If you’re not familiar, Blue Zones are places in the world where most of the population lives longer than the average person. These locations are Okinawa Prefecture, Japan; Nuoro Province, Sardinia, Italy; the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California, United States. While genetics play a part, diet and lifestyle also matter.
Sadly, we don’t all have the money, time, or access needed to eat exclusively whole, unprocessed foods, but there are some store bought foods that can help get you closer to eating like a Blue Zone resident. Here are Sporked-approved products that follow the Blue Zone guidelines. They will please your palate and potentially lengthen your life!
Reminder: I am not a doctor. I am literally just a food writer for a website.
- Canned Beans
Everyone who lives in Blue Zones consumes a lot of beans. Beans are a superfood. They’re packed with protein and low in fat. Plus, they’re filled with fiber. What I love about beans is that there’s an infinite way to add them to your diet. Soups, dips, burritos: the possibilities are truly endless. All that being said, I could also just snack on these Cento Ceci Beans like they’re potato chips.
- Frozen Fish
One of the biggest Blue Zone foods is fish. It’s a great source of protein that’s low in cholesterol. If I lived in Okinawa Prefecture, I’m sure I’d have access to beautiful, fresh raw fish. I, on the other hand, live in Los Angeles (nowhere near the beach) and frozen fish is much more accessible to me. And let me tell you what: C. Wirthy & Co. frozen salmon fillets are just as good as any fresh salmon I’ve ever had. One of these bad boys contains 55% of your daily protein and 80% of your daily vitamin D. The stats are pretty impressive.
- Nut Butter
People in Blue Zones are nuts for nuts and I think one of the easiest ways to incorporate them into your diet regularly is in the form of nut butter. I like to add a scoop of Trader Joe’s Creamy No Salt Almond Butter to smoothies to bulk up my morning protein.
- Vegan Frozen Meals
The greatest common denominator in Blue Zone foods is that they’re plant based. Folks living in these areas rarely consume meat, eggs, or dairy. While you may not want to switch to an entirely vegan diet, incorporating more plant based meals into your life can have great health benefits. For this, Trader Joe’s is going to be your best bet. Their channa masala and Thai green curry are just a couple of the delicious vegan meals from their freezer section. Whether you’re looking to go fully plant based or just add a few more plants to your diet, these vegan frozen meals will be a tasty and easy addition to your menu planning.