How to Eat to Live to 100 Years Old
Most people wish to live a long and healthy life. But how exactly do you get there?
Dan Buettner, the author, decided to go straight to the source. He identified areas of the world where people live the longest and healthiest lives, such as Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, and Loma Linda, California, while working with National Geographic and the National Institute on Aging.
They dubbed these areas “blue zones,” and then set out to figure out what these populations had in common. People in blue zones, for example, are naturally active throughout the day, have meaningful connections in their community, and have a sense of purpose.
Their diets, however, share some similarities, according to his cookbook The Blue Zones Kitchen. Here are some of the ways you can adapt their longevity diet to benefit your health as well:
People in the blue zones consume beans on a daily basis, consuming at least a half-cup. Beans (such as black, garbanzo, and white) are a low-cost source of plant-based protein and are high in fibre, a nutrient linked to a lower risk of disease and beneficial to gut health.
Consume cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage all contain natural compounds that are beneficial to your heart and may help prevent certain types of cancer.
Snack on some nuts. Blue zone centenarians consume about 2 ounces of nuts per day, which is roughly two small handfuls. You can eat a variety of nuts (such as pistachios, walnuts, and almonds) to reap the benefits. Peanuts are a particularly cost-effective option.
Drink plenty of water
Though people in blue zones drink tea and coffee, water should provide the majority of your hydration. Soda is the most common source of added sugar for most adults, and most sugary drinks are devoid of other nutrients anyway. Although red wine is popular in some blue zones, the authors advise against starting if you haven’t already.
Reduce your sugar intake. People in the blue zones consume only one-fifth of the added sugar consumed in North America. Instead of eating sugary foods and drinks throughout the day, they tend to save the sugar for special occasions.
Make more vegetarian meals
Meat is not the focal point of the meal in blue zones. It’s more of a side dish or a way to add flavour to other dishes. Their meals are mostly plant-based, with beans frequently serving as the primary protein source (or tofu in Okinawa, Japan).
Eat with loved ones to express gratitude
Take a moment to express gratitude before each meal, and ideally, eat with family and friends.
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