People In Blue Zones Live The Longest. They Eat This Type Of Food Daily

It goes without saying that some foods are healthier than others as far as the nutrients they provide, how they're grown or produced, and what they offer our bodies. The health factors of countless types of food have been studied for generations. While dietary needs are often based on the individual person or animal, there are certain foods that have been linked to well-being across the spectrum.

There are parts of the world where the average citizen lives well into their nineties – and sometimes even to 100 years or older (nonagenarians and centenarians, respectively). These regions are called "blue zones." Today, there are five blue zones, including Icaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Okinawa, Japan; and Sardinia, Italy, according to Healthline. A couple of the main customs the inhabitants of these blue zones have in common are their largely plant-based diets, as well as their exercise habits. Interestingly, it's been discovered that there is indeed one food they all eat on a regular basis, which has been linked to their extended time on earth.

Blue zone residents eat a lot of beans

The verdict is in: If you want to feel better and perhaps live a few years longer, you should add a helping of hearty beans to your daily diet. On average, blue zone natives eat at least four times as many beans as Americans, according to the official Blue Zones website. To follow the Blue Zone Diet, it's recommended to eat at least ½ cup of beans and 2 ounces of nuts each day, in addition to limiting your fish and meat intake, greatly reducing your consumption of added sugars, and even enjoying antioxidant-rich red wine (via Health).

Thankfully, incorporating beans into your diet is pretty easy, as they are ubiquitous and affordable. Some of the most popular and nutritious beans you can find pretty much anywhere include black beans, garbanzo beans (AKA chickpeas), kidney beans, lima beans, white beans, and soybeans. These taste great in all kinds of bean-centric recipes, whether sprinkled on top of salads, mixed into cozy soups and stews, puréed into savory dips and spreads, or enjoyed by themselves as a wholesome side or snack.

In case you need more to love about beans, they are indeed considered a superfood due to their high nutritional content. They contain plenty of fiber, which helps regulate digestion and fight heart disease and high cholesterol. Beans are an excellent source of protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, folate, and other vitamins and minerals that everybody needs (per WebMD). Beans, beans, the magical fruit...