Have you ever wondered whether there are areas of the world that just "get it?" Where people are healthy and happy, but not rich,
where communities have simply figured out how to live in a way that makes sense for us as a species?
[caption id="attachment_128589" align="alignleft" width="253"] The beautiful tranquility of Loma Linda, CA.[/caption]
Dan Buettner wondered the same thing, and in 2004 he did something about it. He was a bestselling author who asked National Geographic to fund a study about areas of the world where people lived longest. He called these "Blue Zones," and what he discovered was far, far more interesting than simple longevity.
He discovered that in Ikaria (Greece), Okinawa (Japan), Loma Linda (California), Sardinia (Italy), and Nicoya (Costa Rica) people live measurably longer lives, but they are also happier
. There is 20% less cancer, half the normal rate of heart disease for Americans, and almost no dementia. There are many reasons for this, and you can read them all in his book
, if you are interested.
However, we've summarized the three main reasons why people in Blue Zones are living healthier, happier lives:
1. No processed foods.
This is a big one. Meat is consumed to a lesser extent than legumes, but the biggest factor is the extent to which people are preparing their own meals. Fresh fruit and vegetables, and simple grains and beans (black,...