Blue Zones

GENETICS, LOVE AND FOOD. THE SECRET OF LONG LIFE

BY JASPER OLSEN

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But to be absolutely honest, the whole Blue Zone thing is sort of bullshit even though it does have a basis in fact. It is true, for instance, that Sardinia, specifically Ogliastra, has an incredible number of centenarians, 10 times higher than the US, for instance (pecorino beats onion rings 10:1).

But if you go to bluezones.com you’ll find out a jungle of registered trademarks. Yet another attempt to sell the recipe for a long life… the old “five ways to” cliché….

The real truth of the matter is that the blue blood of longevity runs deep and its ingredients are part of a recipe that wasn’t invented overnight.

 

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There is no mention for instance, in the results of Dan Buettner’s famous research published by the National Geographic in 2005, of the peculiar energy in some of the earth’s areas. Energy measurable not only in the longevity of its inhabitants but also other markers, such as, for instance, the higher concentration of active ingredients in the local aromatic and medicinal plants, than in those grown elsewhere.

The four other longest-living groups in the world all come from areas relatively cut off from the flow of history. It’s almost as if while mixing various races produces healthier, better looking individuals, isolation from those same migratory flows (of the kind experienced on islands and difficult-to-get-to areas) creates stronger, deeper connections to both community and nature (and let’s add in the life force or energy) of the place people live.

Another Blue Zone, Okinawa in Japan, is similar in terms of its nature and geography to Sardinia. But that is far from the end of the story: people work until the very end of their lives, staying useful to both their communities and their families by whom they are loved, listened to and respected.

So Sardinians are born not made. That said, it might be an idea to take inspiration from the island’s lifestyle and start eating more healthily, staying active, loving your grandparents and making sure you are too loved by your grandchildren when your time comes.