Health & Longevity Secrets From Around The World

Okinawa, Japan
Japan has relatively low rates of prostate and breast cancer. The Okinawans practice calorie restriction, which has been linked to improved longevity. They also load up on in-season vegetables like bok choy, mustard greens and kale. They drink green tea rich in antioxidants, and get their fats and vitamin D from fish.

Ikaria, Greece
The Mediterranean is famed for its healthy cuisine, so it may come as no surprise that Grecians have fewer cases of heart disease. Staples, including virgin olive oil, greens like arugula and Swiss chard, carbohydrates like chickpeas, lentils and whole-grain bread, and herbs like oregano, parsley and chives, are great for heart health. The traditional diet also minimizes meat consumption with no more than one red meat dish per week.

Sardinia, Italy
Sardinians maintain a positive attitude towards their elders and take time out of their days to stop and enjoy the simple beauty of their surroundings. They foster a sarcastic sense of humor, and a unique outlook and perspective on life. This attitude helps them shed stress and diffuse arguments before they start. You don’t need to run marathons to get and stay healthy! Sardinian centenarians walked long distances their entire lives and suffer from half as many fractures as their Italian counterparts. Men here work typically as shepherds, walking miles a day over the rough terrain with their flocks.

Nicoya, Costa Rica
Nicoyan centenarians feel needed through fostering a plan de vida, or reason to live. This sense of purpose often centers around spending time with and providing for their family. This often results in centenarians retaining an active lifestyle, reaping the benefits of physical activity and exposure to the sun.  Like the Adventists, faith plays a strong role in the Nicoyan lifestyle. Relinquishing control of their life to God helps relieves stress and anxiety related to well-being. They, like those in the other Blue Zones, eat rich, colorful fruits. The maronon, a red-orange fruit with more vitamin C than oranges and the anona, a pear-like fruit rich in antioxidants provide Nicoyans with nutrient dense, longevity foods. Their gardens flow rich with rice, beans and corn, all staples in the diet.

Cameroon, West Africa
In Cameroon, experts have concluded that the diet–which consists largely of fiber, fermented foods, wild greens and healthy fats, and rarely includes meat–is essential to cancer prevention. The reasons? Vegetables and other fiber-rich foods have been shown to positively affect colon cancer risk. Fermented foods like yogurt and pickles provide beneficial bacteria for the gut. Wild greens and healthy fats found in fish, nuts and unrefined cooking oil may also be protective.
Are omega-3 fats essential to preventing depression? Iceland is a country known for its bleak winters but where depression rates are low. The Icelandic diet, which includes fish as a staple, is rich in omega-3 fats. Other sources of the healthy fats are pasture-raised lamb and wild game. To further support brain health, Icelanders also consume plenty of antioxidants in black tea, vegetables, wild berries and whole grains like barley and rye
Copper Canyon, Mexico
In this very remote region of Mexico, Miller sought out the Tarahumara Indians, who have impressively low blood sugar and cholesterol levels. After studying their traditional diet, exeprts found that Tarahumara benefited from a diet that emphasizes slow-release foods, sending sugar into the bloodstream at a much slower rate than other foods. Their staples include whole corn, beans, squash, jicama and cumin. While the Tarahumara have struggled with poverty-related malnutrition, the slow-releasing carbohydrates help prevent an overproduction of insulin and aid in maintaining blood sugar levels.
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