Places with the Longest Life Expectancy



We all know that eating well and staying active is good for us, but exactly how much can it extend our lives? A good way to determine the relationship between lifestyle and health is to look at places where people live the longest. Author Dan Buettner writes that the following places, coined “blue zones”, are places where life expectancy is unusually high. Interestingly, corresponding with these levels of high expectancy are also rates of low dementia.

Scientists hypothesis a number of potential reasons why the people in these places live longer healthier lives. Experts say that plant-based, low-fat diets likely contribute to prolonged lives. Additionally, regular moderate physical activity seem to be a key reason for their unusual longevity. In ‘blue zones’, people tend to walk and engage in a lot of activities during the day which keep them moving. It’s also no surprise that in these places, the rates of smoking are extremely low.

Here are some of the places with the highest life expectancy.

Okinawa, Japan
Okinawa is the city with one of the highest rates of people over the age of 100. This is likely due to the widespread practice of gardening, as well as their vegetable and fish rich diet. Additionally, there is a culture of eating in moderation called Hara Hachi Bu, in English this roughly translates to “until you are 80% full”.

Ikaria, Greece
Ikaria has some of the world’s oldest people, likely in part because of their Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is highly regarded by dieticians and health professionals for good reason – it’s packed with colourful vegetables, healthy whole grains, and healthy proteins like fish and seafood. Olive oil is also thought to be healthy because of it’s Omega 3 and Omega 6 content.

Nicoya, Costa Rica
In Nicoya, there is a culture of living an active lifestyle, family relationships, rest, and livelihood. This along with a diet rich vegetables, legumes, and mineral dense water leads to some of the longest living people.

Sardinia, Italy
This island of the coast of Italy ties with Okinawa for most number of people over the age of 100. Contributing factors to longevity include the mediterranean diet, sunlight, and emphasis on livelihood has an impact on their longevity.

Scientists are learning new things about nutrition, health, and longevity all the time – but some things remain constant. Make sure to include a vegetable rich diets, moderate exercise, and rest in your life to stay healthy.