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Are beans the secret to longevity?
People with the greatest longevity in the world have these things in common.
Blue Zones are the areas around the world where people live longest while remaining in good health. These octogenarians live in very different places and in different cultures but they all have similar diets and lifestyles. Here are some of the important things they have in common.
What They Eat
It appears that the cornerstones of every Blue Zone diet are beans of many types, which are incredibly nutritious. The good news is that beans taste great and can be prepared in many delicious ways, like soups, stews, and salads. It seems the old saying is true – ”Beans, beans for every meal, the more you eat, the better you feel!” People in Blue Zones also eat a diet rich in greens, root vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. This is often referred to as "The Peasant Diet" due to the lack of meat. More and more studies show that a plant-based diet is excellent for long-term health.
How They Move
People in Blue Zones walk. A lot. They don’t spend time in the gym but they get regular, low-intensity exercise like daily walks that appear to help reduce their chance of having heart disease and certain cancers. And rather than become sedentary, they maintain a lot of physical activity into old age, like stretching, bending, and squatting that keeps their joints flexible and bodies mobile.
How They Start Their Day
Cultures with longevity tend to wake up every day with a goal. Most often that goal includes being social. It may be babysitting their grandkids, volunteering, mentoring, or harvesting their garden. The important thing is not so much what the goal is, but that they have a purpose, which gives meaning to their day and to their life.
How They Relax
Blue Zone people all have some cultural custom that helps them to decompress. For some, it’s daily group prayer, or meditation, for others it may be a ritual happy hour at their local coffee bar or cafe. Every day includes time to wind down and enjoy socializing.
What They Avoid
The longest living people in the Blue Zones have avoided sugar, salt, and packaged foods most of their lives. They also avoid screen time and social media in favor of in-person connections.
While aspiring to all the habits of the world’s longest-living people may not be reasonable for all of us – especially those of us who sit in front of a screen all day for work – we can adopt many of these common habits for better health. For more information, and to join The Blue Zones Project for a healthier lifestyle visit: bluezonesproject.com
Get to know Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) now, and all the home health services available to you and your loved ones, before you have a health emergency. We are proud to be the longest-serving VNA in the state of New Jersey, so we know a thing or two about helping seniors.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) is a leading provider of comprehensive home health care services in Morris, Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren Counties in Northern New Jersey. Established in 1898, generations have known that just one call to VNA opens the door to quality, patient-centered home health care solutions that allow patients to remain in the comfort of their homes with dignity, health, and independence.
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