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  • Writer's pictureNatalija Ugrina

Why Do People in Nicoya Live Over 100? Unveiling the Secrets of Nicoya Blue Zone

The Nicoya Peninsula, a sun-kissed region in Costa Rica, is more than just a paradise of pristine beaches and lush landscapes. It holds a secret that has captivated scientists, health enthusiasts, and travelers alike: it is one of the world's five Blue Zones. These are regions where people enjoy extraordinary longevity, often living active lives well into their 90s and beyond. Let’s dive into the Nicoya Blue Zone secrets and explore the broader concept of Blue Zones to uncover what makes these areas so unique.



Church of San Blas in Nicoya
Church of San Blas in Nicoya

What are Blue Zones?

nicoya blue zone

Blue Zones are regions identified by National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner and a team of researchers as having the highest concentrations of centenarians – people who live to be 100 years or older. These areas include:

  • Okinawa, Japan

  • Sardinia, Italy

  • Ikaria, Greece

  • Loma Linda, California, USA

  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica


Each Blue Zone has its own cultural practices, dietary habits, and social structures that contribute to the inhabitants' longevity. However, they all share common characteristics that form the foundation of their remarkable health and vitality.



The Secrets of Nicoya's Blue Zone

1. Strong Sense of Purpose: Known as "plan de vida" in Spanish, having a clear sense of purpose can add years to your life. The people of Nicoya live with intention, often finding fulfillment in their families, communities, and the work they do.


2. Healthy Diet: The traditional Nicoyan diet is plant-based, rich in beans, corn, squash, and tropical fruits. The locals also consume homemade tortillas and fresh vegetables, providing essential nutrients that support overall health.


Traditional Costa Rican Lunch - Casado
Traditional Costa Rican Lunch - Casado

3. Hard Work and Physical Activity: Many Nicoyans maintain physical activity well into their old age. The region's rural setting means that daily life involves a lot of manual labor and walking, keeping the population fit and active.


4. Strong Family and Social Connections: Family bonds are strong in Nicoya, and elders are often surrounded by family members who provide support and companionship. This sense of community reduces stress and promotes emotional well-being.


5. Sunshine and Vitamin D: The ample sunshine in the Nicoya Peninsula helps residents get plenty of vitamin D, which is crucial for bone health and overall well-being.


6. Water Quality: The region’s water is high in calcium and magnesium, which contribute to cardiovascular health and bone density.


7. Positive Outlook on Life: Nicoyans maintain a positive attitude towards life and aging, which contributes to their overall happiness and reduces stress.


Blue Zones Around the World: Common Threads

While each Blue Zone has its unique attributes, there are common threads that tie them together:

  • Plant-based Diets: Across all Blue Zones, diets are predominantly plant-based, rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.

  • Moderate, Regular Physical Activity: Daily life in Blue Zones involves natural movement, such as walking, gardening, and doing manual tasks.

  • Social Engagement: Strong social networks and a sense of community are integral, providing emotional support and reducing stress.

  • Purpose: Having a sense of purpose or "why" to live can add years to one's life.

  • Stress Reduction: Blue Zone residents have strategies to reduce and manage stress, whether through prayer, meditation, or taking regular naps.

  • Moderate Alcohol Consumption: Some Blue Zones include moderate alcohol consumption, often in the form of red wine, consumed with friends and family.


Visiting Nicoya: A Blueprint for a Healthier Life - Nicoya Blue Zone secrets


If you're planning a trip to Costa Rica, visiting the Nicoya Peninsula offers a unique opportunity to experience the lifestyle that promotes longevity. Here are some top spots to visit:


1. Nicoya: The town of Nicoya, one of the oldest settlements in Costa Rica, is rich in history and culture. Visit the beautiful colonial Church of San Blas, which dates back to the 16th century, and explore the town’s vibrant markets. Nicoya is also known for its traditional festivals and celebrations, offering a glimpse into the local way of life. Don’t miss the chance to try traditional dishes such as “casado” and “gallo pinto” at one of the town’s local eateries.


Church of San Blas in Nicoya

2. Traditional Nicoyan Villages: Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting traditional villages and interacting with the centenarians.


3. Blue Zone Tour: Take a guided tour to learn about the lifestyle, diet, and habits of the local centenarians.


4. Beaches and Nature Reserves: Enjoy the stunning beaches and nature reserves that make Nicoya a beautiful and relaxing destination.


Now that I've visited Nicoya and unlocked the secrets to longevity firsthand, I can truly say it's been an amazing adventure. Walking through the vibrant villages, meeting the spirited centenarians, and soaking up the sun on those beautiful beaches has been an unforgettable experience. I'm excited to incorporate these timeless secrets into my own life and see the positive changes unfold. Why not join me on this journey? Let's live long and live well, just like the wonderful people of Nicoya! As the Italians say, "Cent'anni!


Santa Teresa beach Costa Rica


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19 Comments


Guest
Jul 04

Lovie sight x things along to do wit.

And have to say beyond gorgeous Ms lady 💌 ova Flown wit beautii

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Guest
Jun 20

Hi augrina hope u have a great day love you 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

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SUSHIL HANSDAK
SUSHIL HANSDAK
Jun 20

bhagwan tumhen lambi umar de

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Guest
Jun 17

Beautiful person and beautiful landscape! Love the sloth!

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Guest
Jun 16

Hello

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