Plant-Based Diet May Be Key to Longevity, According to The Blue Zones Solution

blue-zones-solutionWant to be a centenarian? And not just a centenarian, but a healthy, mentally-sound centenarian? A plant-based diet may be the key.

According to author, explorer, speaker and National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner, some of the world’s longest living people tend to have plant-based diets. His new book, The Blue Zones Solution: The Revolutionary Plan To Eat And Live Your Way To Lifelong Healthhighlights health lessons learned from his trips to Greece, Nicaragua and Japan.

In 2012, Buettner set off to study cultures known for longevity (aka Blue Zones)—and find out what they do differently.

“Diet does tend to be the entrance ramp for better health,” he told National Geographic.

On the Greek island of Ikaria, people eat a lot of potatoes, as well as greens, including a local plant called horta.

In Okinawa, Japan, residents eat a lot of sweet potatoes and turmeric, and have the highest per capita consumption of tofu in the world.

People in the Blue Zones also tend to eat a lot of beans prepared in flavorful and creative ways, Buettner reports.

To take his findings to the next level, Buettner is helping cities become Blue Zone Certified by adopting the ideas outlined in his work. In Spencer, Iowa, one city manager healed himself from kidney disease by adopting a plant-based diet and other Blue Zone changes, Buetter told National Geographic. In fact, six million people have gotten involved with his efforts.

Buettner has written several other books about the Blue Zone concept, but this is the first to put an emphasis on food.

According to his findings, living a long, healthy life (100+ perhaps?!) is really up to us. Clearly we have more power than modern medicine would lead us to believe.

(As a side note, his findings reveal that sex, naps, wine and good friends are also helpful. Luckily, all of those—if you stick with Barnivore—are also vegan.)

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Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief

Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief

A wizard of words, lover of all living things and vegan mac 'n cheese master, Hannah is the Editor-In-Chief and Founder of Her writing has appeared in Live Happy magazine, the Miami New Times,,, and numerous other publications and websites. She's obsessed with Cocowhip, Just Mayo and Dandies marshmallows, and is totally addicted to the outdoors. You can reach Hannah directly at

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