This term first appeared in National Geographic magazine in 2005 and was written by Dan Buettner in an article called: “the secrets of long life”. Blue zones have been identified as world areas where people live longest. The name became blue zones because Buettner circled the areas with a blue pen on a map and then called them blue zones. Blue zones are based on the number of centenarians that live in the area; these are people that have an age of 100 years old. Nowadays there are 5 blue zones, these are:
Sardinia, Italy. In small mountain villages, people live up until a very old age. There is one small village named Seulo, which counted 20 centenarians between 1996 and 2016 and therefore this is the place where people live the longest in the world. The secret of the inhabitants is a plant-based diet, daily exercise, and family closeness. Especially sheep herders, who walk 5 miles every day, and men with daughters, who receive very tender care at old age, live longest.
Okinawa Island, Japan. The main reason for longevity in this area is the close family and social relationships. The communities are very close and are supportive of one another in the good and bad times. Okinawa is home to the oldest woman in the world and many more that are over 100 years old.
Loma Linda, California. A group of the Seventh-day Adventist church has been studied and determined to be the longest living people amongst North-American’s. They outlive the average American by 10 years. They have a shared set of principles, emphasis on community and adherence to the Sabbath, which is the day of rest, reflection, and recharging.
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. The inhabitants of Nicoya are highly concerned with their nutrition and their diet is solely plant-based and includes beans, squash and corn and in addition to that tropical fruits. They are also highly involved in their life´s purpose and therefore stay mentally and spiritually sane.
Icaria, Greece. This place has the highest percentage of 90-year-olds in the world. Almost 1 out of 3 people become 90 or older, they also have 20% lower rate of cancer, 50% lower rate of heart diseases and almost no dementia. The island inhabitants have great pride for their island and a great sense of community. This combined with late bedtimes, afternoon naps and a Mediterranean diet makes them one of the oldest communities in the world.
All these areas are blue zones because they have a high rate of centenarians, only experience a small part of the most common diseases in the world and live more years in good health.