Everyone wants to live a long life, as long as that means a long, healthy life. Many countries around the world may hold secrets to healthy foods that could dramatically change the way other people live and how long they live.
Let’s take a look at the world’s oldest people to see what foods they eat – and how we can use their secrets to better our own lives.
In Okinawa, Japan it’s not just about what they eat – it’s about how much
In Okinawa there are 740 people over the age of 100 – out of a population of just over 1.4 million. Not only do they have one of the highest age expectancies in the world, but they remain active into old age and have fewer age-related ailments compared to other countries.
So what’s their secret? Gardening! This gives them exercise, exposes them to healthy amounts of sunlight, and provides a source of healthy food. But the real secret is this: they only eat until they’re full.
Sardinia, Italy follows the Mediterranean diet
Sardinia is an island that boasts some seriously impressive longevity stats. In fact, in one city of just over 1,700 people there are five folks over the age of 100! They credit their Mediterranean diet, their influx of goats’ milks and cheeses, and the fact that they walk a lot.
Longest Living Americans
Just 60 miles from Los Angeles, Loma Linda is home to 9,000 people who live longer than most Americans. Their diet is vegetarian and they don’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. They also eat lots of nuts, exercise regularly, and drink plenty of water.
In Nicoya, Costa Rica it may be all about the water
Nicoya is a peninsula in Costa Rica where a 60-year-old man has twice the chance of making it to 90 years of age, compared to a man in the United States – and they also have lower cancer rates than anywhere in Costa Rica. What’s their secret? There are several: lots of physical activity, tons of time in the great outdoors, eight hours of sleep every night, and food that’s rich in nutrients like beans, rice and corn. They also have water that’s naturally high in both magnesium and calcium.
Ikaria is not much of a secret anymore
Located off the coast of Turkey, Ikaria is a Greek Island where people are three times as likely to live to 90 years old compared to those living in the U.S. Chronic diseases are rare, the chance of cancer is less, and the chance of cardiovascular disease is half that of the U.S. The area has mineral hot springs that’s made it a health destination for hundreds of years, but many people visiting focus too much on the springs and not enough on the food.
Residents in this area stay active by walking, farming and fishing. They also take naps and socialize on a regular basis. They follow the Mediterranean diet that’s typical of the region but they also eat tons of wild greens and drink a unique herbal tea full of nutrients.
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