Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Longevity From Blue Zones
Brandy Pan - Well+Good
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February 4, 2022

At all interested in the science of longevity? Chances are, you've heard of the Blue Zones. Heavily studied by founder Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and multiple New York Times bestselling author, the Blue Zones are five regions that contain the highest concentration of the longest-living people on earth.

Each Blue Zone region has its own unique cultural customs, cuisines, and environmental influences, but the five regions share a few characteristics in common. For instance, those that reside in the Blue Zones tend to maintain a strong sense of inner purpose, connection to their community, and enriching social relationships. Their natural surroundings conveniently nudge them to make healthful choices, such as moving frequently. And finally, those in the Blue Zones regions typically follow a largely plant-based, anti-inflammatory meal regime—and a plenty of science-backed research shows that anti-inflammatory foods are linked to longevity.

Anti-inflammatory foods are nutrient-dense foods that contain a high amount of antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods—like fruits and vegetables, beans, olive oil, and fish—helps combat symptoms of chronic inflammation by neutralizing free radicals in the body. Inflammation is complex, but chronic inflammation can be caused (or exacerbated) by a variety of factors, from diet to stress levels and other lifestyle factors, including allergies, toxins, and aging.

Generally speaking, processed foods that are high in saturated fat, alcohol, and/or added sugars can exacerbate inflammation, while plant-based eating promotes healthy aging by fighting it. Research shows that loading up on antioxidant-rich plant foods can help stave off cognitive decline, prevent cancer, and lower one's risk of cardiovascular disease.

In sum, anti-inflammatory foods are a key component in the diets of all five Blue Zones: Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California. And it’s not just the nutrient-rich food ingredients that are commonly consumed; it’s how they're grown, prepared, and served within the customs of each location's rich culinary history.

Read the rest at Well+Good

Notice: This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.

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