There are five regions in the world where people live abnormally long. They are Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; and Ikaria, Greece.
Explorer and author Dan Buettner dubbed them "the blue zones" and wrote a book titled as such. In April of this year, he released a follow-up book called The Blue Zone Solution which examined what the long-living people in the blue zones eat that makes them so healthy.
One food that was eaten in every blue zone was beans. Buettner concludes that if you eat one cup of beans each day there's a good chance you will live three to four years longer.
"They [beans] push out the unhealthy proteins, they're great and affordable and they set up the gut flora for healthy digestion," says Buettner.
Other common denominators in the blue zone diet were that 90 percent of people's calories came from plants and 65 percent of their diet was made up of complex carbohydrates (Complex carbohydrates commonly are found in whole plant foods, which are generally high in vitamins and minerals. Some food sources of complex carbohydrates are: green vegetables, whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, lentils and peas).
The other secret to a long life that Buettner uncovered was not food-related. The people who lived longer all lived their life with a sense of purpose.
“It’s not something we generally talk about, because no one makes money off it, but a vocabulary for purpose is essential. Studies show people who articulate purpose live eight to 10 years longer, and have half the rates of dementia,” he says.
"What allows us, as human beings, to psychologically survive life on earth, with all of its pain, drama, and challenges, is a sense of purpose and meaning." - Relationship consultant Barbara de Angelis