Biologically Younger’ People Who Defy Their Real Age Often Have 5 Things In Common

Dan Buettner, the man who popularized the idea that there are five “Blue Zones” around the world where people live some of the longest, healthiest, happiest lives, says people living in those zones all share five common traits.

“It is this interconnected web of characteristics that keep people doing the right things for long enough, and avoiding the wrong things,” Buettner said.

Blue Zone residents, whether they’re home in Loma Linda, California; Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; or Nicoya, Costa Rica, all eat very little meat. Instead, they subsist on a largely plant-based diet filled with beans, nuts, and cruciferous vegetables, which Buettner has written about in a new cookbook.

But that diet, which bears some resemblances to a Mediterranean diet (named the best diet for 2020 by US News and World Report) is only about 50% of the Blue Zones longevity equation.

“It’s the scaffolding, this collagen,” Buettner told Insider. “That keeps people eating the right way for long enough.”

Here are the other four core principles that sustain life in the Blue Zones.

Move regularly, about every 20 minutes – Going to the gym is not a Blue Zones tradition.

“They don’t exercise,” Buettner said. Instead, people in Blue Zones are “nudged” into movement in little bursts throughout the day, by force of habit and, also, necessity.

“They’re walking, or they’re in their garden, or they’re doing things by hand,” he said.

In Buettner’s home state of Minnesota, he credits shoveling the walks in winter, digging, weeding, and watering a garden in the summer with keeping him spry.

“I don’t have a garage-door opener — I open it by hand,” he said. “To the extent that I can, I use hand-operated tools.”

He’s turned the inside of his house into a little mini Blue Zone, too, where he’s getting up and moving all year round.

“I put the TV room on the third floor,” Buettner told me, “So every time if I want a snack, I’d go up and down stairs.”

The technique is one he’s honed by studying life in the Blue Zones.

“It’s being mindful of how to engineer little bursts of physical activity,” he said.

Research has shown that such little energetic busts throughout the day can do a lot for overall fitness. One study published last January showed that even 20-second, vigorous stair-climbing exercise “snacks” spread out over the course of a day could improve fitness.

“It’s a reminder to people that small bouts of activity can be effective,” the lead study author Martin Gibala told Insider when his team’s research came out. “They add up over time.”

In Japan they call it “ikigai,” and in Costa Rica it’s a “plan de vida.” The words literally translate to “reason to live,” and “life plan,” respectively, and both concepts help residents of the Blue Zones feel there’s a reason to get up and do what needs to get done each morning.

Studies also suggest that a sense of purpose in life is associated with fewer strokes and less frequent heart attacks among people with
heart disease
, as well as more use of preventive care.

One 2017 investigation from researchers at Harvard concluded that a sense of purpose in life is associated with better “physical function among older adults,” including better grip strength and faster walking.

Good health and happiness can be contagious, and obesity can too.

In Japan’s Blue Zone, people form social groups called “moai” to help them get through life.

“Parents cluster their children in groups of five, and send them through life together,” as Buettner explained in a recent video. “They support each other, and share life’s fortunes and woes.”

The trend is not unique to the Japanese. In Loma Linda, California, Blue Zoners (many of whom are Seventh-day Adventists) are more likely to share vegetarian potluck meals than meet one another over a Chipotle burrito or McDonald’s fries.

Buettner has created Blue Zones “Projects” across the US, where cities and towns enact policies that change the entire environment people live in.

“We’re genetically hardwired to crave sugar, crave fat, crave salt, take rest whenever we can,” Buettner said. “We’ve just engineered this environment where you don’t have to move. You’re constantly cooled down or heated up … and you cannot escape chips and sodas and pizzas and burgers and fries.”

In cities from Minnesota to Texas, he’s helped create healthier communities where policies favor fruits and vegetables over junk food, people form walking groups to move around town and shed pounds together, and many quit smoking, too.

All of this, he said, adds up to troupes of “biologically younger” people, who not only weigh less but suffer fewer health issues as they age.


Gerald J. Joseph, B.S., M.Ed HealthCoach 

Chronic Gastrointestinal Inflammation:

Chronic disease syndromes like heart disease, type II diabetes and obesity are preventable and in most cases reversible by modifying lifestyle changes and increasing activity such as by walking. Stabilizing blood sugar through nutritional changes is the first step to improve your gastrointestinal track, immune system and brain health.

We do this by reducing refined sugar, all grains, reducing and eliminating altered animal/dairy/fowl proteins intake which feeds opertuneitsc “bad” bacteria that increase gut inflammation.

Gut Health

70-80% of your immune tissue can be found in our digestive system? This means that proper immune system functioning relies heavily on a healthy gut flora. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the gut microbiota (bacteria) found in our gut is critical for regulating our immune systems. They also explain that if there is an disruption to this bacteria, this can cause immune dysregulation which could lead to autoimmune disorders!

My co-evolutionary nutrition recommendations are designed as an anti-inflammatory, fatty acid diet and is not considered a restrictive diet, to Ketogenic diet and both the immune and digestive systems send signals through the blood system, which directly affects brain health.

Synthetic Chemicals

By reducing industrial synthetic chemicals found in food sources such as pesticides, eliminating hormones such as estrogens, testosterone (DES, rBGH) found in livestock consumed, eliminating all highly processed foods with added sugars, sodium,  trans-fats (including partially hydrogenated vegetable oils),  and alcohol, is the first step to reducing gastrointestinal inflammation, stabilizing blood sugar, improving the immune system and feeling fantastic.


The first step to improving gut health includes increasing water intake, and eliminating grains from the diet because of the inflammatory nature of grains and because of their ability to increase blood sugar. Grains today have been hybridized, crossbred and genetically modified making them raise blood sugar at an alarming rate. Grains also were only introduced into man diet about 15,000 years ago, far to short a time for man to have co-evolved with the grain.

Gastrointestinal inflammation

Gastrointestinal inflammation-can include esophagitis, gastritis, colitis – all GI inflammatory diagnoses are named for different parts of the digestive tract that involved area,  and large numbers of white blood cells which are present to counter a perceived threat to the body.

Gastrointestinal inflammation can cause swelling, redness, tenderness, and irritation, while extreme inflammation can form lesions, which may bleed. Individuals with gastrointestinal inflammation may notice symptoms like mucus and blood in the stool, loss of appetite, and abdominal discomfort.

A study published in the 2007 edition of Nature Immunology concluded that allergic and inflammatory diseases may actually trigger autoimmune diseases caused by self-reactive antibodies produced by B cells.

Gastrointestinal inflammation is a symptom of a body in distress triggered by years of consuming high amounts of sugar, grain and animal protein foods which may also contain heavy in metals like mercury, and not consuming enough live plant-based foods which essentially causes you to become malnourished even though you are consuming large amounts of calories.

The Good News 

The good news is that gut health can be improved very rapidly by simple increasing the consumption of clean sources of water, increasing a variety of high plant-based fibrous foods such as vegetables, root vegetables, legumes, whole fruits, bulbs, nuts and seeds, you must eliminate grains, dairy, animal proteins, and by rotating foods. Deep sea water omega-3 fatty acid fish and organic farm fresh whole eggs including the yolk are also excellent gut and brain food.

The good news is really good news because if you make these simple nutrition lifestyle changes and walk a few measured miles a day consistently, (at least 5000 steps a day) you will in no time at all start losing weight, stabilizing blood sugar, the increased fiber will add amazing pre-biotic bacteria into you gut along with no sugar, grain and alcohol, your tummy and life will change for the better.

Unfortunately even advanced centers of medicine fail to draw the connection to the facts that foods can harm the body and yes they can heal the body too.