Blue Zones Power 9: Plant Slant
Dear Kosterina Family,
With summer in full swing, our team is enjoying all the colorful fruits and veggies we can get. But, did you know that a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts is a cornerstone of the Blue Zones lifestyle?
This week, we're diving into the research behind the next phase of Power 9 - the nine lifestyle habits of those who live in the Blue Zones. As a quick refresher, the Blue Zones are seven locations in the world with the highest percentage of people living to 100+ years old. As Dan Buettner and his team discovered, their longevity isn't based on quick fixes but small, everyday choices.
If you haven't joined us for our deep dives on the Blue Zones lifestyle in the past, you can read more on our blog (or listen to our interview with Dan Buettner, Nat Geo researcher and founder of The Blue Zones!).
So, let's dive into this week's topic: Plant Slant.
The Power of Plants
In the Blue Zones, researchers found that those who live to be the longest pack their diets with fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. Each of these elements provides a foundation for fighting disease and enhancing life. For example, studies show eating a handful of nuts each day can increase life expectancy by 2-3 years!
Even more, most centenarians only consume a small amount of meat - usually limiting it to a “side dish” rather than the main show. Research from the Blue Zones points to recommendations that align with that of USDA's MyPlate project which suggests limiting meat intake to special occasions.
Focusing on a variety of plants and colors is linked to higher nutrient consumption and health benefits.
Recipes on our Summer Menu:
Santorini Fava Dip: Beans are a cornerstone in centenarian diets. They are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and many other nutrients. Fava beans in particular are packed with Folate, Iron, Zinc, and other immunity-boosting nutrients. We love this Santorini Fava Dip that pairs well with nearly any summer meal!
Watermelon Feta Salad: Watermelon is an easy summer favorite - and that's not just because it's nature's candy. Watermelon is packed with potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins A & C - all deeply important additions to a summer diet. Plus, it's versatile. The watermelon and feta come together on the plate to offer a flavor combination you might not have imagined that truly showcases all the ingredients.
What are some of the ways that you incorporate plants into your daily diet? The Kosterina team is always looking for inspiration!
Peace, Love & EVOO,
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