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Blue Zones is an interesting project that is focused on documenting and spreading the lifestyle secrets and tricks of the communities living around the globe where we can find the highest concentration of centenarians.
So, scientists have determined five distinctive regions in the USA, Asia, Latin America, and Europe where people reach the age of 100 years. Of course, genes have a certain role, but it seems that these people also practice specific social ties, and family life and they are very physically active.
If you take a closer look at the dietary practices and secrets in these so-called Blue Zones (described in detail in The Blue Zones Solution book by Dan Buettner), you will be amazed at how different their drinking habits are. According to the so-called Buettner Blue Zones Beverage Rule (a type of diet or guideline based on the author’s research of these regions), people need to drink coffee for breakfast, tea in the afternoon, and wine at about 5 PM.
Buettner witnessed an interesting situation in Okinawa, Japan for example. He saw a 104-year-old woman who was preparing jasmine tea while squatting in the corner without any problems. She was also pouring hot water over the herbs which spread a specific floral scent. This traditional Okinawa tea is called shan-bian or scented tea and it combines jasmine flowers, green tea leaves, and a small amount of turmeric.
Don’t forget that many scientific types of research have already confirmed the health benefits of green tea. Scientists are focused on the antioxidants called catechins found in green tea and in certain fruits like cocoa. So, why do so many people in Okinawa manage to turn 100 years or even more? These antioxidants and some other substances found in green tea have the ability to reduce the chances of stroke, a few types of cancer, and heart disease. One recent study suggested that drinking green tea on a daily basis can significantly improve your metabolism.
In case you travel to the Island of Ikaria, Huffpost, located in the Aegean Sea in Greece, you won’t get a chance to drink a tea that contains leaves. People who live in this zone use only one type of fresh herb that they have gathered on their own on the same day. They usually use wild sage, rosemary, dandelion, mint, marjoram, or oregano. What all of these plants have in common are their anti-inflammatory features.
Furthermore, the author of this book says that the samples of the herbs he took on Ikaria were later analyzed by a pharmacologist in Athens. The final results were very interesting – they all showed strong anti-inflammatory properties and they acted as mild or in some cases strong diuretics. This is how they were able to lower the blood pressure. This is also the reason why very few people on this island experience dementia because high blood pressure is one of the main reasons for this vicious disease.
In addition, Thea Parikos, a citizen of Ikaria Island who owns and manages a guesthouse there, almost all of the people on this island use teas and herbs as remedies before they decide to visit a doctor. If they notice that the symptoms are getting worse or they remain, they will visit the doctor’s office.
According to Thea, they drink tea very frequently – when they have guests or even in the evenings. They are all made of wild herbs and no one uses packed teas found in stores. They have always believed that wild plants are the better and more beneficial option.
Did you read that? Instead of going to your local store and asking for Ikarian Tea (of course, there is no tea like that), you can use fresh herbs bought on the market or grown by yourself and prepare a tea with these herbs.
People in Sardinia, Italy, usually drink milk thistle tea. This is a plant that grows on the island for centuries. Buettner has found out that this tea is used for liver cleansing. The main active ingredient in this plant is silymarin an antioxidant that was tested in several scientific studies. One such Blue Zones that took place in 2007 claims that milk thistle can support the efforts to cure certain types of cancer and there are several ongoing studies that are trying to prove that. It appears that the Sardinians, who have been preparing and drinking this tasty tea for hundreds of years, have found out how to create a real elixir of life.
Tea Drinking Tips
If you are planning to include more tea in your diet, it is good to check some of Buettner’s tea-drinking tips:
Drink green tea whenever you want – green tea has about 75% more caffeine compared to coffee and it provides the necessary amount of antioxidants to the system.Don’t be afraid to experiment with different teas like the ones made of oregano, rosemary, or sage.If you want to get a sweeter taste use some raw unprocessed honeyKeep the tea in the fridge when the weather is hot and use a glass bottle to store it.