5 Secrets of Centenarians
This nutrition bite reviews the top lifestyle choices centenarians have in common. With a few simple but effective tweaks, you too can promote your longevity, vitality and happiness!
Centenarians are people who live to be over 100 years old. What’s fascinating about many centenarians is that despite their age, they remain physically and mentally strong, and aren’t crippled with age-related diseases.
You may have heard of Blue Zones. There are documented clusters of people who live to 100 years and beyond. Scientists have been studying these clusters in order to discover the patterns to their longevity.
Blue Zones include:
- Okinawa, Japan
- Ikaria, Greece
- Sardinia, Italy
- Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
- Loma Linda, California
The most intriguing thing about centenarians is the lack of formality and measurement in their approach to wellness.
They don’t count calories or take supplements, nor do they look at the number of antioxidants in a given food. They don’t measure their macros or follow identical diets, yet when studied by medical and health professionals alike, they rake in excellent numbers on health measures such as BMI, antioxidant levels, and of course, lifespan.
So what’s the secret to their longevity AND vitality?
Scientists, wellness experts, and health enthusiasts alike all come to one, general conclusion:
They live a clean, minimal-stress lifestyle.
The Top 5 Lifestyle Choices Shared By Centenarians Include…
1. They Eat Mostly Plants
If you could label a centenarian’s diet, it would be “mostly whole foods plant-based”.
You’ll quickly notice that all ‘blue zoners’ eat a diet that’s rich in vegetables. It’s truly part of the fabric of their lifestyle. It’s very approachable too! It’s not a diet that consists of exotic ‘superfoods’ or complex gourmet meals.
Centenarians eat a wide variety of whole, plant-based foods that are local and accessible to them. Think everyday ingredients like root vegetables, leafy greens, beans and legumes, nightshades, soy, herbs, etc.
Because plant-based whole foods are the majority of a centenarian’s diet, this leaves little room for processed foods and refined sugars, both of which we know do little for our health.
2. They Choose High Quality Ingredients
Apart from eating a whole foods plant-based diet, centenarians naturally eat foods that are high quality. This means locally grown, seasonal vegetables without pesticides.
3. They Only Eat Meat And Animal Products OCCASIONALLY
Most centenarians don’t have rigid food restrictions, but when it comes to meat and other animal by-products such as dairy and eggs, they’re eaten sparingly. And when they are consumed, it is only as a small side to a meal, not a main course.
In addition to the portion and frequency it’s eaten being minimal, quality is again a key factor. Since there’s no high demand for a large volume of meat in blue zones, centenarians are able to choose small-business-owned, truly free-range animal products, and avoid factory farmed ones.
The quality and quantity of animal products consumed in blue zones naturally makes centenarians less exposed to saturated fats, as well as common toxins used in factory farmed animals like growth hormones, antibiotics and pesticides.
It’s notable that many centenarians do abstain from meat, however.
4. They Live Actively
As mentioned above, there is little formality in a centenarian’s approach to health, and this includes how they physically live.
Centenarians don’t count the steps they take in a day, carve out a strict gym schedule, nor do they wear smart watches to monitor their heart rate or how many calories they burn in a day. And yet, somehow, they easily maintain a healthy weight and overall lean body body mass.
Even though they don’t track their exercise, centenarians are inherently active in their daily lives, well into old age. They keep moving, whether that be through walking, hiking, or engaging in some other form of physical activity that they truly enjoy.
5. They Choose Optimism
Although the foods consumed vary from each blue-zone depending on what’s available locally in a country, the thing all centenarians have in common that contributes to their longevity is their optimism.
Centenarians believe that a key aspect to their longevity is thanks to their positive outlook on life. 
Optimism, gratitude, and proactively choosing things that make them feel fulfilled have been linked to their longevity. And it makes perfect sense! We all know stress wreaks havoc on our bodies. Going through life with a positive attitude indeed can do wonders for mental, physical and emotional health…just ask a centenarian!