Beans in the Blue Zones

Eating beans may help you live longer. That’s one message from research on the “Blue Zones,” which are geographic areas where people tend to live the longest. The three areas at the heart of this research are Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and Loma Linda, CA.

People who live in these Blue Zones share a number of lifestyle characteristics. They are less likely to smoke and are more physically active. They enjoy active social lives and close family connections. They also eat beans. Blue Zone researchers recommend eating at least one cup of beans per day, based on 150 dietary surveys of the world’s longest living people. Beans may not absolutely guarantee a long life, but they are an important part of an overall plan to stay healthier.