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5 Regions of Exceptional Longevity

American author Dan Buettner, supported by the National Geographic Society, has devoted over a decade to uncovering areas of the world with remarkable longevity and exploring the lifestyle factors contributing to it.

Ikaria, Greece: The Island of Wonders

Ikaria, a picturesque island in Greece spanning 254 square kilometers, boasts an astonishing average life expectancy of 100 years. Situated in the Aegean Sea, eight miles off the coast of Turkey, Ikaria holds the lowest mortality rate for individuals aged 45-64 globally. Notably, dementia is rare among the elderly inhabitants.

Their secret? A traditional Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, fish, and olive oil, which significantly reduces the risk of various diseases including type-2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and obesity.

Okinawa, Japan: Home to the Longest-Lived Women

The archipelago of Okinawa, nestled in the southwest of Japan, is renowned for its exceptionally long-lived women, with men not far behind. Researchers have long sought the secrets behind Okinawans’ longevity, studying their genetic makeup and daily habits.

Their diet, primarily consisting of homegrown sweet potatoes, soybeans, mugwort, turmeric, and yoga, is believed to play a very important role.

Aliastra, Sardinia, Italy: Where Centenarians Thrive

In the mountainous Aliastra region of Sardinia, Italy, a significant number of centenarians reside.

Their dietary habits, characterized by minimal consumption of non-vegetarian food, contribute to a reduced risk of diabetes and cancer, resulting in a low mortality rate among individuals under 65 years old.

Loma Linda, California, USA: A Haven for Longevity

Loma Linda, California, stands out with its residents living an average of 10 years longer than the national average.

A key to their longevity lies in a lifestyle centered around healthy food, regular exercise, and religious practices.

Notably, the city boasts the highest concentration of Seventh Day Adventists, who adhere to a diet rich in grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica: A Long Life

The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica boasts one of the world’s lowest middle-age mortality rates and the second-highest concentration of male centenarians.

Researchers attribute their longevity to factors such as cultivating their own crops, consuming calcium-rich water, maintaining strong social bonds, and engaging in daily low-intensity exercises like swimming, walking, cycling, and yoga.

What is a Blue Zone?

A Blue Zone is a region where people live significantly longer and healthier lives compared to the global average, often exceeding 100 years.

What factors contribute to longevity in Blue Zones?

Longevity in Blue Zones is attributed to lifestyle factors such as diet rich in fruits and vegetables, regular physical activity, strong social bonds, and adherence to cultural or religious practices.

How are researchers studying Blue Zones?

Researchers study Blue Zones by examining residents’ genetic makeup, dietary habits, social interactions, and lifestyle choices to understand the secrets behind their exceptional longevity.

By unraveling the mysteries of these Blue Zones, researchers hope to glean insights into fostering longer, healthier lives for people worldwide.


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