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Healthy Ageing

Dan Buettner Founder and CEO of Blue Zones sets out on quests to find out how we can live longer.

In 2004, Dan Buettner teamed up with National Geographic and hired the world's best longevity researchers to identify pockets around the world where people lived measurably better.

The following videos provide valuable information on the lifestyle of the Ikarians and why they are living longer and better.

The Ikarian way of life

Dan and the team visit Ikaria, Greece to discover why the people there are three times more likely to reach age 90 than in the U.S.

Ikaria is an island where chronic diseases are a rarity - the people have 20% less cancer, half the rate of cardiovascular disease, and almost no dementia!


The Benefits of Honey

The Blue Zones team discover the source of Ikarian honey. The honey started out as an economic need, but now serves as a source of happiness and purpose for this 80-year-old Ikarian man.

Three different honeys have different benefits - one is for anti-cancer, another honey is good as antibiotics and the third honey - Erica Honey is a solid texture honey that contains antioxidant properties.


Mediterranean Diet

Dr Archelle Georgiou introduces us to the Ikarian ingredients of the Mediterranean diet and traces the sources. Her role on the Blue Zone team is to connect the lifestyle of Ikarians to the science of longevity.

Studies show that people who adhere to a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of heart disease and can potentially increase their life expectancy by 6 years.

Greens, Beans, Vegetables and Olive Oils are some of the main ingredients for the Ikarian Mediterranean diet.


Take a Nap

How do naps affect longevity? Scientists say napping lowers the heart rate, reduces your stress hormone and can make you look and feel younger.

  • A short nap is usually recommended (20-30 minutes) for short-term alertness.
  • Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents.
  • Napping has psychological benefits. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation.

Take a nap today and stack the deck in your favour for living longer.


The Centenarians of Ikaria

Dan visits the centenarians of Ikaria to learn their longevity secrets.

102-year-old Yioryos Stamoulos greets Dan with a song with the words that he has not had enough youth yet!

He hates sitting around - he wants to do more work.


Ikaria -through the eyes of an 11 year old

Explore Ikaria through the eyes of an 11-year-old shepherd's daughter and find the ancient secrets of longevity in Ikarian tradition. An everyday girls that loves dolls, draws fairies and plays the flute.

This little girl sees her 93-year-old grandmother every day - a tradition that is not only good for the grandmother but also for the granddaughter.


Longevity Hotspot

How do you determine where a longevity hotspot is?

Blue Zones meets with scientists and writers in Ikaria, Greece. They explain how to confirm a Blue Zone and reveal a few Ikarian longevity secrets.


Goats Milk can reduce stress

What are the exact elements in Goat milk that help people live longer, better? In this video, Blue Zones explains what Ikarians eat that helps them live long, healthy lives.

Goat's milk is high in the amino acid 'Triptafen' that reduces stress hormones and lowers the risk of heart disease.


Ikarian Recipe for Longevity

Discover the 8 major ingredients in the Ikarian recipe for longevity

  1. Wild greens - some of the greens grown in the fields have 10 times the antioxidants than red wine
  2. Herbal Teas - lower blood pressure, decrease risk of heart attacks and decrease chances of dementia
  3. Low sense of time urgency - no watches, work gets done when it gets done. Lower chances of arthritis
  4. Daily naps - 30 min naps 5 x per week decrease the risk of heart attacks by 35%
  5. Mountain living - daily workouts - who needs to go to the gym if you are on the go all the time
  6. Strong sense of community - family and village support; social connections have proven to lower depression, mortality and body weight
  7. Goats milk - rich in lowering blood pressure
  8. Ikarian diet - lots of greens, beans, vegetables and olive oils and low in meat and sugar


Lessons from Ikaria

  • Get your antioxidants!

    Ikarians eat a variation of the Mediterranean diet, which consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and a little fish. One key feature of the Ikarian diet are wild greens, many of which have ten times the level of antioxidants in green tea or red wine!
  • Drink tea!

    Regular herbal tea consumption is common of Ikarian centenarians. Many of the teas here act as mild diuretics, prescribed by doctors to lower blood pressure.
  • Take regular naps

    People who nap at least five times a week for half an hour have 35% reduced chance of cardiovascular disease. Stress hormones also decrease when you are napping.
  • Take a walk

    Make walking part of your daily routine. The hilly land lends itself well to burning calories. The Ikarians exercise without thinking about it just by walking to church or work.

Resources

Information sourced from the Blue Zones website and the videos on YouTube.