Corporate Wellness Blog

16 May

Longevity: Live & Eat Like the People Who Live Longest

by Punctual Abstract

Everywhere you look are advertisements for supplements, exercises and food groups that supposedly extend your life. But it turns out the secrets of living longer are all around us.

The life expectancy in the United States is 79 — 81 for women and 76 for men. That’s almost double what it was 100 years ago, thanks largely to medical advances, greater food security, and better access to clean water. But science says that the human body is meant to last until 90. Why are we leaving 11 years on the table?

That’s the question author Dan Buettner sought to answer in writing the New York Times bestseller Blue Zones. Traveling the world to find“ longevity hot spots,” communities where people routinely live into their nineties and beyond. If we can emulate the lifestyle and diet choices of these places, we too can have longer and better lives.

Ikaria, Greece

One of the three island communities on this list, Ikaria is defined by a close sense of community and a strict adherence to the Mediterranean diet — olive oil, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. One in three Ikarians live into their 90s and, interestingly, men outlive women. All Ikarians have lower than average cancer, depression, and cardiovascular disease rates

Nicoya, Costa Rica

People in Blue Zones almost universally avoid processed food, and almost all eat around 1 cup of beans a day. Residents of Nicoya take it to an extreme. The majority of their calories come from beans, supplemented by squash, corn, and tropical fruits. Nicoyans also tend to spend a lot of time outside. Their lifestyle lends itself to frequent physical activity, leading them to consistently live into their 90s.

Okinawa, Japan

Okinawa is an island in the extreme south of Japan. The longevity of Okinawans has been known for decades, and the Okinawan diet has been popular since the 1970s. Besides the diet of fish, green tea, sake, and seaweed, community, and social support were found to be responsible for a culture that boasts the longest-living women in the world. Many Okinawan women surpass 100.

Sardinia, Italy

Plants dominate diets on Sardinia, an island in the Mediterranean south of mainland Italy. Like on Ikaria, men tend to do better than women on Sardinia. Sardinia has the highest concentration of male centenarians in the world. This could be explained by the fact that many Sardinians are sheepherders, who tend to walk around five miles a day. Sardinia is also home to a huge concentration of individuals with the M26 marker, a genetic variant linked to extreme longevity.

Loma Linda, Calif., U.S.A.

And finally, the only Blue Zone located in the United States: Loma Linda, California. But it’s not the entire town of Loma Linda that has unlocked the secret to longevity; it’s a small community of Seventh-day Adventist Church members that rely on a shared set of principles, including strict observation of the Sabbath — a day of rest. Most avoid meat and rely on plants, whole grains, and nuts to get their daily fill. Community members live a full 10 years longer than their fellow Americans.

Corporate Wellness at Punctual Abstract

Punctual Abstract is more than a national title abstracting company. We are a team that cares about the emotional, mental and physical wellbeing of every team member. That’s why we partnered with Rack City Gym and Hunter Training Systems to give our employees easy access to personal trainers and workout equipment. The end result has been healthier, happier employees (and CEOs) as well as a measurable increase in productivity!

To learn more about our Corporate Wellness Program, or if you need help fulfilling your title and abstracting needs, call us at 800-588-0046 to speak with our team today!