Blue Whale to Blue Zone
So your summer clothes don’t fit and you’re feeling blue? Have a look at how the longest living people on the planet live and what they eat. They live in what’s known as the Blue Zone.
Where is the Blue Zone?
It’s no single place but several communities in the world, known collectively as the Blue Zone to refer to lifestyles that enable people to live well to extreme old age.
It started with a story in National Geographic Magazine in which the author Dan Buettner identified from statistics that people lived the longest in particular areas of:
· Okinawa in Japan
· Sardinia in Italy
· Nicoya in Costa Rica
· Icaria in Greece
· The Seventh-day Adventist community in Loma Linda, California.
Further research followed and found that the highest concentration of male centenarians lived in a district of Sardinia, which researchers named the Blue Zone. This was then broadened out to incorporate the initial group of five areas above.
Is it something in the water?
Funny you should say that. Besides the motherhood and apple pie concepts (well perhaps not so much the pies) such as a high concentration of empowered women, sunshine, plenty of rest and being part of a healthy social circle, researchers have identified moderate exercise and some healthy diet components as being common to all these groups. For example, all five communities routinely ate:
· A plant-based diet (step away from the pies, the meat, and maybe even the fish)
· Legumes (you know the drill - lentils, beans, chick peas etc).
Some but not all of the groups also regularly consume:
· Wine with high polyphenols (somewhat at odds however with another of the groups, which abstain)
· Fava beans (a legume)
· Nuts (some nuts are legumes. Getting a bit repetitive isn’t it)
· Whole grains
· Soy (which includes tofu, or bean curd, made from soy milk).
Sound familiar? Yep. I think we’re back to the Mediterranean diet aren’t we.
What are high polyphenols and are they in all wine?
Steady on. Before we major in on the wine, the Blue Zone communities had it in moderation. Maybe a glass with their meal each night.
Polyphenols are plant-based goodies, based in over 8,000 of our foods. They have a gazillion benefits and do a sterling job of keeping free radicals at bay. With no help from James Bond. Topics for another blog or two.
Interestingly, the higher levels of them are found in the outer, rather than inner, layers of plants. So your granny wasn’t far wrong when she told you to peel those spuds more thinly because most of the goodness is on the outside.
And it’s the same with wine. The polyphenols in wine are the flavonoids we hear about. Red wine has about ten times more of these than white because the skin of the grapes is involved for much longer in the making of it.
So after you’ve made your bean and tofu wholemeal turmeric tortilla lunch, give us a call;. We specialise in a range of healthy diets to get you started and on your way to feeling better, healthier and full of fun for the new year. We're here to help you lose your weight your way.