How this new cookbook can help you live a longer life

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Longevity is an issue that deeply concerns many people, especially in a country like the United States, where heart disease, diabetes, and cancer exist in such devastating numbers. People want to know the secrets to living a longer life, and many of the answers lie in other parts of the world.

The Blue Zones are five regions in the world with the highest concentration of centenarians and supercentenarians. These regions are Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Icaria in Greece, Loma Linda in California, and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.

Many people want to know how to live longer and healthier lives like in these communities in a place where longevity sometimes seems impossible. To better understand this, we turned to an expert Dan Buttner, founder of the Blue Zones, National Geographic explorer and New York Times best selling author

We were lucky enough to speak with him about his new book. The American kitchen in the blue zone, containing 100 longevity recipes collected from chefs across the United States. Read on to learn more about how cooking some of these Blue Zone-inspired recipes can help you change your life for the better.

RELATED: 7 Eating Habits To Steal From The World’s Longest-Living People

What is ‘The Blue Zones American Kitchen’ cookbook?

“I wrote the Blue Zone Kitchen a few years ago, as a kind of manual on how to eat ‘Blue Zone’ style,” says Buettner. “But some of the comments came through like ‘well this is outside the United States, I live in the United States. I don’t live in Sardinia or Okinawa’”.

But what Buettner quickly discovered is that, with the exception of the Loma Linda Adventist Community, there are really no American Blue Zones. In fact, it appears that many American eating patterns are doing far more harm than good, with “the standard American diet killing 680,000 people each year,” Buettner says.

“I spent 150 hours in the NYU archives with a researcher, and we conducted dietary surveys over the last 150 years to find out if anyone in the United States had eaten in a Blue Zone pattern,” Buettner says. “While I didn’t find it among my European ancestors, I did find it among Africans, Asians, Native Americans, and Latin Americans.”

Buettner wanted to learn more about these culinary practices, especially since it seemed that many of these practices had died out a bit.

“So I connected with chefs who still cook this way, or chef historians who could recreate it. We found 55 chefs between Maine and Miami; and Maui and Minnesota,” Buettner says. “This book captures the culinary genius of Americans across these four ethnicities by taking these healthy practices, unleashing centuries of culinary genius, and making these phenomenal recipes. These are recipes that have been cooked by real people for generations.”

What a ‘Blue Zone’ Pattern Implies


Buettner’s new book is made up entirely of plant-based recipes. This is because the Blue Zone way of eating includes whole food plant-based dishes, very small amounts of meat, and complex carbohydrates.

“The mainstays of all longevity diets in the world are whole grains, wheat, rice and corn, vegetables, sweet potatoes, nuts and beans. Very little cheese, very few eggs,” says Buettner.

To many, this way of eating may seem intimidating, but Buettner promises that making these sustainable changes is much simpler than you might think. It’s especially much less complicated than many of the diets or programs that people try to start in the New Year.

RELATED: 5 Diet Secrets Of The World’s Longest Living People

How to get started with the ‘Blue Zone Way’

smiling woman cooking

We know that starting something is much easier said than done. That’s why many of us think about making healthy changes to our diet or exercise routines, but sometimes find it difficult to do so. With this in mind, Buettner shared what her advice would be for someone wanting to start living a healthy, plant-based lifestyle.

“Get a book like this. Sit alone or with your family. Take Post-it notes and identify 12 recipes that you think you would enjoy. If one looks gross, don’t do it. For your New Year’s Resolution, just cook those foods,” says Buettner. “Why? Because you’ll get the experience of buying these things and you’ll get the experience of doing it. So instead of putting all the time and money and effort into some program, just for the first three weeks of the year, cook 12 plant-based dishes. That’s how you start.”

Getting started with this way of eating is not only quite simple, but Buettner also emphasizes the health and longevity benefits associated with eating this way.

“The easiest brain-shutting diet is single-ingredient plants. You will lose weight. Your chance of developing heart disease will drop by a factor of four. Your chance of diabetes will be reduced by almost 100%. Your chances of cancers in the GI track go down,” he says.

A delicious recipe from ‘The Blue Zone American Kitchen’

The American kitchen in the blue zone is packed with 100 delicious plant-based recipes you can make for yourself or the whole family to enjoy. They have a variety of culinary cuisines that can impress any palate.

Here’s a sample recipe to give you an idea of ​​what you might expect from the book:

Hawaiian Fresh Fruit Tacos

What you will need:

  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mango
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
  • 1 cup chopped coriander
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 pieces of fresh Hawaiian chili
  • 2 cups of avocado cut into cubes
  • 12 soft corn tortillas
  • Sea salt
  • moringa flakes
  • hot sauce (optional)

How to prepare:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, mango, white onion, green onion, tomatoes, cilantro, salt, lime juice, and chile. Stir to mix well.
  2. Heat the tortillas on a baking sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for one to two minutes.
  3. Fill the tortillas with the fruit filling and add the avocado, dividing evenly.
  4. Sprinkle moringa flakes over the fruit and add hot sauce, if using it.

“The most important ingredient is always flavor,” Buettner says, in terms of what is essential to any type of diet or diet for longevity. “At the end of the day, if it’s not something you’re going to do long term, I mean decades, don’t waste your time. When it comes to longevity, there is no short-term fix.”

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