The Blue Zones are five pockets around the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives. There is a website and a book extolling the virtues of seeking to match the lifestyles of those who live in the Blue Zones. In the book, it takes 38 pages to explain the nine common denominators of the world’s longest-lived people (the Power 9). An average reader could read the whole book in two hours. Most people just want the 10 things they could do to live longer and stay younger.
So, here’s Blue Zones Top Ten. If we do them, we can, apparently, add up to 14 good years to our life and stay younger along the way (I’ve added my own commentary in the parentheses):
1. De-convenience your home – lose the remote, buy a light garage door and lift it yourself, use a shovel instead of a snowblower. (In other words, get some regular exercise.)
2. Eat Nuts – Have a can of nuts around your office or home, eat a handful daily. (I put a few low-salt mixed nuts in my oatmeal every day and often have a handful as a snack in the afternoon.)
3. Drink Sardinian wine – Sardinian canonau wine has the world’s highest levels of antioxidants. Drink a glass or two a day. (So, what is Sardinian wine? Sardinia is an mountainous Italian island between Italy and Spain where males live as long the females, a condition found no where else in the world. Cannonau is the grape used to make Sardinian wine. At least 90 % of these grapes are required for the wine to be certified as original Cannonau. Resveratrol is a phytoalexin (or antibiotic) produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi. Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes and is a constituent of red wine. Sardinian males consume a fair amount of wine and what has been found is that the wine contains high levels of resveratrol apparently due to the altitude. UVC levels at 2000 feet altitude have been found to greatly increase the level of resveratrol in grapes. This translates into looking for wines that have been produced in arid mountainous regions. Cabernets are generally more likely to have been grown at higher elevations. For an article on “high alt” wines click here.)
4. Play with your children – this is excellent low intensity exercise and will strengthen a family. Both associated with longer life expectancy.
5. Grow a Garden – This proven stress reducer will put your body through the range of motion and yield fresh vegetables.
6. Hour of Power – Downshift daily with a nap, meditation, prayer, or a quiet walk — de-stressing is a proven way to slow aging. (Who knew that a quite time would be beneficial to our spirit, soul, AND body? See 1 Thessalonians 5:23.)
7. Eat Tofu – Arguably the world’s most perfect food, eaten by the world’s longest-lived women. Contains a plant estrogen that makes skin look younger. (This is a tough one for me.)
8. Get a Tan – Doctors are rethinking the notion of slathering yourself with sunscreen. Up to half of Americans are Vitamin D deficient — a condition that can double your chance of dying in any given year. A tan not only looks healthy, it is. (Lots of difference of opinion here — probably a balance…)
9. Donate your large dinner plates – eat off 9 inch plates as the Okinawans do and reduce calorie consumption at dinner by 20-30%.
10. Write Down your Personal Mission – Know and putting into practice your sense of purpose can give you up to a decade of good life. (You can see mine here.)