6 Links to Longevity: Science-Based Secrets of Living Longer

People in the “Blue Zones” grow old – and reach 100 – without the chronic diseases from which most of the world suffers. We know the most common lifestyle traits among the people that are living long, healthy lives (we call them the Power 9), and they include moving naturally throughout the day, eating a plant-slant diet, having a sense of purpose, and being part of a community.

We know what these populations are doing, but recent studies look into the hows and whys behind the formula.

1. Purpose and love are essential ingredients in a Blue Zones formula for longevity.

A growing body of research points to how having a purpose can cut the risk of stroke and depression and increase life expectancy. (New Scientist)

2. Centenarians find ways to downshift daily from the stressors of everyday life.

Chocolate and meditation? Sounds like a downshift moment we can handle. High quality dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants, similar to those found in Sardinian Cannonau. Find peace in your indulgence and allow yourself to enjoy it. Mindful eating can lead to healthier choices throughout the day. (New York Times Well)

3. Eat greens, get happier.

New studies published in PLOS One show that eating plant-slant (lots of fruits and vegetables!) can not only improve your physical health, but your mental health too. (PLOS ONE)

4. Centenarians from the Blue Zones don’t belong to fancy gyms or run marathons.

Instead, they move naturally on a daily basis and use what they have. According to new studies, all you need for better health is a few extra minutes and some stairs. (New York Magazine)

5. Your Right Tribe influences your health behaviors more than you may think.

If you are surrounded by friends who smoke, drink or binge eat, studies show you’re more likely to adopt those behaviors. (Sharecare)

6. Centenarians in the Blue Zones areas have a reverence for family that is different from many other places in the world.

Studies show responsiveness in spouses can predict happiness and longevity in marriage. Supporting your spouse through active listening and physical touch can lower cortisol levels and cut risk of inflammatory responses that can lead to age-related diseases later in life. (Psychology Today)

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May 5, 2017