9 Foods The Longest-Living People In The World Eat Every Day — Eat This Not That

Let’s face it, there are many things about the way we eat in the US that could be healthier. In fact, the standard American diet, which is full of processed foods, added sugar, and saturated fats, contributes to many health complications in our country.

Fortunately, we have other places in the world to draw inspiration from. Blue regions, for example, are the five regions of the world where there are the highest concentrations of centenarians, and we can learn a lot from their way of living and their daily diets.

These areas include Sardinia in Itai, Okinawa in Japan, Ikaria in Greece, Nicoya in Costa Rica, and Loma Linda in California. And while each region consumes different foods and their own lifestyle, it is helpful to learn about the foods they eat to see what we can incorporate into our lives to be a little bit healthier.

Here are some of the foods that the longest-lived people in the world eat on a regular basis, and for more tips on healthy eating, check out 20 foods you should eat every day for a longer life.

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Loma Linda in California is one of the Five Blue Zones and is a community uniquely composed of mostly Seventh-day Adventists.

Along with regular religious practice and a weekly 24-hour period of quiet meditation, those in this community also eat a largely vegetarian diet full of healthy foods.

Avocado, which has a long list of health benefits, is considered a staple in the luma linda community. according to National Geographic An article on the blue zones of the world, avocado is good for lowering cholesterol and contains 30% more potassium than bananas.

Avocados have also been found to help manage weight and reduce the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

black beans
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Beans are a staple in most blues and provide beneficial amounts of fiber and other nutrients that help fight disease. For example, black peas are a normal part of the daily diet in Ikaria, Greece, and these beans have been found to have anti-cancer, heart-healthy and anti-diabetic properties.

The Nicoya community of Costa Rica eats black beans on a daily basis, often with rice and corn tortillas. Black beans contain high amounts of fiber and antioxidants and are known to help manage diabetes, prevent cancer, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

garlic
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The Okinawa community in Japan eats garlic on a regular basis. National Geographic states that garlic is one of “nature’s most powerful medicines” and has been linked to a reduced risk of some diseases that typically occur as you age.

More specifically, a report from Antioxidants He says garlic has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help prevent some types of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

normal vs white potatoes
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White potatoes are a staple food for those who live in Ikaria, Greece, and purple sweet potatoes (called IMO) in Okinawa, Japan regularly.

Purple sweet potatoes contain a phytochemical called anthocyaninsWhich is known to help prevent disease. Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin A, B6, C, potassium, and fiber.

While some people assume that white potatoes are not healthy due to their high carbohydrate content, icariin actually helps manage and prevent diabetes, while helping to keep blood pressure levels low as well.

olive herbs and olive oil
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Icarians love to use olive oil on a daily basis. Report published in Nutrients Extra virgin olive oil has been found to have a long list of proven health benefits, which is why many people in the Mediterranean region where extra virgin olive oil is widely used have found it to be among the healthiest people in the world.

For example, olive oil has been found to aid weight management, help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of some types of cancer, and contribute to your overall health with its anti-inflammatory properties.

Related: How to Buy the Best Olive Oil for Any Dish You’re Cooking

salmon
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Salmon and other fatty fish are commonly consumed by Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, even by those in the community who rely on plants.

Salmon contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to aid heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as help reduce levels of chronic inflammation.

Sourdough bread on the table
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Sardinia, Italy is another area known as the Blue Zone, and people in the community consume foods such as goat’s milk, flatbread, hummus and sourdough bread.

Their sourdough bread is made from whole wheat and they live Lactobacilli. According to a feature on National Geographic, the Sardinian process of sourdough bread helps convert sugar and glucose into lactic acid. This process lowers the glycemic index, which means you’ll stay full longer and your blood sugar level won’t rise.

Campari cherry tomatoes
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Sardinians also love their tomatoes and use them in quite a few of their dishes. Tomatoes contain LycopeneIt is an antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its ability to help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and stroke, as well as improve heart health.

More specifically, cherry tomatoes contain higher levels of beta-caroteneWhich research has found can help reduce the risk of tumor development associated with prostate cancer.

Related: A major side effect of eating tomatoes, says science

Red wine in a glass next to the bottle
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This might be the best news you’ve heard all day. Yes, many areas of the Blue Zone consume glasses of red wine daily as part of their healthy diet.

According to the official Blue Zones website, many people in these regions drink about two glasses a day, and Sardinians drink a certain red wine called Cannonau wine.

Some research studies back this up with the conclusion that red wine can be beneficial for your heart health due to its antioxidants and polyphenol content.

Of course, with any type of alcohol, moderation is key and you should always talk to your doctor about any questions you may have.

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