Blue Zone

Costa Rica Blue Zone

For the past five years, Dan Buettner with National Geographic has been taking teams of scientists to pockets around the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives. He has named these areas Blue Zones. Last year, Mr. Buettners team discovered the largest Blue Zones in the World in Costa Rica on the Nicoya Peninsula. In the Nicoya Blue Zones adults have the longest life expectancy in the world. Dan Buettners team found eight factors that make this region one of the longest-lived in the world.

Water: The water in the Blue Zones has a high calcium content. Primarily calcium strengthens bones and prevents falls from being serious.

Family: People in Blue Zones tend to live as a couple, with children and grandchildren from whom they get support.

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Faith: Most of the people in Blue Zones have a strong belief in God. They relinquished the pressures of the day to a higher power. Their faith provides relief from stress and a connection with their community.

Fruit: People located in the Blue Zones eat many tropical fruits ultra-rich in antioxidants, including papaya and citrus which they eat all year long.

Diet: Residents in Blue Zones core diet is based around maize. The corn is soaked in an alkaline solution, a tradition dating back 3500 years; to create a compound called nixtamal. It's a complete food high in niacin, calcium and amino acids.

Lifelong Work: People in Blue Zones seem to have enjoyed physical work all their lives. It was their main form of exercise and they did it almost every day.

Life Plan: Successful people in Blue Zones have a passion for living and a clear purpose. They feel needed and want to contribute to the greater good beyond just themselves.

Happiness: Costa Rica scores top of international wellbeing surveys. People in Blue Zones have higher levels of endorphins and stronger immune systems, they are interesting and interested in others and keep learning throughout their life.

Mr. Buettners work on Blue Zones and on the Nicoya Blue Zone in Costa Rica has been funded by National Geographic and the National Institutes on Aging, and he has appeared on the television programs of Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper 360 Live and ABC Nightly News.