Is seaweed key to a longer life?
Did you know there are places in the world where the people live longer? It's not a fairy tale. Dan Buettner, a documentary filmmaker, spent a whole decade traveling to these spots, which he calls "blue zones," to figure out what lifestyle and diet habits keeps these people so healthy and sought to identify a list of "hero" foods. Not surprisingly, Buettner included seaweed as one of them.
Over his 10 years of traveling, Buettner visited and wrote about Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Barbagia region in Sardinia; Loma Linda, California; and Nicoya, Costa Rica and discerned some of the keys to a long, healthy life. Among them, he found that most communities ate very little meat and more beans. He also found that most advised a less stressful lifestyle, with time to focus on friends and family.
According to Buettner's observations, what's most interesting about these communities is that no one among them is actively trying to lengthen his/her life. It just so happens that the cultural or pre existing trends and habits in these areas work in longevity's favor.
"None of these people try to live to be 100," Buettner explained. "They are products of their environment."
As far as seaweed goes, Buettner found its benefits by visiting the people of Okinawa, Japan, where seaweed was a cornerstone in a plant-based diet. Okinawa, he said, has an average lifetime expectancy of 82 years.
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