Recently, I have been researching the factors that contribute to longevity. In doing so, I came across the Blue Zone. The Blue Zone is used to describe the demographic and/or geographic area of the world where people live measurably longer lives. Three regions known to have the world’s oldest population include: Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. Since we have been so focused on diet, I checked the typical foods each of these groups eat.
In Sardinia, Italy, men and women live to 100 years old and beyond at a surprising rate. Their diet includes red wine, cheese, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Of special note are their cheese. One cheese is from the milk of grass fed sheep. Another is infested with live maggots and known to be a great source of probiotics. 
In Okinawa, Japan, their diet consists of miso soup, green leafy vegetables, eggs, tofu, citrus fruits, turmeric tea, Goya and sweet potatoes. 
On the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, their diet is made up of beef, chicken, eggs, beans, fruits, vegetables, and corn tortillas (made from a 3500 year old recipe). 
In a recent article by the USA Today, “Learn to Live to 100″, London nutritionist Sally Beare mentions:
“The only things that really make a difference, as far as I know, are the age-old things—namely keeping to the traditional diet and lifestyle we evolved with,” says Beare. “We have Stone Age bodies but a modern lifestyle, and the two don’t go together well.”Beare has grown especially concerned about the rise of heavily processed junk food. “I think it’s really, really worrying (if you want to worry about anything, which of course shortens lifespan through stress) what people in developed countries are eating,” she says. “Half of it isn’t even food. It’s pseudo-food.” 
Consistent among these groups in the Blue Zone include:
- traditional diet
- sense of purpose
- strong social connections
- getting 7.5hrs. to 9 hrs of sleep a night
It is interesting to look at the diets in the Blue Zone groups and compare with ours. In particular, we avoid processed foods. We eat grass-fed meats, eggs, cheese, nuts, fruits and vegetables – all of which are similar to these groups. We also eat foods rich in probiotics – similar to the Sardinians. Last, we do exercise the additional elements describes above (daily exercise, meditation, sleep, social connections).