According to a book released in April, entitled Blue Zone Solutions, there’s a methodology to living a long and healthy life. Author of the book Dan Buettner and CEO of the eponymous organisation spent a decade visiting and studying populations or ‘Blue Zones’ where individuals live inordinately long and healthy lives.
There were some common denominators to how these people lived their lives. They are as follows
- Physical activity incorporated naturally into their daily lives, i.e. gardening, walking, taking the stairs rather than the lift, working out.
- Having a sense of purpose, caring for a loved one, volunteering.
- Low stress levels and a slower pace of life
- Strong family and community connections
- A diet of moderate caloric intake from mostly plant sources.
Icaria in Greece
A tiny dot in the Aegean Sea, people here live on average eight years longer than Americans and experience 20% less cancer, half the rate of heart disease, and almost no dementia.
Here on TED Archelle Georgiou talks about the diet of Icarians.
On the other hand numerous studies, which are outlined in Scientific American have shown the factors that contribute to a shorter life.
- Sedentary employment
- Using transportation rather than walking
- Reduced active recreational time
- A diet of highly processed, calorific and nutritionally deficient foods
- Growing portion sizes
- Social isolation
- Chronic stress
- Income inequality
- Social immobility
What would happen if you ate more mindfully?
When we are mindful of what we put into our mouths we start to savour the taste and the texture of the food, to listen to when your body has eaten enough and there’s a feeling of satiety.
Infact doing everything in life in a more mindful way can help to make you healthier, less stressed and more calm about everything.
Find out more about mindfulness and mindful eating at Mindful.org