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Here’s the secret to living to 100 healthily

A month or so ago, Netflix ran the docu-series ‘Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones’. The series is based on a National Geographic expedition that found five places in the world, so called the blue zones, where people often live to over 100 years. And they were living well into old age without health conditions like obesity, cancer, diabetes or heart diseases (1).

As you can image, my interest was really piqued when I saw how living healthier for longer all starts with food choices for blue zoners:

1. 95% of their diet is plant-based

There’s a ‘plant slant’ to their diets. Beans, pulses, root (including potatoes) and green leafy vegetables play a big part in all blue zone diets. Plants make up about 95 per cent of their diet.

2. They eat beans every day

In Nicoya, Costa Rica it’s black beans. For the Mediterranean’s its lentils, chickpeas and white beans. And soy beans are a staple in Okinawa, Japan. Those living the longest eat at least four times as many beans as we do.

3. They snack on nuts

All nuts are good. Nut-eaters on average outlive non-nut-eaters by two to three years (2). It’s no wonder blue zoners eat about two handfuls of them a day.

4. They eat foods that are recognisable for what they are

Food preparation is simple. They eat raw fruits and vegetables. They grind whole grains themselves and then cook them slowly. They use fermentation in the tofu, sourdough bread, wine and the vegetables they eat.

5. It’s no surprise that they eat fish regularly

As you would expect from their locations, blue zoners do eat fish two to three times a week. In most cases, the fish being eaten are small, relatively inexpensive fish such as sardines, anchovies and cod.

6. Eggs tend to be part of a bigger meal

Their eggs are from chickens who are truly free-range. And when eaten they are as a side dish to a larger portion of whole-grain or plant-based main.

7. Meat and dairy do not feature significantly

Processed meats are avoided. When they do eat meat its usually free-roaming animals. And eaten as a rare treat savoured over many meals. Cow’s milk hardly features in any blue zones diet. Instead most blue zoners use goats’ milk. Not for drinking but for fermenting into yogurts and cheeses.

Now, wouldn’t it be great to live healthily right into old age?

Sure it would! And while we can’t swap places with the 100-year-old blue zone islanders – we can learn from them.

Come join my one of my ‘Eat to Live Healthier Longer’ tasting experiences and you’ll learn the secrets of a blue zone diet. You’ll find out which four foods to always include in your diet and which four to avoid. I’ll share healthy eating tips you can do every day too.

See you there! 🥗🌿💚

Healthy salad
Blue zoners get everything they need from nutrient-dense, fibre-rich whole foods.


This post references and sources content from the article ‘Blue Zones Diet: Food Secrets of the World’s Longest-Lived People’ by Dan Buettner. Thank you!

1. Buettner D, Skemp S. Blue Zones: Lessons From the World's Longest Lived. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2016 Jul 7;10(5):318-321. doi: 10.1177/1559827616637066. PMID: 30202288; PMCID: PMC6125071.

2. Fraser GE, Sabaté J, Beeson WL, Strahan TM. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. The Adventist Health Study. Arch Intern Med. 1992 Jul;152(7):1416-24. PMID: 1627021.

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