The rugged, beautiful Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica was named one of the world’s Blue Zones—where people live the longest. While you may not be able to visit soon, you can take a few pointers from the centenarians who live there.
- Water—Nicoya’s water has Costa Rica’s highest calcium content. Primarily, calcium strengthens bones and prevents falls from being serious.
- Family — Centenarians tend to live as a couple, with children or grandchildren from whom they get support.
- Faith — All but one centenarian we interviewed in Nicoya had a strong belief in God. They relinquished the pressures of the day to a higher power. Their faith provides relief from stress and a connection with their community.
- Fruit — People eat many wildly exotic fruits ultra rich in antioxidants, including papaya and citrus they they eat all year long.
- Nixtamal – Nicoya’s core diet, corn soaked in lye with beans, dates back 3,500 years and creates a compound called nixtamal. It’s a complete food high in niacin, calcium and amino acids.
- Lifelong Work – Centenarians seem to have enjoyed physical work all of their lives. It was their main form of exercise and they did it almost every day.
- Plan de Vida – Successful centenarians have a passion for living and a clear purpose. They feel needed and want to contribute to a greater good beyond just themselves.
- Happiness – Costa Rica scores near the top of international well-being surveys. Happy people have higher levels of endorphins and stronger immune systems. They’re interesting, interested in others and keep learning throughout their lives.