The 5 places where people live the longest in the world

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The inhabitants of Loma Linda in the United States, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Icaria in Greece, Sardinia Island in Italy, and Okinawa City in Japan share an unusual commonality: they live longer than most people on Earth. These five regions have earned the moniker of "Blue Zones" - a term coined by longevity researchers to identify pockets around the world where people live measurably longer lives.

Luxurious resorts or spectacular landmarks do not mark these Blue Zones; instead, they stand out for their quiet dedication to tradition, unassuming landscapes and exceptional longevity. Here, you will find local farmers harvesting fresh produce, city dwellers walking instead of driving, and a community that values social engagement and a slower pace of life.

This guide will delve deeper into these fascinating locales - exploring their culture, traditions and lifestyle habits that contribute to longevity. While each location has its unique charm and allure, they all share a common thread - an environment that fosters health, wellness and long life. These are places that do more than exist; they teach us how to live.

Loma Linda

Town in🇺🇸 United Statesrated
5

The longevity of residents in Loma Linda, California, USA often exceeds that of their American counterparts, with many living well into their nineties and beyond. Nestled in the Inland Empire region, this city is far from being an obscure, desolate place. Instead, it's a well-developed city with hospitals, universities and a lively downtown area.

The reason for the long lifespan is inextricably linked to the lifestyle and culture prevalent in the city. A majority of Loma Linda's population is Seventh-day Adventists, a Christian denomination known for promoting a healthy lifestyle. Their diet is primarily vegetarian, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Tobacco and alcohol are largely shunned, and a strong emphasis is placed on regular physical activity and a sense of community.

Furthermore, Loma Linda's location provides a conducive environment for longevity. The city enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild winters. This encourages outdoor activities year-round, promoting a physically active lifestyle among the residents.

Explore Loma Linda

Nicoya

Town in🇨🇷 Costa Ricarated
5

Nicoya, a modest peninsula on Costa Rica's Pacific coast, is a less-traveled gem in the realm of global destinations. It is one of the five "Blue Zones" worldwide. In stark contrast to the fast-paced life in major cities, the pace in Nicoya is unhurried and relaxed, reflecting the "pura vida" - pure life - ethos of Costa Rica.

The inhabitants of Nicoya, known as Nicoyans, are primarily Mestizo farmers with a strong sense of community and deep spiritual beliefs. Many are centenarians, a testament to their longevity. They attribute their long lives to a diet rich in locally grown fruits and vegetables, physical activity incorporated into daily life, and an enduring sense of purpose.

Nicoya is not a region of towering skyscrapers or neon lights. Rather, it is a rural area with small towns dotted among rolling hills and forests, intersected by rivers and waterfalls. The peninsula’s eastern side features a coastline with unspoiled beaches and cerulean waters. Wildlife abounds here, including howler monkeys and scarlet macaws, adding to the region's unrefined charm.

It is interesting to note that the Nicoyan's strong ties to nature extend to their water source. The region's water is high in calcium and magnesium, contributing positively to heart health. The combination of a healthy diet, active lifestyle, strong social networks, and a natural environment makes Nicoya a beacon for longevity.

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Icaria

Island in🇬🇷 Greecerated
5

Icaria, an island in Greece, is not just another picturesque location in the Mediterranean. Icaria's landscape is hilly, with a moderate climate that favors outdoor activities and farming - a lifestyle that contributes to the longevity of its inhabitants.

Most Icarians follow a traditional Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil - a dietary regimen associated with lower risks of heart disease and other aging-related ailments. Their lifestyle also emphasizes community bonds and leisurely meals with family and friends, a social culture that contributes to their emotional well-being.

Icaria isn't swarming with tourists; its few thousand residents enjoy a calm and slow-paced life. It's not uncommon to find locals who are over a hundred years old, still participating in community activities, tending to their gardens, or even climbing olive trees. This active lifestyle and their low-stress approach to life are often cited as a reason for their extended lifespan.

Icaria also offers visitors a glimpse into a unique culture steeped in tradition. From the centuries-old Panagia Theoskepasti church to the ancient thermal springs known for their therapeutic properties, Icaria provides an interesting blend of history and health.

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Sardinia

Island in🇮🇹 Italyrated
4.6

Sardinia Island, off the western coast of Italy, is a land of scenic mountains and captivating beaches; it's also an island where people live exceptionally long lives. Its population of just over 1.6 million boasts an impressive number of centenarians.

Sardinians attribute their longevity to a combination of factors. Foremost among these is the traditional diet, rich in whole grains, fresh vegetables, olive oil, and lean proteins, which has been scientifically proven to contribute to good health. The island's rural areas are still populated with small-scale farmers who cultivate their own food, following age-old agricultural traditions.

Away from the popular tourist areas, Sardinia holds a wealth of historical sites and artifacts. Bronze Age towers, known as nuraghi, dot the landscape, offering a glimpse into the island's distant past. Despite its size, Sardinia possesses a distinct language and culture that has survived centuries of foreign influence.

In conclusion, Sardinia isn't just an island of beauty; it's a place where life is lived to its fullest and longest. Its charm lies not just in its natural beauty or ancient history but in the lifestyle and traditions that promote good health and community bonds.

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Okinawa City

City in🇯🇵 Japanrated
4.5

In the vast Pacific, Okinawa City is an understated jewel of Japan, receiving far fewer visitors than its counterparts, [Tokyo](https://humbo.com/jp/tokyo and Kyoto. Yet, it has its own allure that transcends its coastal landscapes and urban pulse. Okinawa City is home to one of the world's longest-living populations, a feat that doesn't just rest on genetic luck but on lifestyle choices deeply ingrained in the local culture.

Okinawans live by the principle of "Ikigai" or "reason for being," a way of life that integrates work, leisure, and community. The city's narrow streets echo with laughter from the local izakayas, where residents enjoy meals with friends and family. The traditional diet here leans heavily on plant-based foods and fish, low in processed ingredients and high in nutrients. This balanced diet and regular physical activity contribute significantly to the locals' health and longevity.

Despite its small size, Okinawa City is brimming with cultural richness. It boasts a distinct dialect, music, and dance - remnants of the Ryukyu Kingdom that ruled these islands until the late 19th century. The people here value a slow-paced life, taking time to appreciate the natural beauty around them and prioritizing harmony in their relationships.

A little-known fact about Okinawa City is its commitment to reducing waste. The city has an effective recycling system, and the local philosophy of "Mottainai," or "waste not" is deeply rooted in daily life. This respect for the environment is another aspect of Okinawa's lifestyle that contributes to its reputation as a haven for long life. It's not just about living longer; it's about living sustainably.

In Okinawa City, longevity isn't a secret; it's a lifestyle.

Explore Okinawa City

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