western influence. Instead, the residents actually consume more rice, milk, and goat.
“However, the people of Okinawa have maintained the habit of eating foodstuffs from the land and sea. Their best longevity foods are bitter gourd, tofu, garlic, brown rice, green tea, and shitake mushrooms,” Buettner wrote.
3. Sardinia, Italy
Photo: AFP/DANIEL SLIM
A general view shows a boat from Palau docking in the harbor of the archipelago of Maddalena off Sardinia, Italy on September 17, 2017. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP)
As well as food, Buettner reveals that the secrets to longevity for Sardinians are clean air, local wine and “making love every Sunday.”
In addition, pastoralism or herding livestock from the mountains to the plains also affects the longevity of the people of Sardinia.
According to Buettner’s writings, ancient Sardinian herders tended to eat goat’s milk and sheep’s cheese, flatbread, sourdough bread, barley, fennel, fava beans, peas, tomatoes, almonds, milk thistle tea, and Grenache wine.
“The average ancient Sardinian herders consumed about 15 pounds (or about 6.8 kilos) of cheese per year,” says Buettner.
4. Loma Linda, California, USA
The Blue Zone community in the US is Adventist Christians who eschew smoking, drinking, dancing and rarely watch TV, movies and other media distractions.
“Adventist Christians also follow a ‘biblical’ diet that focuses on grains, fruit, nuts, and vegetables and drinks only water. Some of them eat little meat and fish and avoid sugar,” states the report.
Buettner said one Loma Linda resident admitted that they had never consumed processed sugar and fizzy drinks. Instead, they only consume natural sugars, such as those sourced from fruit, dates, or figs.
Loma Linda University cardiologist and epidemiologist and Adventist Gary Fraser has found that Adventist Christians live about 10 years longer. One factor is the plant-based Pesco-vegetarian diet of one daily serving of fish.
According to Fraser, the main foods of Adventists on a Pesco-vegetarian diet are avocado, salmon, nuts, beans, oats, whole wheat bread, and soy milk.
5. Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Buettner says one of the favorite dishes of the people of the Nicoya Peninsula, which is more than 100 years old, is rice with beans, cheese, cilantro, corn tortillas and an egg.
“The great secret of longevity from the Nicoyan diet are the ‘three sisters’ of Meso-American agriculture, namely beans, corn and pumpkin. These three staple foods are added papaya, sweet potato, banana and oil palm,” Buettner wrote.
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