The Blue Zone Mediterranean Diet is omnivore-based with a heavy vegetarian focus. Known and named for its significant research and extensive scientifically-backed data, the five different Blue Zones globally have been established as human health and longevity centers. These Blue Zones include Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.
Allowing for advanced, healthy aging, many Blue Zone Mediterranean Diet people reach the age of 100 years or older while still living normal lives. This unique situation where so many centenarians exist in Blue Zone places is nearly 10 times greater than average centenarian rates in the United States. Since these Blue Zone areas have been established, teams of expert anthropologists, demographers, epidemiologists, and other scientific researchers have continued to study and identify the lifestyle characteristics that better explain healthy longevity.
Blue Zone Mediterranean Diet – Ingredients/Nutrition Including Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants, Protein, Fiber, Carbs, Fats/Oils, Spices, Hydration
Involving a diverse array of up to 95% high-fiber, plant-based foods, the Blue Zone Mediterranean Diet takes advantage of clean, wild, organic, nutritional ingredients. Popular dishes incorporate properly processed and cooked, vitamin-and-mineral-infused vegetables. Veggies like spinach, kale, and other leafy greens, peas, cauliflower, squash, beets, turnips, chard, collard greens, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, radish, avocado, carrots, garlic, onions, cucumber, sweet potatoes (yams), and the like. Adding to the cornucopia are vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant-rich mixed fruits. Blueberry, lemons, limes, papayas, pineapples, bananas, strawberry, oranges, raspberry, blackberry, cherry, apples, peaches, pears, coconut, and such are common.
Commonplace spices and herbs include basil, turmeric, paprika, bay leaves, red pepper, sea salt, pepper, etc.
Extra virgin olive oil (good fat) is a staple Omega 6 and 9 monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Flax seed oil with lignan is a solid Omega 3 (fatty acids) alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) choice along with medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) and saturated fat extra virgin coconut oil (external, like especially high heat cooking and skin & hair moisturizer, more than internal).
Sugar and refined carbohydrates (carbs) are almost non-existent, with the exception of honey, stevia, and blackstrap molasses.
Blue Zone Protein Sources
Protein is mostly derived from different legumes/beans, lentils, chickpeas (garbanzo), black-eyed peas, fava beans, soybeans (tofu/traditional & tempeh/natto/fermented), quinoa, oats, barley, whole grains, nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, etc., and seeds. People who stick to the Blue Zone Mediterranean Diet typically eat meat (red meat, chicken, pork) roughly five times per month, and in reduced amounts relative to the standard western diet. Middle-of-the-food-chain species like sardines, anchovies, and cod that are not exposed to high levels of mercury or other harmful chemicals are commonplace choices roughly 3 times per week for seafood and fish.
Eggs and dairy are kept to a minimum. Usually no more than two to four times per week and also in smaller quantities. Cows milk is much less consumed in favor of goat and sheep products. Fermented products are favored, like yogurt and kefir, to assist with positive gut bacteria, intestinal health, and immunity.
Staying Hydrated the Blue Zone Way
People in Blue Zones regularly drink clean water, coffee, tea (particularly green & black), kombucha, and wine, particularly red. Alcohol, like with most everything regarding the Blue Zone Mediterranean Diet, is ingested in moderation. No alcohol is probably best.
Moderation – The Blue Zone Mediterranean Diet
Overeating is frowned upon. Many Blue Zone people live by the 80% full rule, also called hara hachi bu. The general idea is to stop eating when you feel 80% full. Of course, consistent, daily exercise (cardio and resistance/weightlifting/isometrics) and balanced lifestyle choices (proper sleep, socializing, spirituality/soul searching, etc.) are also vital to help keep stress and unbalance to a minimum.
For most people, successfully implementing and living the Blue Zone Mediterranean Diet means a reduced need to deal with and manage obesity (childhood and adult) and excessive weight loss and gain. Genes/genetics definitely play a strong role in things, but the overall balanced nature of the diet allows for maintaining optimal weight through a healthy, consistent metabolism. The Blue Zone diet encourages and fosters balance, thus allowing the human body to function at optimal levels for the short and long-terms.
The Blue Zone Meditteranean Diet & Body Type
However, body type matters. More to the point, spinal (vertebrae) extension/posture, muscle mass, and any lack of development thereof. And which of The Four Body Types that you are will further affect variables like skinny/thin fat (normal weight obesity), metabolism, aging, how you experience the obesity weight loss and gain roller coaster ride, affordable healthcare, and your health as a whole.