Dr. Purita’s Insights on Netflix’s Hit Show: ‘Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones’

As proof that regenerative medicine and longevity have moved firmly into the mainstream, one of the most popular shows on Netflix right now is called ‘Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones’. The show is hosted and directed by Dan Buettner, who you may know from his New York Times bestselling book, The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.

According to Buettner, Blue Zones are the cities or towns on earth that historically have the highest concentration of centenarians in their population. In his book and in the documentary he identifies five:

Okinawa, Japan

Sardinia, Italy

Ikaria, Greece

Nicoya, Costa Rica

Loma Linda, California

The purpose of the documentary is to discover and share the common traits of these five regions to extract the habits, mindsets, nutritional tips, lifestyle factors and exercise patterns that help the people in these regions of the world exceed the average age of Americans by ten years or more in some cases.

Many of the traits shared by these five regions are things we’ve discussed at PUR-FORM and that I’ve written about here in our blogs.

For instance, each of the five regions puts a heavy emphasis on growing their own food and tending to a personal or community garden. Throughout the show, men and women in their 70s, 80s, 90s and even well past 100 are shown planting foods, working in the dirt, and pulling fresh, nutritious foods, packed with antioxidants, from their own yards to prepare meals.

You’ll recall that I’m passionate about gardening and I’ve written about the anti-aging power of gardening several times, which you can read here:

Gardening: Why Getting Down and Dirty Just Might Increase Your Longevity

Another commonality amongst all of the Blue Zones is an emphasis on exercise, walking and cultivating activities that require daily movement. In many of these regions, it’s common for centenarians to walk as their main means of transportation. They walk to the store, to relatives’ houses, to church and beyond. And many of these towns are built around hills and steep inclines, adding to the daily effort, strength and mobility needed to thrive. The show even features a man over 100 who still herds his own cows, leaps on and off his horse and looks to be “only” 70. Very impressive.

This kind of daily activity and exercise is exactly the lifestyle that we subscribe to and that I try to live by. I’ve even shared stories of my personal fitness journey, like this one:

Why I’ve Traveled 5,000 miles on My Elliptical Trainer

The show also covers many important factors that lead to longevity beyond physical activity and nutrition, including having a sense of community, maintaining healthy, active hobbies and jobs long past the typical American retirement age, and more. 

One of the most astounding aspects of these Blue Zone communities is that they are almost entirely devoid of many diseases and afflictions that affect the aging Western lifestyle population, including no instances of obesity, very few cases of diabetes, and no dementia. If we could eliminate those three issues from America we’d save billions of dollars in sick care costs and extend the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

While we pride ourselves on using cutting edge, high tech strategies to fight inflammation, increase longevity and improve the quality and health span of our lives, this show is a fascinating look at some low tech strategies people around the world use to live longer.


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