Regardless of the geographical location and climate of these five Blue Zones, the majority of the food sources are plants, about 95 to 100 percent! The plants are all locally grown, usually organic, where most of the fruits and vegetables are found in their own gardens.
So what are the most common plant-based foods that these centenarians consume on a daily basis?
The common plant-based foods include varieties of fruits such as
vegetables such as
leafy dark greens,
beans of which the most common are
nuts and seeds such as
and whole grains such as
whole grain bread.
The best longevity foods are leafy dark greens such as
In some regions, like Ikaria, more than two-thirds of edible greens grow like weeds.
These dark, wild mountain greens are rich in micronutrients such as polyphenols, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and folic acid, carotenoids-the colorful pigments our bodies convert into vitamin A, and vitamins such as vitamin C, E, and K. Because of their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables may be one of the best cancer-preventing foods.
Some studies have shown that middle-aged people that have consumed a cup of cooked greens daily were half as likely to die in the next four years as those who didn’t. And those that consumed a quarter pound of fruit a day were 60 percent less likely to die during the next four years than those who ate no fruits. Recent research suggests that 30-year-old vegetarian Adventists will likely outlive their meat-eating counterparts by as many as eight years!
In the Blue Zones, the oils derived from plants are preferred to animal-based fats. One of the most commonly used oils is cold pressed olive oil, which is known to increase good cholesterol, and lowers the bad. In Ikaria, researchers found that middle-aged people who consumed about six tablespoons of olive oil daily seemed to cut the risk of dying in half.
In all of the Blue Zones, except for Loma Linda where people are predominantly strict vegetarians, meat comprises less than 5 percent of the daily diet. It’s usually served sparingly as a celebratory food, and sometimes as a small side or a way to flavor dishes.
If you would like to try plant-based yourself but don't know how to transition your family, then you are not alone! Read 12 Tips on Introducing Plant-Based Food To Your Family to help you with the process.
If you want to read more about plant-based nutrition and more check out our NEW eBook "4 Weeks to Better You!". It's a manual and recipe book that will inspire and help you jumpstart your journey to a healthier and more mindful life! It's a blueprint to a more youthful and energetic you.
Book's description: "Dr. Conrad shares 4 daily habits that have helped her super charge her mental, physical, and spiritual life in her 40s, enabling her to run her first marathon (one of the hardest marathons on Earth--The Great Wall Marathon) with just five months of training, followed by an Ironman six months later, and all that having never done any long distance running, swimming, or a biking before. (She completed another Ironman just six months after the first as well!)
Along with the habits, she shares her favorite inflammatory, plant-based recipes that will have even die hard carnivores asking for seconds! This manual is a wonderful companion to the transformational KHR program.