5 Drinks That Longest-lived People Enjoy Every Day: Eat This, Not That

These days, life expectancy in the United States has hovered around 77 years, but in the so-called “blue zones” it is considerably longer. Indeed, it is not uncommon for the citizens of these regions, including Sardinia, Icaria, Okinawa, Nicoya and Loma Linda, to live beyond 100 years. So, if you are looking to extend your life, it goes without saying that you ‘want to take a cue or two from their eating and drinking habits.

You will be hard pressed to find processed drinks like sodas, sugary juices, and sports drinks in the refrigerator of a Blue Zone resident. But what you’ll find are some of the following tasty drinks, many of which are chock-full of disease-fighting antioxidants and other key health nutrients. Looking for more blue zone diet tips? Discover the 9 foods that the longest-lived people in the world eat every day.


In all blue zones it is common to serve water with meals, as well as to drink it during the day.

“Water is essential for living longer because it helps the body eliminate toxins, maintain normal blood pressure, transport nutrients, balance electrolytes and increase metabolism,” says Nataly Komova, MS, RD of JustCBD. “Drinking enough water every day can improve your body functioning, increasing your long-term lifespan.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, about 50% to 70% of your body is made up of water. Not only that, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that it helps protect the spinal cord, lubricate and cushion the joints, and ensure that your body maintains a normal temperature.

Of course, not all drinking water is created equal. For example, in Nicoya, a peninsula on the coast of Costa Rica, the water tends to be very rich in bone-strengthening calcium and magnesium. Research has shown that mineral water not only promotes bone health but also aids digestion.


“Coffee beans are rich in antioxidants, polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory agents and may be associated with longevity and a lower risk of chronic disease,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes, senior RD at UCLA Medical Center and author of the new book. Survival recipe.

Sardis, Ikariani and Nicoyan are all known to be daily java drinkers. A 2018 study in Advances in cardiovascular disease found that the habitual consumption of coffee is linked to the reduction of the risks of cardiovascular death, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and stroke—In addition to the improvement of some cardiovascular risk factors, including type 2 diabetes and obesity. Not only that, research has revealed that chronic coffee consumption can protect against some neurodegenerative diseases and is associated with lower risks of liver disease and cancer.

That said, it’s important to note that adding a bunch of sugar, cream, or flavored syrups to your drink can nullify the health benefits of coffee, so do as Blue Zoners do and drink it black. Or, if it tastes too bitter or sour for you, simply add a splash of almond or oat milk.

Red wine and carafe

Some good news if you’re adamant that wine elevates any good meal: Blue Zone residents, especially those in Sardinia and Icaria, don’t tend to deprive themselves of a glass or two of high-quality dry red. In particular, Sardinians are known to enjoy a regional red called Cannonau, which boasts two to three times the flavonoids, antioxidants that help the body reject everyday toxins and other potentially harmful molecules.

According to Komova, red wine contains high amounts of resveratrol, an antioxidant that can help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and prevent damage to blood vessels.

Better yet, a 2018 study in the journal Illnesses found a link between moderate alcohol consumption and lower mortality risk, with the lowest mortality at one or two drinks a day.

Remember, though, that less is more when it comes to drinking wine. If you exceed the recommended glass per day as a woman or two as a man, the health risks may start to outweigh the benefits.

“Although moderate consumption may have some health benefits, alcohol can also worsen some health conditions,” says Jeanette Kimszal, RD. “Additionally, the quality of alcohol in the blue zones may be better than in the US, where wine may contain preservatives and additives that can affect the gut microbiome.”

green tea

According to Hunnes, tea is a staple of the daily diet in many of the blue areas, particularly Okinawa, where residents can be found breastfeeding a large portion of green tea all day.

“Green tea is rich in catechins and polyphenols that exhibit antioxidant properties, which prevent disease by fighting free radicals, regulating cholesterol, stabilizing blood pressure and improving cell division,” says Komova. “All of these benefits extend your life span.”

A 2007 study in Nutrition Reviews found that green tea consumption was associated with better overall cardiovascular health, while another 2017 review in Phytomedicine found a potential link between green tea consumption with better memory.

As an added bonus, a 2013 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking green tea may be able to significantly reduce fasting blood sugar levels, thereby helping prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, epigallocatechin gallate, a specific type of antioxidant in green tea , may help inhibit tumor growth, according to a 2011 study in Cancer metastasis review.

Are you trying to limit your caffeine consumption? You can still reap many health benefits from tea – take a cue from the Icarians and enjoy an herbal blend of anti-inflammatory rosemary, dandelion, and wild sage. Or, try Sardinian go-to: milk thistle tea, which is believed to cleanse the liver.


Green tea may draw attention for its antioxidant content, but don’t underestimate the power of black tea, which research has shown can offer many of the same disease-fighting benefits.

Studies have shown that black tea can increase longevity in many different ways, including by reducing blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of heart disease, improving cholesterol, helping you maintain a healthy gut by promoting good bacteria and inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria, decreasing blood pressure, preventing the spread of breast cancers and reducing the risk of stroke.

To reap all these benefits without potential pitfalls, drink your black tea like a Blue Zone native would: no added sweeteners. If you want to increase the flavor, try adding a squeeze of lemon or fresh mint.

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