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    Tuesday, June 08, 2010

    Feel Younger, Live Longer: The World’s Healthiest Places to Live

    Blue Zones have been determined by scientists as places where the world’s longest-living people reside. One of these is Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula on the country’s northwest coast.
    Researchers spent nine months there in 2007 to determine why so many people live well into their 90s and 100s—longer than anywhere else in Costa Rica…or the world, for that matter.
    The scientists studying the centenarians of the Nicoya Peninsula found eight key reasons for this longevity:
    1. Diet. The people here are heavily influenced by the indigenous diet of the Chorotega, consisting of high-fortified corn and beans—healthy and high in fiber. 
    2. Water. With loads of calcium, the hard water encourages strong bones and fewer hip fractures.
    3. Family focus. The Nicoya centenarians tend to live as couples or with children and/or other family members from whom they get support.
    4. Eating lightly. They eat a light dinner early in the evening. (Eating fewer calories is proven to add years to your life.)
    5. Dry climate. Nicoya is the driest part of Costa Rica, and in dry climates food doesn’t spoil as quickly, the sun is more intense, and people get fewer respiratory diseases and more Vitamin D.
    6. Social networks. The centenarians here get frequent visitors and they know how to listen, laugh and appreciate what they have.
    7. Work. They’ve enjoyed physical work all their lives and find joy in everyday chores.
    8. Purpose. They feel needed and want to contribute to a greater good."

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