Fall River Jewish Home

Foods that Support a Longer & Healthier Life

Caregivers in Massachusetts may be far away from any of the Blue Zones where longevity is commonplace. But manyof the lifestyle choices Dan Buettner has explored during his travels through the Blue Zones are ones we can model here in the United States.

What are the most common behaviors that researchers see contributing to longer, healthier lives in the Blue Zones?

Here are six of them that can benefit caregivers and their aging loved one:

1.      No matter what your age is it is important to exercise and keep busy. Pursue activities that help you stay fit and help your sense of wellbeing. Gardening is a great example. It is physically challenging but also helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Talking a walk, even in the brisk Massachusetts weather, is also good for both the
caregiver and care recipient.

2.      People living in the Blue Zones have a vastly different diet than westerners. While we all know how important it is to eat our veggies, residents in blue zones also eat less protein. Research suggests that when we eat more protein than necessary our body just converts that extra protein into fat. Instead, better choices to go with our veggies are whole grains, tofu, and beans.

3.      Vitamin D is critical to good health. It helps control high blood pressure. It is also believed to help prevent cancer, diabetes and even auto immune diseases. Talk with your physician about how much you need. As we age, we often require more. They may want to run some
blood tests to see how yours is before prescribing supplements or a prescription dose.

4.      Your kindergarten teacher had it right when she pulled out your mat every afternoon. Naps are prevalent for people of all ages in Blue Zones. Regular naps of just 30 minutes can decrease your risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 35%. Buettner’s research seems to indicate naps help regulate the stress hormones in your body.

5.      Manage your stress. You must find a way to do that on a consistent basis. Whether it is meditation, yoga, Pilates or running, you need a method that works for you so you will stick with it.

6.      Banish negative thoughts. The hurried, stressful life of a caregiver often makes that seem impossible. But negative thoughts lead to negative behaviors like smoking and drinking too much. Both contribute to a shorter, less healthy life.

What do you think of the Blue Zones way of life? Could you be happy with veggies, beans and grains for your diet? Share in the ‘comments’ section below.

We’re here to answer questions and help you make the best decision for care for you or your loved one. We invite you to reach out and talk with one of our care specialists at Fall River Jewish Home today! CALL 1.508.679.6172, where assistance is just a phone call away.

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