As you know if you have been reading with me for the month of July, I will be dedicating my blog reading and discussing a book. I have been delighted by "The Blue Zones Lessons For Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest" by Dan Buettner. We have now completed three of the four Blue Zones and the only Blue Zone we have left is Costa Rica. Today, let’s learn about chapter 5: Discovering Costa Rica’s Blue Zone Tortillas and Beans, Hard Work and Something in the Water?
The opening of this chapter is probably my favorite. Buettner has fun with us as he introduces us to the people of Nicoya, Costa Rica. This super friendly village located off the beaten path of most tourist and traveler locations is unique in Costa Rica. Its isolated location, similar to Sardinia, allows for many of the traditional lifestyles to continue and help support longevity practices. It is also different because Costa Rica has high death rates due to stomach cancer, malaria, dengue fever and from the revolution going on there.
It seems that these loving, hard working people are living longer because of their faith in God, commitment to the families, and sense of purpose. Their sense of faith allows them to lay down their burdens at the feet of God because they know God is always protecting them and this gives peace of mind, not stress. Multiple generations of families are living together or are in very close quarters to one another and they support each other in working the land or supporting commerce. This sense of purpose has these centenarians up at 4 a.m. starting their daily ritual and preparing to visit with friends and family in the afternoon and early evening.
In Nicoya there was one interesting environmental factor different from other Blue Zones--the water. The water is considered hard water which means it has a high mineral content. It is especially high in calcium and magnesium. This was of interest to me because in the United States so many people supplement with calcium to support their bodies, and in particular, the bones in old age.