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Blue Zones: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

By Vicki Martinez, Live Naturally

In certain communities around the world there are high concentrations of centenarians — people who are 100 years old or more. Their longevity secrets have been studied and scientifically backed by research. Where they live have been dubbed the Blue Zones.

National Geographic fellow, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Blue Zones, Dan Buettner, answers our questions about what Blue Zones are and why they're so important.

LN: What is the foundation of the Blue Zones?

Dan Buettner: Blue Zones is an extension of how people were meant to live (before technology). The people in Blue Zones eat the same foods they've eaten forever. They cook at home. They dine with friends and family. They step outside into their gardens for fresh vegetables and eat seasonally and locally.

LN: A common factor among Blue Zone centenarians is regular physical activity, but they don’t follow an exercise program?

Dan: They live in environments that nudge them into moving every 20 minutes, getting the regular low-intensity movement needed to thrive.

SUPER BLUE FOOD Integrate at least 3 of these items into your daily diet to be sure you are eating plenty of whole food.

LN: Does the Blue Zones solution share similarities with the Mediterranean diet?

Dan: Like the diets found in much of the Mediterranean, the Blue Zones Diet, particularly the diet of Ikarians and Sardinians, includes lots of vegetables and olive oil, smaller amounts of dairy and meat products, and moderate amounts of alcohol.

LN: If there’s one cornerstone food of the Blue Zones diet, what is it?

Dan: Beans dominate Blue Zone meals all year long. Beans represent the consummate superfood. On average, they are made up o