Why People in "Blue Zones" Live Longer Than the Rest of the World
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Blue Zones refer to geographic areas in which people have low rates of chronic disease and live exceptionally long lives.
They are called Blue Zones because author Dan Buettner, who was studying areas of the world where people live very long lives, drew blue circles around these areas on the map.
Most groups are not strict vegetarians but eat meat about five times per month.
Other dietary factors for Icaria and Sardinia are eating fish regularly. Fish is a good source of omega-3 fats.
Eating fewer calories may be contributing to the longer lives in some of the Blue Zones.
Icarians are typically Greek Orthodox Christians that have many periods of fasting for religious holidays throughout the year.
People in some Blue Zones drink one to two glasses of red wine per day, which may help prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of death.
Sardinian Cannonau wine, which is made from Grenache grapes, has been shown to have extremely high levels of antioxidants, compared to other wines. Antioxidants help prevent damage to DNA that can contribute to ageing.
People in the Blue Zones don't exercise purposefully by going to the gym. Instead, they are active through gardening, walking, cooking and other daily chores.
A study of men in the Sardinian Blue Zone found that their longer life was associated with raising farm animals, living on steeper slopes in the mountains and walking long distances to work.
People in Blue Zones get sufficient sleep and also often take daytime naps.
Studies found that not getting enough sleep or too much sleep can increase the risk of death, including heart disease or stroke.
Blue Zone people tend to sleep as much as their body tells them to. Daytime napping of 30 minutes or less is also common.
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