Here are the ‘5 pillars of a longevity diet’

There are some daily practices that may increase your chances of living to 90 and beyond – and a healthy diet is one of the most important factors on the list.

In his new book, “The Blue Zones American Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100,” Dan Buettner “identified the world’s longest-lived areas (blue zones) and studied the patterns and lifestyles that seem to explain their populations’ longevity.”

Blue zones are defined by Buettner as populations with the highest rates of living to 100 – or becoming centenarians – and the highest middle-age life expectancies. 

Across the world, these groups include communities in Japan, Italy, Greece, Costa Rica and even a Seventh Day Adventist community in California.

“The people in the blue zones live up to a decade longer than average Americans and spend a fraction of what most [of] the rest of us do on health care,” Buettner wrote.

Of course, there are multiple factors to consider. Many of these communities have more opportunities to walk from place to place and tend to stress much less than most Americans. 

But, after analyzing over 150 dietary surveys that capture “the daily eating habits of people in the blue zones over the past 80 years,” these were the most common foods included in their diets.

‘The five pillars of a longevity diet’

Buettner found that 65% of dietary intake in blue zones came from complex carbohydrates, and these foods are “the five pillars of a longevity diet on four continents”:

  1. Whole grains like corn, rice and oats (complex carb)
  2. Greens
  3. Tubers, including potatoes and yams (complex carb)
  4. Nuts
  5. Beans (complex carb)

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