Blue Zone

blue zones

Blue Zone is a concept used to identify a demographic and/or geographic area of the world where people live measurably longer lives, as described in Dan Buettner’s book, ‘The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from people who lived the longest.’ The concept grew out of demographic work done by Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain, who identified Sardinia’s Nuoro province as the region with the highest concentration of male centenarians.

As the two men zeroed in on the cluster of villages with the highest longevity, they drew concentric blue circles on the map and began referring to the area inside the circle as the Blue Zone. Buettner identifies other zones in Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; Vilcabamba, Ecuador; and among the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California.

Residents of such places produce a high rate of centenarians, suffer a fraction of the diseases that commonly kill people in other parts of the developed world, and enjoy more healthy years of life. The six common factors to all blue areas are: Family (put ahead of other concerns); Less smoking; Semi-vegetarianism (except for the Sardinian diet, the majority of food consumed is derived from plants); Constant moderate physical activity (an inseparable part of life); Social engagement (people of all ages are socially active and integrated into their communities); and Legumes (commonly consumed).

It is interesting to note that all these areas are located near volcanoes. The local water sources are therefore high in colloidal mineral content. However, an ongoing debate exists as to whether or not the colloidal mineral water component is a major reason for health and longevity.

Based on the research in his book, Buettner founded a company of the same name that offers educational and information resources, community health programs, foods and food services, real estate developments and consumer goods related to longevity.

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