Singapore Named ‘Blue Zone 2.0’ in ‘Live to 100’

For greater than 20 years, longevity researcher Dan Buettner has been touring the globe to seek out and examine the locations the place folks are likely to reside the longest, healthiest lives, thriving nicely into their 100s. Over time, these explorations have yielded 5 longevity scorching spots, which he is dubbed Blue Zones: Nicoya, Costa Rica; Loma Linda, California; Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; and Okinawa, Japan. Utilizing his forays into the livelihoods of the centenarians occupying them, Buettner has written 5 books on longevity. However his newest ventures are giving us the deepest dive but into the workings of wholesome getting old: a sixth e book, The Blue Zones Secrets and techniques for Dwelling Longer: Classes From the Healthiest Locations on Earth and a brand new Netflix documentary sequence, Stay to 100: Secrets and techniques of the Blue Zones.

The sequence, premiering August 30, places faces and names to the longevity insights round consuming, train, sleep, and socializing that Buettner has shared over time, following his conversations with residents in each Blue Zone, in addition to in Singapore, which Buettner calls a “Blue Zone 2.0:” a spot the place the federal government has instituted insurance policies designed explicitly to advertise longevity—versus one the place folks have lengthy embraced cultural habits that simply so occur to help wholesome getting old (extra on that under).

Spotlighted within the sequence are the residents of Okinawa, who commonly get pleasure from plant-focused meals, and of Sardinia, who scale near-vertical hills on day by day walks and at all times find time for dinner with household and mates, in addition to the locals of the Nicoyan peninsula, who’re identified to embrace a plan de vida, or explicit life function, as their north star. One other episode takes Buettner to apiaries in Ikaria; and one other takes him to the pickleball courts, kitchens, and worship teams of residents of Loma Linda. It is not till the final installment of the sequence that Buettner makes his approach to Singapore, which he sees because the mannequin for creating extra Blue Zones via infrastructure and coverage.

“The largest alternative with this documentary was to harness the entire scientific analysis that was performed on the Blue Zones and metabolize it into a stunning story,” says Buettner. He was thrilled to work with director Clay Jeter, who directed episodes of Chef’s Desk, to convey the folks of the Blue Zones to life.

“We discovered folks within the Blue Zones, and we distilled the science of why they’re making it to 100.” —Dan Buettner, longevity researcher

Buettner hopes that by getting to listen to straight from the individuals who reside and breathe the ideas of longevity on a day-to-day foundation, those that watch the sequence will higher perceive how and why they reside so lengthy, and really feel impressed to undertake related behaviors. “We discovered folks within the Blue Zones, and we distilled the science of why they’re making it to 100,” says Buettner. However the energy of the present is actually in its storytelling round that science. “One of the best ways to any person’s mind is thru their coronary heart and by telling stunning tales that transfer them emotionally,” he provides.

Why Singapore is deemed a “Blue Zone 2.0” within the new Stay to 100 documentary sequence

In initially figuring out every of the 5 Blue Zones, Buettner discovered that they have been locations the place longevity-boosting habits have been handed down via generations and ingrained within the native tradition—locations the place the atmosphere naturally nudges the individuals who reside there towards the actions that promote an extended life. “The massive perception with the Blue Zones has been that longevity ensues over time,” says Buettner. “It isn’t one thing you need to attempt to persuade folks to pursue; fairly, it occurs the place the healthiest alternative is the best alternative.”

However within the sequence, Buettner reveals that Singapore has change into a long life scorching spot in its personal proper by very totally different means—via proactive coverage modifications and funding in infrastructure that helps a wholesome way of life. “It isn’t the identical class as the unique Blue Zones, however what’s distinctive about [Singapore] is that they engineered a Blue Zone by shaping their atmosphere so the wholesome alternative was not solely simple, however in some circumstances unavoidable,” says Buettner, who first started investigating Singapore in his reporting for a 2017 Nationwide Geographic story about happiness.

For a pair examples, Buettner factors out that Singapore’s authorities has applied restrictions on sugary drinks like soda and presents subsidies to meals companies for together with nutritious substances like complete grains on their menus.

Singapore additionally has common well being care, the standard of which has been deemed one of the best in Asia by the Worldwide Commerce Administration. Medical services are additionally typically included proper into housing complexes, a lot of that are designed to recreate a kampung, or “village” in Malay, the place folks can simply co-mingle—one other longevity-boosting dynamic Buettner explores within the sequence. The federal government additionally presents credit of as much as $30,000 Singapore {dollars} (about $22,000) to folks shopping for houses with or close to their mother and father or married youngsters to encourage familial help.

Transportation and leisure infrastructure in Singapore has solely added to its longevity energy: Extensively out there and cheap public transit facilitates loads of on a regular basis strolling, and many leisure parks—a lot of which supply government-sponsored train lessons—make it simple and nice to spend ample time transferring your physique in contemporary air, says Buettner.

Taken collectively, these government-directed applications and insurance policies show {that a} Blue Zone is feasible to engineer from scratch, says Buettner, which has far-reaching implications for making longevity accessible to extra folks.

2 different key takeaways from Stay to 100: Secrets and techniques of the Blue Zones

1. Romantic partnership is a recurrent characteristic among the many longest-living folks

Buettner has lengthy espoused robust social ties as a key tenet of Blue Zones dwelling—however in filming the sequence, he discovered that romance, specifically, could also be an particularly necessary piece of that. “Visiting Ikaria this time, I had a extremely large epiphany round love,” Buettner narrates within the sequence. “The facility of blissful, dedicated partnerships could appear apparent, however we will’t underestimate how one of these connection can result in an extended, extra fulfilled life.”

One significantly touching vignette within the documentary sequence highlights Panagiotis Kouloulias, 96, and Aleka Mazari, 81, a pair dwelling in Ikaria. These two discovered love later in life, when Kouloulias was a 73-year-old widower. “When my first spouse handed away, I had misplaced my urge for food to reside,” says Kouloulias within the sequence. “I would not discuss, I would not chortle, I would not eat…I fell into items, and [Mazari] introduced me again.”

Kouloulias and Mazari’s relationships demonstrates the ability of a romantic partnership to not solely enhance your happiness, but in addition, to encourage you to partake in wholesome habits, says Buettner. Analysis has proven that we are likely to mirror the life-style behaviors of our companions, so if we’re romantically concerned with somebody who’s participating in longevity-boosting actions all day lengthy, there’s additionally extra of an opportunity we are going to, too.

2. A easy snack can have a huge impact in your longevity

Although Buettner recognized a plant-based food plan as one of many authentic 9 pillars of the Blue Zones, he is discovered within the years since that one widespread piece of that food plan could play an outsize function in longevity—and that is nuts, specifically walnuts. Certainly, an observational examine printed in 2021 that assessed mortality in almost 100,000 folks over the course of 20 years discovered that increased walnut consumption was related to higher life expectancy, doubtless due to the nut’s excessive focus of omega-3 fatty acids.

Within the sequence, nuts get their highlight when Buettner visits Loma Linda, the place many residents are members of the Seventh-day Adventist religion and thus eat a plant-based food plan for non secular causes—which undoubtedly contributes to their longevity. In exploring the diets of locals within the episode, Buettner uncovers that “it is not simply the absence of meat, however the common presence of complete grains, legumes, fruits, greens, and nuts [that makes a difference].”

On nuts specifically, Buettner emphasizes the significance of consuming a handful every single day to up your probabilities of dwelling an extended life. And if walnuts aren’t your factor, know that there are well being advantages to be gleaned from every kind of nuts, that are wealthy in protein and wholesome fat.

Nicely+Good articles reference scientific, dependable, latest, strong research to again up the knowledge we share. You possibly can belief us alongside your wellness journey.

  1. Liu, Xiaoran, et al. “Affiliation of Walnut Consumption with Whole and Trigger-Particular Mortality and Life Expectancy in U.S. Adults.” Vitamins, vol. 13, no. 8, Aug. 2021, p. 2699. Crossref,
  2. Nakaya, Naoki et al. “Spousal similarities in cardiometabolic threat elements: A cross-sectional comparability between Dutch and Japanese knowledge from two giant biobank research.” Atherosclerosis vol. 334 (2021): 85-92. doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2021.08.037

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