How To Live to 100: What On Earth Are Blue Zones?
Dear Kosterina Family,
You already know that we're major fans of Dan Buettner's research behind The Blue Zones, a National Geographic project that revealed 5 areas of the world that have a higher than average population of centenarians (people who live to be 100+). And, you may have seen Blue Zones getting a lot of attention recently with the recent release of “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones” on Netflix (we were psyched about this!).
While we don’t think the rules of longevity are black and white, the Blue Zones may give us some hints on how to live long and happy. Today, we wanted to emphasize how the daily lifestyle habits of these centenarians are both attainable & enjoyable and their way of life is something we can all learn from. PS: Apparently, we can still drink wine and eat bread :)
So how were the Blue Zones identified again?
The term “Blue Zones” was first coined by Dan Buettner, National Geographic Explorer & Fellow, journalist, and host of Live to 100. Check out our previous interview with Dan Buettner here. Throughout his travels, Dan discovered a few areas around the world that had a uniquely-high percentage of centenarians. After doing in-field research, analyzing the demographics and psychographics of these centenarians, Dan and his team uncovered 5 regions that stood out for their extraordinary longevity and vitality. They coined these areas the Blue Zones.. (Note that there are 2 Blue Zones in the Mediterranean – one in Sardinia, Italy and the other in Ikaria, Greece.)
How Can I Live to 100?
Dan uncovered that these 5 regions had several lifestyle practices in common, boiling down to 9 specific habits he deemed the “Power 9”. We’ve written a lot about these habits, and we definitely recommend that you read through them in our Weekly Wellness articles!
The Blue Zones give us lots of clues on how to live long and happy but it’s certainly not all black and white. For example, we want to note that some others in the wellness community who we respect greatly note that plant-forward diets that limit animal-source foods may not always be best for longevity. So it is important that we think about our own body’s needs individually and holistically, practicing what makes us feel best.
Here’s what we believe: Life is precious, and while we have little control over the time we have on this beautiful planet, there are steps that we can take to hopefully live a healthier, longer life. At Kosterina, we ground ourselves in the Mediterranean lifestyle, meaning that we move often, spend time strengthening our connections with family and friends, and of course, eat whole (and delicious!) food. New research is constantly being revealed on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and overall lifestyle, and we strive to utilize it and spend as much time with our loved ones as possible.
We’ve enjoyed the Live to 100 Series on the Blue Zones and hope you check it out! (Ikaria, Greece is covered in episode 3 of the 4-episode series).
Let us know what you thought if you had a chance to watch! We would love to hear from you.
Peace, Love, and EVOO,
Katina & The Kosterina Team