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What Are Blue Zones and What Can We Learn from Them?

If you keep up with health magazines or are an avid reader of National Geographic, then you may know what blue zones are. Blue zones are places where many people live well above the age of 100 and experience lower rates of chronic illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer’s. The researcher and founder of the Blue Zones website, Dan Buettner, pinpointed certain areas of the world where blue zones occur. Buettner was able to do this by expanding on the demographical data of by Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain. The five major blue zones of the world are Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California.

We at Griswold Home Care Orlando take interest in these blue zones and their characteristics. What do the people do there that may contribute to their longevity? Since our specialty is assisting and caring for seniors, we want to showcase these regions and their common practices that may be implemented.

There are several commonalities in blue zones. Buettner and his team identified areas they termed the Power 9®. They are listed as: move naturally, purpose, down shift, 80% rule, plant slant, wine at 5, belong, loved ones first, and right tribe. Researchers found those with longevity practiced these nine principles in various forms. For example, gardening is a way to move naturally and is a major component of these communities. Gardening puts you outside and gives you a lot of exercise. Down shift could be prayer, meditation, nap time or happy hour. Blue zones are community based, meaning much interaction with friends and family frequently which is where right tribe and belong come into play. What is observed as well by these blue zones is that the seniors have quality relationships, and live purposeful lives.

The diets of those in blue zones are mainly plant-based. Vegetables, fruits, and grains are common choices. Meats are usually avoided, and residents steer clear of processed foods. Practicing the 80% rule means they stop eating when they are 80% full and eat their smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening. They drink alcohol in moderation and prefer wine.

The purpose of our showcase is to say that these strategies of health aren’t relegated to blue zones. You can learn from this research and do what seniors in these zones do. With an emphasis on exercise, healthy eating, purpose, and relationships, you can improve your life. These methods have been shown to produce longevity. When it comes to diets and exercise, it’s smart to talk to your doctor about the correct approach.

By connecting with this useful research and consulting your doctor, seniors can make smart choices. There are some elders who may need extra help as they advance in age. If you have an elderly loved one who has difficulty with daily activities, then contact us. At Griswold Home Care Orlando, we refer compassionate and quality caregivers that will assist with your loved one’s medical and regular needs. Our caregivers help with dressing, grooming, bathing, meal prep, medications, and more. Call us today at 407-906-2883 for more information.


If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Greater Orlando, FL, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (407) 638-8116