It seems like every year another country’s lifestyle is touted as the new magic bullet to cure us of obesity, heart disease, and premature death: For an unclogged heart, herd goats and down olive oil like a Mediterranean. Avoid breast cancer and live to 100 by dining on tofu Japanese-style. Stay as happy as Norwegians by hunting elk and foraging for cowberries.
The places we’re usually told to emulate are known as Blue Zones or Cold Spots. Blue Zones were pinpointed by explorer Dan Buettner and a team of longevity researchers and are described in his book “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.” They’re areas in Italy, Japan, Greece, California, and Costa Rica where the people have traditionally stayed healthy and active to age 100 or older.
Similarly, Cold Spots, as identified by integrative medicine physician Daphne Miller, M.D., author of “The Jungle Effect,” are five areas in Mexico, Iceland, Japan, Greece, and Cameroon with low rates of “Western” ailments like heart disease, depression, and certain cancers.
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