A 2005 National Geographic story identified ‘Blue Zones’; five communities spread across the globe where people live much longer, healthier lives than most others. These are Sardinia, in Italy, Icaria, in Greece, Okinawa, in Japan, Loma Linda, in California and Nicoya Peninsula, in Costa Rica. Researchers took to these places and identified some common lifestyle factors that contribute to the long, healthy lives of people in these communities. Here’s what they learned about how to live healthier for longer:
1. Engage in family and social life
With school holidays in full force, this is a great time to start living by one of the most important Blue Zone principles: engage with those around you. All Blue Zone communities have tight knit social structures, with everyone supporting everyone else. Play with your kids, catch up with your friends, or invite your neighbours around for a backyard barbeque.
2. Eat a semi-vegetarian diet
All of the Blue Zone cultures ate a varied, omnivorous diet, so there’s no need to cut meat out completely. However, the bulk of their diets were comprised of plants.
Fitfood meals are great for upping your vegetable intake. All of our meals are packed with vegetables, and we have a range of delicious vegetarian and vegan meals. You can build your own subscription, picking the exact amount of meat and vege dishes that suit you.
3. Build moderate exercise into your life
Instead (or as well as) blocking out time to exercise, build activity into your daily life. Walk to the shops, tend to your garden, or ride your bike to a local beach for a swim. When you have the opportunity, always take the stairs.
4. Moderate your calorie intake
Calorie restriction and fasting are common practices in Blue Zone communities. For example, many Okinawans follow the 80% rule, which means they stop eating when they’re 80% full, rather than 100%. This prevents them from eating too many calories and gaining weight, which can lead to chronic diseases. Fitfood’s meals are portion-controlled, which can make sticking to the 80% rule easy, and our Weight Management menu comes in two sizes, so you can order the meal size that’s right for your body.