Blue, the colour of calm and serenity, paints the world in its tranquil hue. It is the whisper of a summer sky, stretching endlessly above, inviting dreams to soar on its delicate canvas.
A symphony of azure waves crashes against the shore, echoing the vastness of the ocean's depths. Blue, the guardian of secrets, conceals mysteries within its depths, luring explorers to uncover the enigmas that lie hidden beneath the surface.
In the realm of emotions, blue dances between melancholy and hope. It is the melancholic sigh of a lonely heart, aching for connection amidst the vastness of existence.
Yet, it is also the promise of a brighter tomorrow, an indigo beacon guiding souls through the darkest of nights. Blue captures the essence of introspection, prompting self discovery. In art, blue is a stroke of inspiration, splashed onto the canvas with purpose and meaning. It embodies the moods of masterpieces, from the vibrant strokes of a Van Gogh starry night to the tranquil brushstrokes of a Monet water lily pond. Blue lends itself to expression, telling stories of both sorrow and joy with every brushstroke.
Whether it be the cerulean wings of a butterfly or the cobalt rooftops of a distant village, blue decorates the world with its ethereal touch. It dances through nature, adorning the petals of delicate flowers and the iridescent plumage of a majestic peacock. It breathes life into the universe, scattering its enchanting hue across galaxies and constellations.
Author Dan Buettner and his colleagues unavoidably fell under the spell of the regal shade, adding to our lexicon in the process. By drawing blue circles they identified areas on a map where people lived the longest with the lowest rates of chronic disease. These areas came to be known as "Blue Zones." Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California are the five suggested blue zones. Chronic diseases are becoming more common as people get older. While genetics influence your lifespan and susceptibility to these diseases, your lifestyle is likely to have a greater impact. Genetics are likely to account for only 20%-30% of longevity.
As a result, environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle play a significant role in determining your lifespan. But why do Blue Zone residents have the highest rates of nonagenerians and centenarians, people who live to be 90 or 100? One thing that all Blue Zone residents have in common is that they eat a 95% plant-based diet.
Although the majority of groups are not strict vegetarians, they only eat meat about five times per month? Several studies, including one involving over 500,000 people, have shown that avoiding meat can significantly reduce the risk of death from heart disease, cancer, and a variety of other causes. Diets in the Blue Zones, on the other hand, are typically high in the following: Vegetables are high in fibre and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Consuming more than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day can lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and death. Legumes, which include beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas, are all rich in fibre and protein.
A number of studies have shown that eating legumes is associated with lower mortality. Whole grains are rich in fibre. A high intake of whole grains can reduce blood pressure and is associated with reduced colorectal cancer and death from heart disease. Nuts are great sources of fibre, protein and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Combined with a healthy diet, they're associated with reduced mortality. In some areas, fish is eaten which provides an abundant source of Omega 3 fats, which are important for heart and brain health. Other habits common to the Blue Zone further contribute to the health boon. These include calorie reduction and fasting.
A large, 25-year study in monkeys found that eating 30% fewer calories than normal led to a significantly longer life? Furthermore, Okinawans tend to follow the 80% rule, which they call "hara hachi bu." This means that they stop eating when they feel 80% full, rather than 100% full. This prevents them from eating too many calories, which can lead to weight gain and chronic disease. Exercise, in addition to diet, is an extremely important factor in aging. People in the Blue Zones do not exercise on a regular basis by going to the gym. Instead, it is incorporated into their daily lives through gardening, walking, cooking, and other household tasks. The current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. A large study involving over 600,000 people discovered that those who exercised the recommended amount had a 20% lower risk of death than those who did not exercise.
Furthermore, increasing physical activity can reduce the risk of death by up to 39%. Diversity lends itself to discovery. Our various cultures and distinct geographies allow us to observe the effects of these changes to our lives. It is in this unique way that we decode physiology's deepest mysteries. There is no secret treasured more than that which prolongs life. The answer may lie in our planet’s deepest Blue Zones.