"Blue Zones" is a name given to places where people live longer, healthier lives. Made popular in the early 1970s by a National Geographic report, many of the claims of these Blue Zone were greatly exaggerated. However, the fact remains that in all of these regions, elderly people are much more active, youthful and energetic than in the U.S. The main reasons:
- eating less overall
- eating more fruits and vegetables
- staying active throughout life
- having a positive attitude about aging
- eating healthy fats
- The Okinawnas, in Japan, are the most well documented and studied population of centenarians. They live longer and healthier than any other people in the world. One of their secrets is the cultural practice of Hari Hachi Bu.
- The Hunza Valley, in Pakistan, is said to be a place that fosters long life. Legend has it that the Hunza people routinely live until 90 in good health, with many living as long as 120. Legend or not, the Hunza people do live healthy into old age. They eat a diet primarily of fruits, grains, and vegetables.
- The Vilcambamba in the southern region of Ecuador are reported to reach 100 and beyond, while staying in good health. Some people attribute this longevity to the natural mineral water. However, the claims of the Vilcabamba to have reached ages of 120 and beyond are probably exaggerated.
- The Abkhasia: During Soviet times, the Abkhasia were held up as the longest lived people on Earth. While claims were exaggerated, no one can deny that the Abkhasia lived into their 90s and beyond without any of the chronic illnesses that plague the West.