Adopting Two Pillars of the Blue Zones with Learning How to Cook

In 2009, a National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner introduced the blue zones. These are five regions in the world where most inhabitants live longer than normal. Since then, these places become an inspiration for many who want to enjoy a quality life for as long as they can. One of the secrets: Cooking classes can help promote longevity, and this post will tell you why.

The Concept of Moai

Some people call Japan’s southern island Okinawa as the land of the immortals for a reason. It has one of the highest life expectancy rates globally.

Most people there live an average of 83.7 years old. Worldwide, men and women have a life expectancy of 71 years old.

Granted, Japan has one of the healthiest diets. Miso is from fermented bean paste that is an excellent source of probiotics—great for gut health.

There’s one concept, though, that is popular among Okinawans. This is moai.

Moai is the term for the social support groups the residents create. It usually has five members who bonded for life and toward a common purpose, a concept the Japanese call their ikigai.

This group helps encourage longevity as members offer resources to those who are in need. Socialisation can also decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. After all, they don’t need to bottle up their negative emotions.

The concept of moai, though, doesn’t have to be exclusive to the Japanese. Attending cooking classes with your family and friends already adopts the concept of your home.

You can take a look at what offers to see which ones will suit the group. Even better, many of these classes are ethnic.

Learning how to cook your native cuisines is one of the best ways to remember your culture and preserve your family tradition.

Consuming a Plant-Based Diet

The regions in the blue zones are nowhere near one another. It spans from Nicoya, Costa Rica, to Loma Linda, California. If there’s one thing that ties them all together, it’s a plant-based diet.

Contrary to popular belief, following a plant-based diet doesn’t have to immediately mean foregoing meat and dairy. Based on Buettner’s pillars, plant-based meals should make up 95% of your diet. What are these?

  • Beans, nuts, and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Berries for antioxidants
  • Assortment of vegetables
  • Fruits

Their diet doesn’t avoid any major food group. They do consume carbohydrates and even fats, but their choices are healthier than the ones of the Western world.

For example, they eat plant-based protein instead of red meat or poultry. They also choose healthy fats like olive oil and avocados.

Attending cooking classes like can already introduce you to plant-based eating. You can begin with many Asian cuisines such as Japanese, Thai, and Indian. Thai food usually uses fresh ingredients while Indian dishes focus on healthy herbs and spices.

The traits of the blue zones do not only help their inhabitants live longer but also enjoy an excellent quality of life. Fortunately, you don’t need to reside in these places to experience the same benefits.

Fun activities including taking cooking classes can already help you achieve two of its pillars: socialization and plant-based meals.