Blue Zones: Traditions and Activities for a long and healthy life

Aging is and will always be an important topic of our everyday life, and for public healthcare of course. Thinking about the huge sums of money invested by billionaires from Silicon Valley on longevity research, this matter becomes way more obvious.

In a recent article by Caterina Soffici there was an abstract of an interview with Dr. Franco Berrino epidemiologist and previous director of the preventive healthcare department in Milan’s Istituto dei Tumori. The theme of the interview was longevity and why nowadays it is such a discussed topic. In particular, it is stated that, up to 40 years ago, elders’ life expectancy was at least 10 years shorter giving credits to public healthcare. Unfortunately though, there’s a fine line between living and surviving and nowadays solutions lean more towards the second option.

Searching for Eternal Youth

The search for the eternal youth it’s a topic that dates back to many centuries ago as shown by Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece “The picture of Dorian Gray” where the main character sold his soul in order to gain eternal youth. Except for fictional works, deals with the devil or other entities are most likely useless, but they show how the fear of death has always been a troubling topic.

In a recent documentary-series by Netflix named “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones” longevity has been debated by showing different zones in the world, labelled as “Blue Zones”, where life expectations are incredibly longer in comparison with the rest of the world. In fact, for a region to be named as such it needs to be inhabited by a high number of healthy centenarians.

The mentioned Blue Zones are not located in a single country or continent, but they are scattered in the whole world, in particular, we are talking about small island with ancient traditions rooted in its population. On this topic, the researcher and protagonist of the series Dan Buttner claimed: “There’s no unique solution for a long and prosperous life, there’s no magic spell or miraculous pill that guarantees for health and happiness. On the contrary, it is a set of small changes in our lifestyles that allows for a favorable environment for a healthy life.”

Blue Zones Secrets

All these changes have been portrayed in the mentioned series, creating a “Blue Thread” linking all these regions which are physically far away from each other. From Sardinia, to Japan, up to Costa Rica, these lifestyles proved themselves to be of utmost importance for human health. We are speaking about health because, in these regions, elders are not relegated and forced to take medications in order to prolong their suffering. On the contrary, they play, dance and laugh, moreover they are as clear headed as people who are 40 years younger. But what do these routines which may improve your longevity and your physical and mental health consist of? Let’s have a look at them together.

  • Sardinia is praised for the daily physical activity of its citizens. In this case, physical activity doesn’t mean working out, it means natural physical effort, instead.  They vary from gardening, to walking to small handicraft works and it seems that it is the environment itself which encourages people to stay active.
  • In Okinawa, Japan, credit is given to the high quality of the population social life, which reflects different practices, such as “Moai”, which stands for a group of five inseparably linked people who dedicate their life to the well-being of the rest of the group. Bad habits are contagious, but so are good habits, therefore surrounding ourselves with people with healthy habits improves our quality of life. Additional social practices typical of the blue zones consist of taking good care of their families. Keeping elders home instead of sending them to hospices, having a life partner and taking care and investing on children are all typical traits for centenarians.
  • Considering Nicoya peninsula in Costa Rica, the main character is a healthy diet. The large consumption of vegetables, tropical fruits and legumes together with their water, which is rich in calcium and magnesium, help people staying in touch with nature, along with the low consumption of meat, all these factors facilitate a healthy diet and consequently a longer life expectancy. Diet is a crucial point for many of the Blue Zones, for instance, considering the Greek island of Ikaria, its climate helps the population in always having fresh and natural products which is also considered an essential condition for longevity.
Happiness seen through an elder’s eyes

The last practice is common for all these locations, even though, nowadays, it is considered an extremely complicated way of thinking. We are talking about having a purpose to wake up every day, or better, having a purpose in life. The fact that this concept has been translated in many languages: “Ikigai”, Plan de Vida”, just to mention a few of them, shows how important is to be motivated about our choices and actions. Purpose in this case doesn’t refer to any utopic statement or action, it just means to firmly believe in what you’re doing whether would it be gardening or handcrafting small pieces of art. This last habit should be pursued keeping rest in mind. It is in fact mandatory to dedicate some time to oneself in order to counteract the daily stress, from which not even Blue Zones are exempted. The difference lies in how stress is faced: some pay visit to their ancestors, some take shelter in spirituality, others drink a glass of wine with their loved ones at sunset.

A healthy tip

In conclusion, we highly recommend the vision of this interesting documentary-series which will share with you the secrets for a healthy and long-life expectation. Even better, we suggest you watching it with a snack garnished with our organic and gluten-free sauces. Biobontà assures you they are healthy, of course 😉

La tua iscrizione non può essere convalidata.
La tua iscrizione è avvenuta correttamente.
Iscriviti alla Newsletter e ricevi gratuitamente il nostro catalogo.

Per contattarci

Via Stura 24 – 10098 Rivoli (TO) – Italy
Tel +39 0119575805 | +39 0114440801

Cookies & Privacy Policy

2024 | Biobontà