Green zone foods help you live longer

While many health factors cannot be controlled, diet is entirely in our hands and plays an important role in prolonging life. Even small adjustments in the way we eat can affect our lifespan.

Dan Buettner, member of National Geographic, founder of Blue Zones LLC, and author of The Blue Zones American Kitchen: 100 Secrets to Living to 100studied the daily habits of people living in green zones, where people live about a decade longer than average (think, Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and Ikaria, Greece).

After gathering her research and distilling some lessons about blue zones into her book, Buettner says this advice can be applied to your weekly grocery run. —and it’s easier than you think.

The bottom line: “Put on your glasses made from whole plants and walk through your grocery store,” says Buettner Luck.

With this basic principle in mind, focus on the ingredients you find delicious.

“Find ingredients you love, and if you can learn how to combine them to create something delicious, you’re on your way to 100 points,” he says.

Here are five foods that Buettner thinks represent the green zone lifestyle:


Single beans provide a blend of protein and fiber, beneficial for building muscle and maintaining stable blood sugar levels. They also contain folate and magnesium, which are important for cell and muscle growth. Most Americans don’t get enough fiber in their diets, and Buettner points out that the microbiome depends on fiber to function properly. One cup of beans provides about half of your recommended daily fiber intake.

You can find beans for under $2 a pound, he says, making them an accessible addition to any diet.

In his book, Buettner recommends eating beans every day, writing that they “reigns supreme in the green and is the basis of every longevity diet in the world.”


Eat a handful of nuts a day, whether it’s almonds, pistachios, walnuts or cashews, says Buettner, etc. They contain protein and fiber and may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and heart disease. inflammation.

Whole fruit and green leaves

One key to eating like you live in the green zone is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day, especially a green leafy vegetable supplement, which is packed with vitamins.

“People in green areas eat a variety of garden vegetables and green leafy vegetables (especially spinach, kale, beets and tops of turnips, turnips and bok choy) in season; they soak or dry the excess to enjoy during off-season,” Buettner writes in his book.

Maintaining lasting changes to the diet only works if people stick with their habits. And you’re more likely to stick to a routine if you enjoy it. Regularly searching for your favorite vegetables and fruits during the grocery store can help relieve the stress of buying things you’re not excited about.

Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes contain complex carbohydrates and proteins, not to mention they’re cheap and easily accessible, says Buettner. They contain many important vitamins to strengthen the gut microbiota, aid digestion and strengthen the immune system.


Turmeric, a common ingredient found in curries, is a major anti-inflammatory spice and has been used to treat digestive problems, liver problems and wounds.

Dr. Uma Naidoo, Harvard-trained nutritional psychiatrist and author of the book: “And turmeric affects the hippocampus, the part of the brain that helps regulate stress hormones. This is your brain on foodsaid before Luck. It can help prevent chronic stress that can lead to heart problems.

Consider adding spice to your sequel teacup.

Buttner hopes people see that eating in a way that promotes health and longevity is not out of reach.

“People tend to think [of] Expensive superfoods, or even expensive fresh produce, are out of reach for many Americans,” he said. “In the blue zone, people are eating farmers’ food, so they’re eating beans and greens growing in the open ground and whole grains, cheap stuff. You can buy them in bulk.”

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