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What is the secret to longevity – or the secret knowledge of the people of the Blue Zones?

I believe there aren’t many around who would not be interested in, or rather, concerned about the question and the secret of longevity, the mysteries surrounding it and also the explanation of “Blue Zones”, the areas where people tend to live a longer life.

Recently we visited an extraordinary venue, the salon of Navona Brand, where I had the chance to give a presentation on fashion, travel and the secret of the Blue Zones. Ever since mankind has existed we’ve been looking for the secret of longevity or to live forever and an elixir, that would make these come true.

There have been thousands of research projects even nowadays that focus on the topic. One of the most well known figures of contemporary research is Dan Buettner, a Briton, who travelled and studied all these regions and published his work.

The regions called Blue Zones are basically five distinct areas. Good news is, that two of these are in Europe, two southern islands, where health abounds. It is a well-known fact, that those living in these regions reach 100 years of age or above 100-times more often than others, moreover, it happens quite often that men over 90 are fertile, work throughout the day and sleep sound afterwards.

  1. The most well-know Blue region is Okinawa, Japan, where the average life expectancy is even higher than in other Blue Zones. /No wonder that the renowned Kangen water device that hydrogenates water is exactly form here./ Among the secrets of the islanders are tradition, culture, the respect for the elderly, focus on, depth and quality of family and social ties. Of course the topic is more complex than this. For example the natural environment, routines, lifestyle and many other factors play a role. Though the study focused on the distinguishing factor.
  2. In Europe, on the Greek island of Ikaria it is supposed to be the afternoon siesta and the consumption of herbal teas (especially with diuretic properties) seem to make the difference.In Sardinia, on the other hand, locals believe that gardening and exercise are the keys to longevity. Besides walking long distances, locals enjoy the benefits of sunshine, the sea and a calm and balanced lifestyle.
  3. In America there is Loma Linda, California. Here most of the locals are Seventh Day Adventists, where rules on healthy living are prescribed. Among them vegetarians tend to live a longer life.
    1. In Costa Rica religion and an optimistic attitude on life are also important, strong faith and good humour go hand in hand here with fresh, luscious fruit in the diet. There is also a person called the ambassador of health who pays annual visits to families to make sure they are healthy mentally and physically as well. It is important to mention that those who live the longest are from among the poorest. I believe that this is due to less materialistic thinking and a free, less obliged attitude.
  4. As a summary, I would like to mention that – besides California – all of the Blue Zones are located on islands. The undeniable benefits of the sea and the sunshine are probably just as important as isolation from the external harmful influences and being barred from civilization to protect the natural cleanness.

If we consider happiness as a factor – which, as we all know is one of the keys to health – there are three countries we should mention here. One of them again, is in Europe, and based on the climate, you’d probably never guess that it is Denmark, where thanks to state politics and the educational system, the people are said to be very satisfied. Denmark was the first country in Europe to allow the education of girls and nowadays the government pays for students in higher education. There are less rigid social clusters and it probably comes as a surprise to most that the salaries of a lorry driver and a lawyer are nearly the same. The trust in safety and society is such that moms leave the prams in front of cafés and shops with their babies inside.

In terms of happiness there are probably Singapore and Thailand that take the first place, where religion and spirituality also play an important role. In case of Singapore this is also due to the wonderful government that supports a high standard of living, the smooth blend of cultures, the sustained peace, the lack of corruption and the acceptant, positive way of life.

If we compare the features of these different cultures on different continents, we can see that spiritual well-being, happiness and the light feeling of freedom that comes with it are necessary for a long and fulfilled life.

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