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The #1 Best Drinking Habit of the World's Longest Living People

Ordering a bottle of wine might be one of your healthiest options.

A glass of wine can sometimes be the key to having a fun night out, or a great dinner, but did you know that it also could be crucial to helping you live a long life?

Residents of the Blue Zones—five parts of the world where the life expectancy is longer than anywhere else in the world—typically drink one to two glasses of wine on a regular basis, and they're living to be some of the world's oldest people.

You're more likely to live a long, healthy life if you live in one of five places designated as Blue Zones—Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Ikaria, Greece. While these five places are scattered throughout the globe, for the most part, they all share one drinking habit: drinking a moderate amount of wine.

two glasses of wine
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"They all, except for those in Loma Linda, California, drink wine moderately," says Blanca Garcia, a registered dietitian and the nutrition specialist at Health Canal.

But people who live in the Blue Zones don't go overboard when they drink wine. Instead, they drink it moderately, Garcia says that Blue Zone residents specifically will drink around one to two glasses of wine a day, so drinking a whole bottle a day isn't going to be the key to a long life.

One of the things that Garcia emphasizes is that no matter what the world's longest-living people in the Blue Zones are drinking, they're doing it with company.

"Sardinian Cannonau wine is consumed with friends and food," Garcia says. "The Blue Zone residents in Okinawa meet daily and drink sake together. The Nicoyans of Costa Rica consume calcium and magnesium-rich water together."

Of course, each Blue Zone has its own customs and traditions that they associate with their longer lifespans, like eating on the floor in Okinawa, but they also have many things in common — like having a moderate amount of wine on a regular basis.

Garcia says that the antioxidants in wine have components that will help to lead to a longer life, but wine isn't what's keeping the world's oldest people alive for so much longer than those with shorter lifespans. Instead, the wine helps to contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle that is most likely the key to the longevity of those who live in the Blue Zones.

"It seems that this habit alone is not what keeps a person alive, but more so the overall habits of taking it easy, having natural movements, and a support system where they feel safe," Garcia says.

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Erin Yarnall
Erin Yarnall is a freelance reporter from the Chicago area. Read more
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