Have you heard of Blue Zones? Blue Zones are regions of the world where a higher than the usual number of people live much longer than average like we are talking easily into their triple digits. The term first appeared in Dan Buettner’s November 2005 National Geographic magazine cover story, “The Secrets of a Long Life”. These regions are known for people not only living into their triple digits but still able to walk around the neighborhood, recall childhood memories, and definitely not on any medications. However, it is possible to still live this way without living in a Blue Zone–it all comes back to healthy dietary habits. This is what the longest living people in the world eat every day.
Overall the idea is not all that surprising. Reduce red meat intake, limit refined sugars and processed foods, choose whole ingredients for the majority of your meals, drinking lots of water, eating beans every day, and throw all the healthy herbs and spices into your meals. But let’s talk about the last one a bit more.
4 Spices to Increase Longevity
This one is probably not a surprise. Turmeric gained popularity quite a few years back as a superfood. What is amazing about turmeric is that it contains a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals, which has been linked to lower risk of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Plus, it has also been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.
Turmeric is a great spice to use when cooking fish and vegetables. It also complements beans, great in soups, and in hummus.
Yes, black pepper. Move over pink Himalayan sea salt, the other part of your duo gets the spotlight. Black pepper is especially good paired with turmeric, as it helps the antioxidants in turmeric absorb into the body better. Additionally, the active compound, pepperine, has been shown to improve cognition and overall brain function.
Who are we kidding, black pepper pairs well with practically everything! “Pass the turmeric and pepper please!”
Yes, we realize garlic isn’t technically an herb but is still a part of the plant family. Garlic works great at being naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial and has been shown to improve overall immune function and longevity.
Garlic is also pretty versatile and works well in sauces, mixed into sweet potatoes, in omelets, on cauliflower pizzas, and on veggies.
Ginger contains two compounds that create an antioxidant effect in the body that reduces free radical damage. Free radical damage is a bit no-no as it can increase oxidative stress, which can both cause obesity.
Ginger is great in tea, green juices, stir-fried vegetables, and added to marinades.
Does your diet include these four powerhouses?