Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/the-blue-zones-summary/
Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest
Do you want to know the secrets of living a long life?
The people living in the so-called Blue Zones might have the answer.
Who Should Read “The Blue Zones” and Why?“The Blue Zones” is a book that will take you to the areas of the world where people enjoy a long and healthy life and will try to reveal their secrets to you.
We recommend it to everyone who wishes to know how to improve the quality of their life and extend their lifespan.
About Dan BuettnerDan Buettner is a bestselling writer who focuses on exploring the secrets of longevity. He is also a National Geographic Fellow.
"The Blue Zones Summary"The world is a puzzle of different cultures and unique civilizations, each of which possesses its own customs and habits.
Among these civilizations, there are those that share a common trait – they live longer.
So, it is worth studying these areas in the world, called the Blue Zones, where people tend to live longer than anywhere else on the entire planet.
One of these Blue Zones is Sardinia. This Italian island was among the first ones that gained worldwide attention for the longevity of its inhabitants’ lives.
Studies conducted in 2011 showed that around one in 600 people of this region lives up to the age of 100. As a contrast, take the numbers in the USA which show one in 4000.
But, these numbers are not worth much if they do not show us the secret to a long life right?
We are getting to that just now.
There are, of course, things people can do to prolong their lives.
You might think that longevity depends mostly on genes, but if you are an advocate of this opinion – you are wrong. Research shows that only 25% of longevity is dependent on genes.
Then, what does the other amount depend upon?
There may not be any magic pills that can stop aging overall, but you can make changes in your lifestyle which will extend your life.
Or, in other words, you can stop all the unhealthy things you do that accelerate your aging and thus improve the quality of your life.
The people from the Blue Zones have one thing in common: they live naturally.
They spend time in nature, are physically active and mind what they eat.
Of course all of their diets are different depending on the areas they live in and the products available to them, but in general, they eat a low-calorie diet and drink plenty of water.
Do not worry; you are allowed to have some alcohol as well. In fact, red wine seems to help your longevity, since it is rich in flavonoids, just as dark chocolate and brightly colored vegetables and fruits.
Flavonoids decrease the chance of heart disease and some kinds of cancer.
When it comes to food, opt for a vegetarian or vegan diet. Fill up during the morning and afternoon and keep your dinners light.
Other than the body, you need also to have a healthy psyche.
Everyone who wants to live a long and fulfilling life needs to have a sense of purpose.
Did you know that many people die in the first year of their retirement?
It seems that living without a clear purpose can be harmful to you and that people need something to motivate them to open their eyes and get up in the morning.
When you keep yourself busy with your life plan, even after reaching a certain age, you will find that you will not have time for meaningless conflicts and stress.
Being busy will also help you provide more for your family, which is also a great factor in having a long life. Why?
Because if you do not have a family, who will take care of you?
Lastly, in order to have a longer life, people need to develop a sense of being part of a community.
All of the things we mentioned above lead to one thing you should avoid: stress.
Enjoy the moment, stop obsessing over the past and the future, take care of your mind and body, and get prepared to live a long and happy life.
Key Lessons from "The Blue Zones"1. The Right Lifestyle Can Prolong Your Life 2. Eat Less, Drink More 3. Your Psyche Matters
The Right Lifestyle Can Prolong Your LifeStudies show that a long life does not depend solely on genes but on your lifestyle. People who are living a more natural lifestyle, are moving a lot and are eating a healthy diet tend to live longer.
You should treat your body as a temple, and clean it from all negative influences and stress.
Eat Less, Drink MoreYour diet is a part of your lifestyle, so of course, it has a huge impact on your aging. In order to slow down the process, you should drink more water, and eat less food.
Research shows that people living in blue zones eat a low-calorie diet, usually vegetarian or vegan, and drink plenty of water.
So, ditch the sugary drinks and replace them with fresh water. You do not have to drink water alone – a glass of wine from time to time has huge benefits as well.
Your Psyche MattersLong life is not only about physical health but about mental health as well.
You have to live a life of purpose and focus on creating healthy family relationships that will keep you busy and not let you stressed out about small and insignificant things.
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“The Blue Zones Quotes”[bctt tweet="Recent studies found bitter melon an effective anti-diabetic as powerful as pharmaceuticals in helping to regulate blood sugar." username="get12min"]
[bctt tweet=“Many age-related diseases are caused by an immune system out of balance.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“I found that when you are depressed, that’s when you do something for somebody else.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“The average American, however, by living a fast and furious lifestyle, pushes that accelerator too hard and too much.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“This sweet potato—high in flavonoids, vitamin C, fiber, carotenoids, and slow-burning carbohydrates—is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.” username=“get12min”]
Our Critical ReviewThis book is fantastic. The best thing about it is that it includes a few blue zones in its research, situated in entirely different parts of the world.
Such revelation proves that some lifestyle behaviors lead to a longer life, while at the same time offering some different advice, empowering everyone to find what fits its interests the most.