It's a goal for many to live each day to its fullest. But wouldn't it be awesome to live a long life as well? To do so, it's important to stay healthy and strong. Some of the happiest, longest-living individuals have nailed it, and they reside in what's known as the Blue Zones, which includes Loma Linda, California; Ikaria, Greece; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy; and Okinawa, Japan. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), life expectancy for most people in the U.S. is approximately 76.4 years. But what if we told you there are three easy habits you can follow to live longer, according to the Blue Zones founder, Dan Buettner? Read on to learn what they are and what you can do to ward off mortality. When you're through, be sure to check out A 69-Year-Old Trainer Shares the 7 Fitness Habits That Keep Her Looking 25.
What are the three best diet habits to live longer?
In one of Buettner's TikTok videos, he had one great piece of advice to share: "We say, 'Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.' Quit eating by 5 or 6 o'clock at night. You do your body a favor."
Buettner was also asked for three of his best healthy diet tips for those who are looking to live longer and better. Here are the most effective habits he recommended.
1. Eat a big, savory breakfast.
You've likely heard this before, but breakfast is an incredibly important part of your day. It has the potential to make or break your energy and mood. "I think the first thing is to eat a big breakfast—ideally, savory breakfast," Buettner revealed in his clip.
To further Buettner's point, research shows that eating breakfast can boost your physical and mental well-being and improve your overall quality of life. You can seek out healthy, savory breakfast recipes that include certain staples such as steel-cut oatmeal, avocado, eggs, Greek yogurt, berries, nuts, and salmon.
2. Add beans to any foods you like.
Another longevity tip from Buettner? Add beans to the foods you love, because they're an excellent source of protein.
According to the official Blue Zones site, beans are a staple in every Blue Zones diet across the globe. For instance, residents of Nicoya enjoy black beans, the people of Okinawa use soybeans in many dishes, and individuals in the Mediterranean eat a steady stream of garbanzo and white beans, along with lentils. In fact, according to a 2004 study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming 20 grams of legumes is associated with a 7% to 8% decreased risk of death.
3. Have nuts for snack.
Last but not least, enjoy some nuts—and you have many to choose from! Just a handful of nuts (around two ounces) a day for a healthy snack could very well keep the doctor away—and that's about how much centenarians consume, according to the Blue Zones. Consider taking a cue from the people of Nicoya and enjoying pistachios, or opt for some almonds, like individuals who reside in Ikaria and Sardinia.
According to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, individuals who consumed one ounce of nuts five times or more each week were found to be at a 14% decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and a 20% decreased risk of coronary heart disease. Needless to say, whatever kind of nut you choose to savor for snack, you're surely making a healthy addition to your diet.