Did you know that there is a ‘Blue Zone’? No this has nothing to do with war or ice or cold. This is a marking used to designate places where people live the longest. Not countries but islands or villages within the country where majority of the population is old and ripe old.
There are five designated places in this Blue Zone - Sardinia in Italy, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Okinawa in Japan, Loma Linda in California and Ikaria in Greece.
This term ‘Blue Zone’ first appeared as an international concept in the November 2005 National Geographic magazine cover story "The Secrets of a Long Life." It is found that residents of these places produce a high rate of centenarians, suffer a fraction of the diseases that commonly kill people in other parts of the developed world, and enjoy more healthy years of life
Sardinia in Italy is the place where people live the longest on earth, where an amazing proportion of men reach the age of 100 years. In Ikaria, one out of three people make it to their 90s and has the highest percentage of 90-year olds on the planet. The best part – they have about 20% lower rates of cancer, 50% lower rates of heart disease and almost no dementia.
All these five places share common characteristics of people – family always comes first, they have very little smoking, most are semi-vegetarians, they are constantly engaged in some moderate physical activity, have enriching social life which is integrated into their communities and legumes are the most commonly consumed food.
Is there a lesson for all of us to lead a better life while living in the ‘Red Zone?’