Have you heard of the Blue Zones?
The Blue Zones refer to several specific regions around the world including Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, California, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, and Icaria, Greece (which we actually talked about in an article a couple of years back). These regions have been a major focus of many publications and books over the last handful of years. But what makes them so special?
The inhabitants of these areas have been observed to have much longer than average lifespans, living well into ages 90 – 100. What’s even more peculiar, and what has been attributed to their longevity, is the fact that people in these five areas, despite the fact that they are spread so far apart, all share common characteristics in their lifestyles.
People who live within the Blue Zones all share these common lifestyle characteristics:
- Family-oriented living
- Minimal smoking
- Living on plant-heavy diets
- Regular physical activity
- Regular social activity with friends, family, and within the community
And finally, most interesting to us…
- Regular consumption of beans and legumes in their diet
That’s right, beans are a major element in Blue Zones lifestyles and play a big role in the longevity of life for those that live there!
How beans help you live longer
Beans are an extremely healthy and vegan-friendly source of protein. But they also provide so much more than just protein. They are also full of vitamins and nutrients – particularly fiber, zinc, Omega 3 Fatty Acids – that all play a role in keeping your body running strong, healthy, and strong while help prevent cardiovascular disease (due to their low calorie and cholesterol counts), increase brain function, and preventing cancer.
Beans are the perfect protein choice for plant-based diets and a major component of living a longer, healthier life – but they can’t do it alone. Coupling beans with regular exercise and living a healthy and social lifestyle is what the Blue Zones’ lifestyle is all about, and we think it is something we could all do well to think about.
The new year is a great time to start thinking about ways you can improve your life, so if your goal is to become a “healthier you” in 2020, think about how you can incorporate other Blue Zone habits as well as eating more beans into your life.
Need a place to start? The Blue Zones diet has been one of the biggest recent trends and their website has a large collection of bean recipes that fit the Blue Zone lifestyle perfectly! Head over to the store, grab a few jars of Randall Beans and start your new plant-based diet with these simple and healthy beans recipes.