Explore These Blue Zone Eating Tips

Learn from expert centenarians!

Senior couple preparing a healthy meal.

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Blue zones are areas in the world where people live unusually long and healthy lives, often into their hundredth year and beyond! Scientists believe both environment and lifestyle contribute to their health and longevity, according to CNN. Adapting some blue zone dietary wisdom may also assist you in improving your health.

The five blue zones around the world are Ikaria in Greece, Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Nicoya in Costa Rica, and Loma Linda in California. Inhabitants here tend to be laid back, connected to a social group and family, and exercise each day.

As for food, 98 percent of their menu is plant-based. The foods they eat include whole grains, beans, peas, and vegetables. These complex carbs are filled with fiber that make you feel satiated. Knowing how to stop eating before you are full is also an important blue zone tenet.

Blue zone inhabitants also avoid cow milk, preferring goat and sheep cheeses, and eat meat only five times a month, Blue zone author Dan Buettner explained to CNN. Those who live in blue zones exude calm, describes the wellness site Healthista. They tend to nap during the day, and are not rushed, preferring to walk or bike to most places.

 As for mealtime, breakfast is the largest, lunch is smaller and dinner is the smallest meal of all. What does a typical blue zone diet look like?


As it is the largest meal of the day, according to Blue Zones, breakfast includes protein, complex carbs such as beans or vegetables, plus plant-based fats including seeds, oils, and nuts. Most of the calories are eaten before noon.

 In Okinawa, breakfast consists of miso soup and rice, while in Costa Rica, they eat beans to start their day. Other menu additions could be nut butter and chopped banana atop whole wheat toast and a green smoothie. Another blue zone breakfast dish is fruit salad served with granola, or oatmeal topped with chopped fruit and honey.

Miso soup and rice for breakfast

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Lunch is nourishing in blue zones. In Costa Rica, people enjoy a hot and hearty bowl of black bean soup, according to mindbodygreen. This meal is filling and rich in proteins. In Sardinia, people enjoy a plant-based ragu made from tomatoes and eggplant. This is served on a bed of greens or polenta

Hearty and healthy black bean soup.

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Dinner is usually small and there are many delicious dinner recipes to choose from on the Blue Zones website. One is a sweet and savory curried bean dish sweetened with dates and apples. Or, try pad Thai made from brown rice noodles, tofu, a peanut butter sauce, and lots of veggies.

Here are some tips from mindbodygreen: drink lots of water, eat beans, and cut back on dairy and sugar. When you feel like a snack, reach for nuts, and remember to eat what you love!

Pad thai with tofu is a healthy dinner.

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