Simply Health ME E82 – Blue Zones

Blue Zones – Places In the World Where People Live to 100 and Stay Healthy


1/5000 people in the US live to be 100

10% of longevity is due to genetics. 90% is due to our lifestyle


Caveats before we get started

  • In general many of these things are things we talk about BUT
  • These people do have have chronic disease to reverse (might not be enough)
  • These are epidemiological observations
  • These are not useless but this is not rigorous science
  • Does not take into account genetics. Although relatively diverse over several groups

The five blue zones are as follows:

The Italian island of Sardinia


  • Move all day (shepards), eat lots of plant, cheese that is grass-fed and high in omega 3 fatty acids, wine with 3x number of polyphenols
  • If grains are eaten always whole grain
  • No process food exists
  • They treat older people with respect

Okinawa, Japan

  • Community. When you are born you are put into a group of people who support you your whole life.
  • Average american has 1.5 close friends.
  • No one retires.
  • Ikigai
  • Eat lots of plants
  • Fermented soy products
  • They don’t overeat
  • Eat on smaller eat. They don’t serve family style (no seconds), They stop eating when their stomach is 80% full. They eat small

Loma Linda, California

Costa Rica’s isolated Nicoya Peninsula

Ikaria, an isolated Greek island


9 commonalities


  • None of them exercise, they set their lives so that they are in constant physical activity
  • Live in houses with stairs, walk everywhere, sit on the floor so they are getting up and down constantly.
  • All garden
  • They have language around “purpose”
  • They have strategies about how to eat less. (till 80% full)
  • They drink a little each day (wine)
  • They eat lots of plants, some quality meat / cheese. They eat nuts and legumes. If grains, a little and always whole grains. NO processed food period. No veggie oils!
  • They hang out with people who live the same way
  • Community connection (often faith based)
  • Family  / loved ones first (very close relationships between older and younger generation
  • They all take daily time for mindfulness


I would like to take a moment to point out

The eat no processed food with fake sugar / chemicals

They don’t eat vegetable oil

That requires quite the nasty production process

They eat a lot of healthy fats (olive oil, fish, grass fed meat/butter etc.) high in omega 3


The Happy Planet Index is similar


  • Connect
  • Be Active
  • Take Notice
  • Keep Learning
  • Give


There is a difference between pleasure and happiness.

Pleasure is anything that increases that dopamine. Companies can sell you things that do this. Any shopping/food/drugs etc. They try to convince you that they are selling you happiness but this is not true. Studies show that happiness is more likely to come about by the above things not by stuff.


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