In the United States, cases of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s are tragically climbing every year. But believe it or not, there are corners of the world that are almost entirely void of these deadly illnesses, where people are living well beyond 100 years old at extremely large rates.
These pockets are called The Blue Zones, and they consist of Ikaria in Greece, Sardinia in Italy, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Okinawa in Japan, and Loma Linda in California. While these regions each eat their own unique foods that are local to their communities, these groups all follow consistent eating patterns that contribute to their longevity.
The Blue Zone communities eat mostly plant-based foods on a daily basis, and they save meat for special occasions. They also eat plenty of whole grains, beans, vegetables, legumes, and fruit, and they limit their consumption of added sugars.
If you’re curious about adopting some of these healthy eating patterns in your own life, we’ve handpicked some classic recipes inspired by the world’s longest living people for you try.
The Blue Zones regions eat whole grains on a regular basis, which helps them get plenty of fiber throughout their day. They also get fiber from beans and legumes. This Chickpea Quinoa soup includes these fibrous ingredients for healthier longevity.
Get our recipe for Chickpea Quinoa Soup.
Many of the Blue Zones consume healthy fats on a regular basis from a variety of sources like nuts, olive oil, and fish. This tuna melt will give you a boost of healthy fats in a delicious way.
Get our recipe for Italian Tuna Melt.
Another popular and delicious fish, this mahi-mahi recipe will give you a nutrient boost so you can get your daily servings of healthy fats just like the world’s longest living people.
Get our recipe for Mahi-Mahi.
This Greek yogurt parfait is inspired by the Blue Zone regions because they get their sugars from natural sugar sources like fruit on a daily basis. This parfait will give you plenty of fiber, protein, and natural sweetness.
Get our recipe for Greek Yogurt Parfait.
Beans are a staple in all of the Blue Zone communities. In Nicoya they eat black beans with rice and corn most mornings, which helps them ensure that they’ll have fiber and protein before the day gets started.
Get our recipe for Black Bean Omelet.
Because the Blue Zones are plant-based, they eat a lot of vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. This veggie wrap is delicious and delivers fiber and protein without using any meat.
Get our recipe for Grilled Vegetable Wrap.
And lastly, berries and other types of fruit are an important part of the Blue Zones’ eating patterns. Fruit delivers a fiber boost, as well as plenty of antioxidants to help you age in a healthy way.
Get our recipe for Berry Cauliflower Smoothie.