Thursday, May 30, 2024

Blue Zones are an inspiration to live well and long!

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
"Subtly charming problem solver. Extreme tv enthusiast. Web scholar. Evil beer expert. Music nerd. Food junkie."

Have you ever heard of blue zones?

No, this is not a new way of defining land or a specific urban planning area! This is not an area where we're going to get the blues anymore!

On the contrary, these are areas of our planet where we live for a very long time and in good health.

Where are these areas located on the map? an idea ?

I help you ? We have currently identified 5. No, Liège is not one of them unfortunately!

These areas have been closely studied for more than 20 years by university researchers Gianni Pace, a gerontologist, and Michel Poulin, a Belgian astrophysicist and demographer (Kokoriko): the province of Nuoro in Sardinia, the Greek island of Ikaria, the Japanese island of Okinawa, and the island of Nicoya. Peninsula in Costa Rica and Loma Linda in California.

Can you tell me where the expression “blue zones” comes from?

Simply because the researchers drew on a map, in blue ink, the area that brings together these villages. So it could be orange, yellow or purple!!!

But in the end color doesn't matter to us, but their secrets can inspire us all, right?

In your opinion, what are the secrets of longevity?

  1. Regular and moderate physical activity. Sardinians, for example, live in villages located at an altitude of about 500 meters above sea level. The island's geography forces Sardinians to travel on foot, whether to run errands or to visit family or friends. This daily physical activity helps slow muscle wasting and maintain body flexibility.
  2. purpose in life; And yes, finding meaning is essential!
  3. reduce stress;
  4. Calorie restriction
  5. Follow a diet based on plant foods; The vast majority of centenarians in Sardinia eat local, unprocessed products. The basic diet consists of plenty of fruits, vegetables, pasta, bread, and olive oil. Their consumption of meat and fish is low. Moreover, they decorate their dishes with rosemary. This plant with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties is known to fight aging and cellular deterioration!
  6. Moderate consumption of alcohol, especially wine;
  7. a spiritual or religious commitment;
  8. Commitment to family life and strong intergenerational relationships; In Sardinia, different generations come together every day. In many families, children, parents and grandparents live under the same roof. However, studies have shown that life expectancy increases for older people who live with their grandchildren or see them daily. The ability to pass on your experiences and feelings of benefit to your grandchildren generates mental health that is beneficial to your health.
  9. Commitment to social life.

You may be wondering if these blue zones might change in the future?

Yes, demographer Christophe Paulin has pointed out that things are changing in Costa Rica because contributions of modern civilization have polluted remote, previously untouched areas, affecting stress, diet, physical activity, etc.

However, now that we know the longevity secrets of super centenarians from the Blue Zones, all we have to do is apply their recipe! It is ultimately a matter of decision, at least in terms of which factors we can act on!

In the meantime, take care of yourself and your elders!

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