The Best Drinks Enjoyed By the Healthiest People in the World
Did you know that there are places around the world where it's common for people to live to be 100, or sometimes even longer? The world's Blue Zones are five regions with the highest concentrations of centenarians, and researchers have been looking inside these communities for the secrets of how to live a longer life.
The five regions include Nicoya in Costa Rica, Ikaria in Greece, Sardinia in Italy, Loma Linda in California, and Okinawa in Japan. While all of these regions have unique eating practices based on access and local cuisine, there are commonalities among them all that we can learn from.
There are four drinks that are common among the people in these communities, and we wanted to learn the health benefits of each. Here are the drinks enjoyed by the healthiest people in the world, and for more health tips, make sure to check out The Best Eating Habits of the Longest Living People in the World.
You can breathe a sigh of relief that coffee made the list. Aside from it being a delicious beverage adored by most of the world, coffee has a long list of health benefits as well.
According to the Blue Zones website, Nicoyans, Ikarians, and Sardinians all make coffee a part of their daily routine. And for good reason, too. The website also notes that coffee has been known to help your cognitive health over time and help to reduce the risk of age-related diseases like Parkinson's or dementia.
Coffee has also been shown to help with weight loss, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and helping to reduce your risk of liver disease. It's especially important to note that these health benefits come from black coffee itself and that adding heavy amounts of cream and added sugar can bring opposing effects!
According to the Blue Zones' official website, all five regions drink tea. Okinawans enjoy green tea, while Ikarians drink different types of herbal teas.
Green tea is known for being one of the healthiest beverages in the entire world, with antioxidants and other compounds that help manage metabolism, lower cholesterol, and even help to prevent some cancers.
A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that those who drink tea on a regular basis reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and have a longer life expectancy.
Most people in Sardinia, Greece drink around three to four small, 3-ounce glasses of red wine on a daily basis. This wine consumption may contribute to their long lives, especially because red wine in moderation has been linked to better heart health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, red wine contains antioxidants called polyphenols. These are known to help protect your blood vessels from damage, as well as lower LDL cholesterol.
The key here is moderation, and it's also important to consider the balance of diet and lifestyle. Sardinians may drink red wine, but they also consume heart-healthy foods on a daily basis, stay away from processed foods, and incorporate movement into their daily routine.
All of the drinks listed above come with different health benefits, but there's no point in drinking them if you're not first making sure you're hydrated.
Many people from the Loma Linda community aim for at least seven cups of water a day, but all the regions of the Blue Zones put a heavy focus on drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Drinking water allows your body to regain the fluids it needs, detox harmful toxins, and perform all of its functions properly. As you age, your body's signals of thirst actually begin to decline, so it's important to still focus on getting water throughout your day even if you don't feel thirsty.