13 Blue Zone Recipes For Health & Longevity | Elizabeth Rider (2024)

13 Blue Zone Recipes For Health & Longevity | Elizabeth Rider (1)

I love finding simple ways to make healthier choices in everyday life, and these Blue Zones recipes check all of the boxes.

Plus, if these choices help us live to be 100 years old, that sounds pretty great to me!

Blue Zones are areas around the world where people tend to live the longest. They don’t just have longer lifespans, they have longer healthspans, which means they are healthy and able-bodied for much of their lives, even into their elder years.

Introducing these Blue Zone recipes into your kitchen is easier than you may think.

What Are The Blue Zones?

The idea of a longevity diet has intrigued researchers for years as they’ve tried to nail down why people in some parts of the world live longer than others.

Even more, people in these areas do not focus on strict dieting. They focus on whole, regional food and nothing is off limits so long as it doesn’t come from a lab.

The term “Blue Zone” first appeared in a National Geographic story by author Dan Buettner back in 2005 called, “The Secrets of a Long Life.” He coined the term and has done wonderful work to educate people about the benefits of the Blue Zones’ way of eating.

The article highlighted five places around the world with the highest number of centenarians or people who live to be 100+ years old.

The 5 Blue Zones Are:

  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
  • Ikaria, Greece
  • Loma Linda, California (specifically, a group of Seventh-day Adventists)

Food Secrets of Blue Zones

What do people eat in the Blue Zones? Some of the basic food secrets of Blue Zones include:

  • regularly eating legumes like chickpeas, beans, and lentils, up to 1 cup every day
  • eating whole, unprocessed grains; choose sourdough or 100% whole wheat breads
  • eating fresh, local vegetables or greens daily
  • moderately consuming healthy fats from foods like olive oil, fish, unprocessed dairy, and some meats
  • minimizing (but not eliminating) meat & dairy, meat and/or dairy is often consumed as a celebratory food or a small side dish; it’s also used to flavor other dishes
  • walking a lot; natural movement is part of daily life in the Blue Zones with no gyms necessary
  • red wine is consumed in moderation; however, if you don’t drink there’s no reason to start
  • enjoying food and meals with family and friends; community is key and perhaps even more important than some food choices

The Mediterranean Diet is a good representation of foods popular among the longest-lived people. It’s centered around fresh ingredients that are readily available instead of processed foods that are popular in many modern households.

Something I love about the concept of “The Blue Zone Diet” is that nothing is off the table. It has nothing to do with being gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan. All things are ok in moderation, as long as they didn’t come from a lab and you’re not allergic to it.

Fish is fine. So is alcohol, especially red wine, when consumed in moderation. However, the majority of the diet is plant-based.

What is the best thing about Blue Zone recipes? The best thing about Blue Zone recipes is that they’re easy and full of whole foods. Ingredients are locally sourced with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables.

Top 13 Blue Zone Recipes

Easy Baked Lemon Garlic Salmon Recipe

This easy-baked lemon garlic salmon recipe is melt-in-your-mouth delicious and requires just a few ingredients. Get ready to fall in love with your new favorite (Blue Zone Recipe Approved!) weeknight dinner.

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea Recipe (Golden Milk)

This turmeric tea, or golden milk for its bright yellow color, is all about healing inflammation and bringing a moment of mindfulness to your day. Reducing stress is a cornerstone of Blue Zone lifestyles.

This tea’s anti-inflammatory properties have proven health benefits going back to ancient India. It’s delicious, too. If you like chai tea lattes, you’ll love golden milk. I go for plant-based milk to cut any bitterness and to keep this one dairy-free.

In the Blue Zones, turmeric is a big part of Okinawan diets, used in everything from their teas to spice in their daily meals. We like to sip a small cup (3-4 ounces) before bed.

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How to Make Chia Pudding

While chia seeds do not originate from one of the 5 Blue Zones, they are still considered Blue Zone approved! Chia seeds are high in protein, full of fiber, and a great source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, chia seed pudding is easy and delicious.

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Pineapple Spinach Smoothie Recipe

This spinach smoothie is not only good for you, but it’s also absolutely delicious! It’s packed with vitamin C, essential minerals, fiber, plant enzymes, and hydration. If you love it please leave a star rating in the comments below to help other readers in our community.

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Easy Rainbow Fruit Salad Recipe

This easy fruit salad recipe is quick to make and full of nutrients and flavor. Plus, it’s beautiful. It’s a Blue Zone recipe that everyone will love.

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Healthy Mango, Avocado & Cucumber Salad

I Can’t. Stop. Eating. This. Mango, Avocado & Cucumber Salad. The flavors and textures in this salad are perfectly balanced, which is pretty exciting because it’s as good for you as it is delicious. Not only does it taste great, but this flavor-packed saladis ultra-hydrating, making it perfect to eat all year long.

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Everyone’s Favorite Vegetarian Chili Recipe

This classic vegetarian chili is a cool-weather staple in our house. It’s also super flexible! Add extra chopped carrots or peppers (or veggies), or an extra can of beans if you’d like. Top with your favorite chili toppings and you have a perfect meal (with leftovers for days). Minimize the cheese and sour cream to use this as a Blue Zone Recipe.

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Kale & Sweet Potato Hash Recipe For A 15-Minute Healthy Breakfast

Once you get the hang of how quick and easy this Kale & Sweet Potato Hash recipe is you’llwonder why you haven’t been making it for years. I usually have a smoothie for breakfast, but when I’m craving something warm and savory this is one of my healthy go-to’s.

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Layered Ratatouille Recipe {It’s Easy!}

This gorgeous, good-for-you baked ratatouille dish is super easy to make! I cook it low and slow for the best texture, but the hands-on time is minimal. Serve it warm out of the oven with a crusty baguette on the side – and maybe a sprinkling of fresh Parmaman cheese. Or try it over quinoa or farro. It’s delicious when paired with a cooked protein, like roast chicken.

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Loaded Veggie Hummus Wrap: The Perfect Lunch

This Loaded Veggie Hummus Wrap Recipe makes 2 to 4 (or more) wraps depending on how big your veggies are when you chop them. Be creative and use what you have on hand. Try to combine smooth textures with crunch textures, and don’t forget to dress your greens before adding them.

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Easy, Healthy Minestrone Soup Recipe

It doesn’t get any more Blue Zone Recipe approved than a big bowl of vegetarian minestrone soup! This soup is packed with healthy veggies and beans. Use whole wheat pasta noodles if you prefer to keep it ultra-healthy.

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Easy Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

This traditional red lentil soup recipe with lemon is the best lentil soup we’ve ever tried! It’s full of nutrients, fiber, protein, and hydration. You’ll want to make it over and over again.

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Buddha Bowl Recipe with Spicy Black Beans

We love this spicy black bean Buddha Bowl when we have extra rice or beans in the refrigerator to use up. The ingredients are flexible—add more or less of whatever you have on hand. This recipe is a great way to create your own Blue Zone Recipe and use up any rice, beans, quinoa or veggies that you already have prepared.

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A Final Word On Blue Zone Recipes

The Blue Zone diet is less about a diet overhaul and more about embracing the freshness around you. Eat local, recipe-planning based on what’s in season, and you’ll find yourself in line with those Blue Zone principles almost accidentally.

Personally, I love that it’s about looking at the whole person and reducing stress not only through food but through your mindset. That idea of little changes that connect back to an overall healthier lifestyle is something I explore in my book, The Health Habit.

What are your favorite Blue Zone strategies? Have you tried any of these recipes? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

13 Blue Zone Recipes For Health & Longevity | Elizabeth Rider (2024)

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