The continuity of the “Blue Zone” in Costa Rica is threatened by current lifestyles, in which fast food, sedentary lifestyle, stress and lack of contact with other people, are the common denominators.
Dr. Fernando Morales, director of the National Geriatric Hospital, explained this on Tuesday, when they released the results of an investigation conducted in the “Blue Zone” that is distributed between Nicoya, Santa Cruz, Nandayure, Hojancha, and Carrillo. A team of geriatricians interviewed 43 centenarians and performed functional tests to determine their current health condition, but also to know about the keys for a long life.
I think that the ‘Blue Zone’ is going to be very difficult to sustain because our habits have changed a lot. That is a reality,”
Around the world there are only five blue zones that concentrate populations with high longevity over 90 and 100 years of age: Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, Loma Linda in the United States, Icaria in Greece, and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.
The study done in Costa Rica, which was prepared for at least four years, is one of the few that exist in the world. Some of the findings reveal that most centenarians have a diet rich in grains (beans), corn, legumes, poultry, pork, dairy products (especially cheese and curd), fruits and vegetables. It is also very low in flours and carbohydrates, which is a modest but sufficient diet. In addition, no body mass indexes were found in the obesity range.
This is an important message because sometimes you think you do not have enough money or resources to follow a healthy diet, but with few resources they have followed a more-than-healthy diet that has proven to be successful because they have exceeded one hundred years old. So, the message is you have to avoid junk food, sedentary lifestyle, excessive medication, alcohol, tobacco or drugs. And you have to have a life project, they had one in the agriculture; have an important degree of spirituality, they have it; and be surrounded by people, they coexist with their descendants in a loving environment,”
On the other hand, the diseases that most affect them are those related to visual health, such as cataracts, which affects other aspects such as socialization and integration. They also had high blood pressure, and four of the 43 people had diabetes, four had ischemic heart disease, and nine had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.