Need a Healthy Diet: Eat Blue Zones’ Superfoods

What are the Blue Zones?

Some people set weight loss goals based on what they see on the outside, but perhaps this year everyone should begin to set goals based on what is nutritionally healthy for one’s body. Need a Healthy Diet: Eat Blue Zones’ Superfoods does not necessarily mean that you will be eating little and depriving yourself; but it is about eating healthy and making lifestyle changes. In some ways this hub can be viewed as a continuation of an earlier hub of mine titled, Battling Belly Fat: Eat MUFAs. If you recall within that hub, I showed how making minor changes with one’s eating habits could result in weight loss and a healthier heart providing vitality.

Well this hub is going to take that concept a bit further by introducing 10 superfoods from all around the globe. Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer believes that 90 percent of how long we live is dictated by our lifestyle and the other 10 percent is based on genetics. As you know until recent years many scientist and doctors believed that genetics could be relied on to estimate a person’s lifespan based on a family’s history. Buettner’s research over the last decade based on the people living within the Blue Zone regions throughout the world states that:

  • Diets rarely works more than six months
  • The key to living longer and staying fit is by eating wisely.
  • He recommends a plant-based diet with less meat, but not totally eliminating meat.
  • Endorses eating fewer calories at each meal and consuming a glass or two of red wine per day.

His research entailed the five blue zones as follows:

  • The island of Sardinia, Italy
  • Costa Rica’s isolated Nicoya Peninsula
  • Another isolated island called Ikaria, Greece
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Loma Linda, California

For more about the people living in the Blue Zones areas be sure to see the hub called the Blue Zones Secrets to Living Healthy at 100 written by Izetti.

Fresh goat's milk
Fresh goat's milk
Black beans
Black beans

1st 5 Superfoods from the Blue Zones

As more people throughout the world begin to live longer and more productive lives; numerous people have begun to take a look at how the East is living. Hence, when I saw Dan Bettner on television and saw the countries and cultures of the people of the Blue Zone I fell in love with the beautiful scenery and the countryside and hard working in the fields and gardens reminded me of growing up in the country in Tennessee. Even some of the foods he promoted perhaps could be produced on a farm or grown here in the States. The 1st 5 superfoods are:

1) Goat’s Milk - This is one of the main superfoods that is used in Sardinia, Italy were there are more 100 years olds than anywhere else in the world. Personally, I think you have to develop a taste for goat’s milk, but take my word on it if the goat has been eating in a field where there are green onions you will not want to drink the raw milk. Otherwise it is slightly sweet with a somewhat underlying salty taste. Some of the benefits are that it provides a good source of calcium, the amino acid tryptophan, protein, vitamin B2, potassium and phosphorus.

2) Black Beans - These beans are popular with the Costa Rican people and are usually eaten with a wheat or corn tortilla. The beans have an almost sweet mushroom-like flavor and have a soft floury texture. The health benefits are that there is a lot of dietary fiber, with high levels of folate and magnesium. It is definitely a heart-healthy food good for people with high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart attack risks. Remember to take the Beano ahead of the meal to cut down on the side-effects of bloating gas and flatulence.

3) Goya - Is a staple food in the Okinawan diet. Buettner’s studies revealed the Okinawan people live about 7 years longer than American people and has 80% fewer cases of cancer and heart attacks. Health benefits of the goya (pronounced goooy-yah) are high in nutrients and vitamin C. I have not tried this plant, however many say it reminds them of a bitter melon similar to a cucumber. In addition it is advised not to eat it raw, but to cook it in an a stir-fry and or an Asian dish.

4) Dandelion Herbal Tea - The people of Ikaria, Greece are consumers of this ancient tea. This is another heart-healthy staple that lowers blood pressure, improves general health, and is beneficial to removing toxins from one’s kidneys and other major organs. Dandelion tea is rich in vitamins A, C, D, and B- complex.

5) Walnuts soaked in water – This staple comes from within the States in the city of Loma Linda, CA home of the Seventh Day Adventists who lives about 10 years longer than the rest of Americans. Their staple of walnuts soaked in water has the health benefits of decreasing cholesterol levels, reducing high blood sugars, and improving cardiovascular functions; hence another heart-healthy that should be included in one’s healthy diet. Walnuts are also high in omega-3s and antioxidants.

Be sure to check out the slideshow called Secrets of the Blue Zones that reveals some of the 100 + year olds that were featured from Buettner’s studies just imagine being a 102 year old female and still able to chop wood or an 84 year old man and still able to stand on your head fully balanced at will. I don’t think I really want to do either feat at that age however having the ability to be that health and feeling that frisky is appealing.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Imo uncookedImo cookedTurmeric teaMangosteenFennelMustard greensBarramundi - steamedBarramundi - grilled
Imo uncooked
Imo uncooked
Imo cooked
Imo cooked
Turmeric tea
Turmeric tea
Mangosteen
Mangosteen
Fennel
Fennel
Mustard greens
Mustard greens
Barramundi - steamed
Barramundi - steamed
Barramundi - grilled
Barramundi - grilled

2nd 5 Superfoods from the Blue Zones

I heard about the first five superfoods the fall of 2008. And to be honest with you had kind of forgotten about them until a few weeks ago when Dr. Oz had Dan Buettner on his show. It was at that time I decided to compose a hub in order to start implementing these 10 superfoods into my healthy diet. So here are the rest of the 10 superfoods that have made Buettner’s studies from the blue zones.

1)      IMO – Is a sweet potato found in Japan. It has been said that the longest living women in Okinawa Japan ate this food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.   It is high in beta carotene easy to bake and has 150 percent more antioxidants than blueberries.   According to Dr. Oz if you cannot locate Imo then the orange sweet potatoes are healthy for you as well.  Just like our sweet potatoes Imo can be washed, steamed, and then sliced, and served with a dash of salt or a touch of sugar.

2)      Turmeric Tea – This herb is a medicine typically it fights cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and it said to fight depression. Tea can be used to mitigate a hangover by drinking this tea prior to a night of partying and drinking.  As you know turmeric is usually found in Indian curries, however the Okinawan women prefer to drink it as a tea daily.

3)      Mangosteen -    Is an exotic tropical fruit, low in sugar but sweet and has possible health benefits ranging from anti-fatigue, anti-obesity, anti- inflammatory to anti- viral and anti-fungal.   It originally came from Indonesia and has been used in Asian medicine for years but now this sweet fruit can now be found within the States.  It is full of vitamins A, C, and E, and xanthone, and has cancer-fighting anti-oxidants.

4)      Greek Greens – In Icaria Greece, 1 in 3 people live to the age of 90 and have no reported cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Fennel and mustard greens are good for blood, good for bones, and high in vitamin K.  These are excellent sources of vitamins C and B possessing the health benefits of being anti-inflammatory for arthritis; boosts the immune system and may reduce cholesterol levels. 

5)      Barramundi – Is a carnivorous species by nature, but can live off of a largely vegetarian diet. So this potentially vegan  fish can eat plankton and grains only; it does not have to eat small fish and comes from the coast of Australia however is found in Asia as well. It is high in Omega 3 fatty acids good for your brain and heart.  Also great because it has the potential of being plant and grain-fed therefore one would not get a lot of toxins like mercury like other carnivorous species.

Ending note

This is the conclusion of Need a Healthy Diet: Eat Blue Zones’ Superfoods , I hope you have found some of the information provided helpful in selecting and or changing you healthy diet regimen. For me I love finding new ways that will improve my body from the inside out that will create a healthier sense of well being, while adding longevity and vitality to life. As the ole sayings goes, “You are what you eat,” and “junk in and junk out.” Comments are always welcome; I would love to hear what superfoods from this list you are personally eating.

Disclaimer: This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. If you are on a restricted diet for medical reasons, before changing your diet; you should do your own research, and then consult your present physician prior to making any changes to your normal healthy diet regimen.

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48 comments

rprcarz50 profile image

rprcarz50 6 years ago

Great Hub You presented ! I've heard about Blue Zones , but not with so much detail. Great research. Very helpful information.

Thank you for this Hub !

Ron

As Always Also a2z50 Keep on Hubbing


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for stopping by and commenting rprcarz50! :)


Teresa Laurente profile image

Teresa Laurente 6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

Everything is great in here. I love reading healthy stuff. I myself is in this journey. Thank you for sharing. I will be coming back for more and keep on reading here. More power.


Lyria profile image

Lyria 6 years ago

I didn't know about dandelion tea. I'd love to try that. Thanks for the great info!


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

@Teresa - Hi Teresa, I love reading about how to improve one's health via the things that mother earth produces. I just think that is the best way; guess that's my farm girl heritage way of thinking. :) Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Much success and longevity to you...:)


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

@Lyria - Hi Lyria, the dandelion tea was new to me as well, I will be looking for some the next time I go shopping. Thanks for stopping by for the read and commenting. :)


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

I wrote an article about Ikaria, Greece and their amazing longevity. Thanks for more info regarding the blue zones.

http://hubpages.com/health/Longevity-Secrets-from-...


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks so much for letting me know elayne! The place is so beautiful I want to move there. :) Thanks for sharing your insight! :)


LRobbins profile image

LRobbins 6 years ago from Germany

Fantastic hub! I've never heard of the blue zones before reading this but am really intrigued and will be buying the book. It's so nice to see that living a healthy live doesn't have to be complicated.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks so much LRobbins! I'm glad I could share something new to you about healthier living. Thanks for the read and comments. L:)


GeneralHowitzer profile image

GeneralHowitzer 6 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

WOw Money Glitch you have a great artcle here eh!!!


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks so much General! For stopping by and commenting on need a healthy diet:eat blue zones superfoods; personally, I would love to travel to each of these zones and explore its culture. Have a great weekend! :)


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay

I love this hub! I remember seeing something about this on t.v., maybe it was Dr. Oz? Fascinating. and what a great hub presentation and lay out. thanks for a fantastic, informative hub. rated up!


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

Wow, I found this hub to be really amazing. Well researched and well written. I have never heard of the Blue Zones and benefits of living there. This hub has a wealth of information. One that I will be coming back to for some time. I also enjoyed the videos.

I really would love to live in the blue zone. Sounds like an amazining place to live all the way around.

Wonderful hub! Bookmarked and rated up!

Good luck!

Sage


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

@rebekahELLE - Hi rebekahELLE, you are right Dan Buettner has been on Dr. OZ, Oprah, and a few of the network morning shows. Thanks so much for stopping by for the read and leaving such kind comments. :)

@Sage Williams - Hi Sage, I agree with you totally. I would love to live in one of the Blue Zones. Just the idea of clean air, blue sky, and the sea sounds like a great place for a person to live to be 100. Thanks for stopping by for the read and commenting. :)


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas

Excellent article Money. But do you ever wonder if...

the reason these people in Italy, Greece, Okinawa, or various other areas, often remote, are so healthy, is because they don't go to doctors, they don't take prescription drugs, and they don't eat food full of pesticides or additives?! How many studies have seriously looked at that?


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

I agree, RM that all the questions you've posed are probably contributing factors to longevity. I had a friend in Tennessee who's grandmother lived to be 105. Of course, there are not that many 100 year olds in that part of the country. However, I do think what I call "country or farm-living" plays a big part into a longer life. Thanks for the read and commenting! :)


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia

Very well written hub Money Glitch, and thank you so much for your kindness to put my link on your hub. I just come back from my vacation and I think I agree with rmcrayne too, the only reason why those people are healthy and have longevity life is because they live so naturally and there is no chemical additive inside their body.

I don't know, maybe because I just come back from a vacation haha..but I think to enjoy life and nature and give thanks are also great for longevity and healthy life. Thank you for sharing such great superfoods :)

Have a great day!


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Hi febriedethan - Aaahhhh, vacation that sounds wonderful. Yes, relaxation, and enjoying nature is sure to assist in longevity and a healthy lifestyle. You are welcome for the link, and thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

very nice friend, you go GIRL! yes specially with Japan, they have longer life expectancy, one of the highest in the world, they eat fish as well! thumbs up, Maita


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks Maita, I really appreciate you stopping by and sharing your wisdom, and giving your support. Indeed Japan does have longevity within their culture. I was glad to see when writing Need a Healthy Diet: Eat Blue Zones Superfoods, that all of the foods on the list are readily available in the States for all to try. :) Have a great day!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

I love mangosteens. I used to eat them all the time when I lived in Thailand. (Your hub is making me homesick!). I've tried goat milk once but didn't really like the way it smelled. It wasn't too bad, just strange. Very cool hub, by the way. You should have won, but I guess I was luckier :)


wordscribe41 6 years ago

Fantastic hub. I'm fascinated with Okinawans, probably because I used to live in Japan. Wow, they have some SERIOUS longevity, huh? I've heard about most of these places, I know Dr. Oz did a special highlighting a few of them, Loma Linda was one. But, I didn't know about the area in Costa Rica. Anyway, great hub, quite thorough, well written and visually appealing. Cheers!


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

@Om Paramapoonya - Hi Om, I can understand why you would be homesick. I haven't tried mangosteens yet, however I've heard they were good. LOL! I agree goats milk does have a strange taste. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!:)


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

@wordscribe - I agree that the Okinawans are fascinating people. Wow, what an opportunity to have actually lived in Japan! It is definitely a place I would love to visit and spend some time there. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, wordscribe! Have a great day! :)


Tourmaline profile image

Tourmaline 6 years ago

Great hub! Thanks! Mangosteens are delicious! But they are seasonal. Good thing I can find them quite easily where I live when the times comes.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Hi Tourmaline, You are correct that Mangosteens are seasonal and this is probably when they taste the best. However, I was surprised to see there are some products available in glass jars and cans (not the best way to eat them of course; fresh is always better, I think). Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!:)


Garlic 6 years ago

An excellent Hub. Very readable and useful. Thank you.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for stopping by and commenting Garlic! :)


nursing profile image

nursing 6 years ago from Kinglsland

at last I know now what the right food for me to live long


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Hi nursing, yes the hub need a healthy diet-eat blue zones superfoods is composed of ten of the superfoods that will help to keep you healthy for a longer life. Since writing this hub I've discovered more of which I will be adding as time permits. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!:)


loveofnight profile image

loveofnight 6 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

once again i am learning new things, i never heard of blue zones before.....thx 4 share


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for the read loveofnight. I glad I could share some knowledge with you. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


lois sunday profile image

lois sunday 6 years ago from manila,philippines

wow! great hub! I believe everything you've written here. Goya is common in our diet. I just sauté it with beef strips and indulge in it. It keeps our hearts in good condition. I make sure, my family eats it at least once a week. And we love it so much! It's bitter, but it's good! I haven't heard of blue zones, but i'm going to research more about it. Thank you for sharing...


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Hi Lois, Thanks for sharing how you and your family enjoy eating Goya! Hhhmmm, I've got to try saluting it with beef tips, it sounds like it would taste wonderful. Thanks for stopping by. :)


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Good information! I love black beans, very good for lowering cholesterol. True about goats milk. Just like mother's milk, you should not eat strong foods when nursing.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

I like black beans mixed with other ingredients, but not cooked alone. However, am lactose intolerant so I have to pass on goat's milk. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)


Melanie Munn 6 years ago

If you want to prepare healthy meals, try to use as much raw foods and ingredients as possible. If you don't have time, try using a meal delivery service.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. However, it might be a little difficult receiving meal delivery service in some of the remote locations of the blue zones. :)


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

thank you so much, I did not know about broccoli sprouts!

so much to read and study to stay healthy today. With all the bad things going with our food supply we really do need to know what we are eating and pay attention and learn how and what is good for us. Thank you for such a great job that you are doing for us all!


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

You are so welcome Sa'ge! I love sharing the info that I'm discovering and learning for myself as well. I plan to live to be one of those healthy, happy hundred year old people. So it is important to get started eating right at an early age. Thanks for the read. :)


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

thanks basil33dalton for such kind comments. "Wellness" has became my passion. So you will see that I've spent a lot of time researching and writing about what I've discovered. Thanks again for the read. :)


membersa profile image

membersa 6 years ago from USA

Thanks for the information. I have always read that goat's milk is very healthy but I haven't really gotten used to the strong taste. But everything is good...


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas Author

Yeah, I agree with you membersa, one definitely has to acquire a taste for goat's milk and I too prefer to something else. Thanks for commenting. :)


jesse 5 years ago

where i did you get the image of the pill and the lips? I'd like to track down the origin so I can pay for it and use it. If there's any way you can help - please email me:

yeshimacht@me.com

thanks so much,

jesse


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 5 years ago from Texas Author

Sorry Jesse, but I really don't recall exactly where I found this picture it's been over 10 months ago. However, I usually use Creative Commons, Flickr, or some other "free-photo" website to find such pictures. You might even try Google Images to see if you can find the orgin. Hope this helps and good luck on your quest...


jenco40 profile image

jenco40 5 years ago

Thank you for this detailed info on blue zones. I hadn't heard of them before, but can relate to the foods you list as being extremely beneficial to us. I agree with you that our food can create a healthier sense of well-being, so our choices are very important. I have been working to eat healthier for the past ten years, and my only drawback is making time in my busy schedule to prepare the foods I want (rather than succumbing to the fast food empire!!).

Thanks so much for your information.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 5 years ago from Texas Author

I have been working on eating health for about the same length of time, however, have really put forth an effort within the last two years as you said to find time to prepare meals at home verses eating out. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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