The Blue Zone Diet: Food For Longevity

The Blue Zone Diet: Food For Longevity

Dan Buettner, a National Geographic  fellow, the founder of Blue Zones LLC,  and the author of The Blue Zones American Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100,  has researched the routines of those  who live in blue zones, where people live  about a decade longer than the average  lifespan. By adhering to these recommendations, you'll naturally replace refined sugar and starches with more wholesome, nutrient-dense foods that are also high in fibre.

Bottom line: Focus on ingredients

Five foods Buettner says represent the blue zone way of life: 


Beans offer a special combination of  protein and fibre that is advantageous  for maintaining a stable blood sugar  level and building muscle. They also contain magnesium and  folate, two nutrients important for the  development of muscle and cells,  respectively. Buettner notes that the microbiome  depends on fibre for proper function but that the majority of people do not consume enough fibre in their  diets. About half of your daily fibre recommendation is found in a cup of beans.


Buettner advises eating a handful of nutsevery day, including cashews, almonds,  pistachios, and walnuts, to name a few. They have protein and fibre and can  lower the risk of inflammation, heart  disease, and high blood pressure.


Eating a variety of whole fruits and  vegetables every day, especially leafy  greens, which are rich in vitamins, is one way to eat like you do in a blue zone. When they are in season, "people in the  blue zones eat an impressive variety of  garden vegetables and leafy greens  (particularly spinach, kale, beet and  turnip tops); they pickle or dry the  surplus to enjoy during the off-season," writes Buettner in his book.


In addition to having protein and  complex carbohydrates, sweet potatoes are also affordable and widely available, according to Buettner. They contain a wealth of vitamins that  are essential for boosting the gut  microbiome, which improves digestion  and fortifies the immune system.


Turmeric, a common curry ingredient, is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice that has been used  to treat digestive issues, liver problems, and wounds.


 “In a blue zone, people are eating peasant food, so they’re eating the beans and the greens that are growing in vacant lots and whole grains, which are cheap. You can buy those in bulk.”

- Dan Buettner


You should consume no more than one small serving of animal protein each day. Encourage the consumption of beans,  greens, yams and sweet potatoes, fruits, nuts, and seeds.