Buettner supports the plant-based boom, especially considering the longevity study. In a 2022 PLOS Medicine study from the University of Bergen in Norway, eating more plant-based diets like legumes, whole grains, and nuts and less red and processed meat boosted life expectancy by 11 years for women and 13 years for men.
Vegetables taste bad? Buettner thinks cooking method and ingredients matter. He claims spices, herbs, and fat make vegetables taste wonderful. In the Blue Zone, fat usually means olive oil. Dried savory herbs are his cupboard staples for delicious dinners (like parsley). Buettner always keeps nuts and whole grains on hand.
Simple healthy meals work. Eating healthy is easier than you think. “The cheapest ingredients tend to be the healthiest,” adds Buettner, whose favorite grocery store department is the dry beans aisle. Blue Zones cook with peasant ingredients like beans, whole grains, greens, and tubers because they aren't rich.
He claims that a Crock Pot or Instant Pot can accomplish much. I love the Instant Pot because most longevity recipes don't require hours of baking. Most Instant Pot recipes take minutes to make. You press a button, come back 20 minutes later, and you have 10 frozen meals.
Most breakfast foods have added sugars or saturated fat, making them unsuitable for a longevity diet. Buettner recommends soup for breakfast.
Although what you eat is important, living long is more than that. Buettner also recommends walking for lifespan. "Ideally, you live in a walkable community." “You workout more than people think.”
Long, fulfilling lives require community and social engagement. “Living in a place where you're going to bump into people and have spontaneous social interaction [makes a huge difference],” “There's some research that suggests that just conversations with a random neighbor or your postman
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