I have just finished reading The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. The author with a team of doctors and demographers searched the world for the areas with the largest number of centenarians and came up with 4 places. These places are Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California; and the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. Their findings seem to lean towards a few necessary and healthy lifestyle choices. The author gives you 9 life lessons to follow in order to make your own blue zone.
But here is my take away from all that I read:
1. Eat mostly vegetables & fruits with a minimal amount of meat consumed (meat only 1 or 2 days a week) or in the case of those centenarians in California a strict vegetarian diet.
2. Family first and spending time with friends for a sense of community.
3. A strong faith and religious belief. It doesn't matter what your religion.
4. Staying active - Lots of physical movement, particularly walking or just normal everyday hard work.
5. Sunshine! At least 15 minutes twice a week. Our bodies need the sun exposure to produce enough vitamin D. (Remember that sunscreens keep us from absorbing the sun that we needs so don't wear sunscreen for these short times and then after the 15 minutes put your sunscreen on.)
6. The feeling of having a purpose in life. It doesn't have to be anything monumental as long as whatever it is gives you the will and motivation to get out of bed each morning.
7. Eat lots of nuts - any and all kinds of nuts
8. Drink red wine moderately and drink lots of water.
Although, when I think about the way society is and the many changes to what our world is becoming I'm not sure that living to 100 is necessarily a good thing to do. Even if doing these things does not lead to living to be over 100, maybe by doing them it could lead to living a life that is healthier and filled with less medications and aging problems that seem to have become the normal for today's society.