Q: I’ve been hearing about the world’s so-called “Blue Zones” what can you tell me about them? (This question, from last week, has a two part answer. Answer part two follows below).
A: Medical researchers, teams from National Geographic, and anthropologists have been studying the “Blue Zones” of the world and have discovered that in all these regions people live far longer and more healthfully than anywhere else in the world. Rates of heart disease, diabetes and cancer in these Blue Zones are far below rates for these conditions in other regions. The researchers have discovered what lifestyle and dietary habits these areas have in common. The typical Blue Zone diet is primarily vegetarian (only small amounts of meat or fish are consumed, if at all), no junk food or refined food is consumed and food is home grown and home made. Exercise occurs daily and naturally as a result of a more labor intensive way of life. Blue Zone-ers also share a strong sense of belonging and community and share in the care of elders and children.