Food and Nutrition

These New Ready-to-Eat Meals Are Inspired by the Eating Habits of the Longest-Living People on the Planet

Emily Laurence

Photo: Stocksy/Ivan Gener
Even though the five Blue Zones—regions in the world where people regularly live to be over 100 in good health—are located in very different parts of the world, they do have some overlap when it comes to what they eat and how they live. (A robust social life? Check.)

On the food front, something you'll find being integrated into meals on a daily basis is beans.  "The longevity all-star food is beans," Blue Zones expert Dan Buettner declared during a Global Wellness Summit lecture. "If you're eating about a cup of beans a day, it's probably worth an extra four years of life expectancy." Scientific studies back this up: One, published in the Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, found that participants' risk of mortality was decreased by seven to eight percent for every 20 grams of legumes they ate.

The role beans play in every Blue Zone inspired a new partnership between Bush's and Blue Zones, announced yesterday, which includes a line of organic plant-based bowl toppers and soups. (You can buy them as a pack, all together for $15.) The bowl toppers are crafted to pair with your favorite grain, such as rice or quinoa. "Both Bush's and Blue Zones LLC passionately believe that these little legumes, humble though they are, are an important part of a diet and lifestyle that can help people live longer, healthier lives," says Stephen Palacios, the senior vice president of marketing and innovation at Bush's. "That’s why we leveraged the extensive research Blue Zones has conducted on the way people in the Blue Zones live to develop a new line of products that makes it easy for anyone, anywhere to eat more like the longest-living cultures in the world."

Palacios says the four products—white bean vegetable soup, hearty vegetable soup, zesty black bean bowl topper, and curried chickpea bowl topper—were inspired by recipes in The Blue Zones Kitchen cookbook ($19) or their site. "The recipes reflect the core tenants of the Blue Zones lifestyle in that they are 100 percent plant-based, with flavors and ingredients from each of the five Blue Zones found throughout the entire line," he says. For example, some of the other ingredients you'll see used in the Bush's Blue Zones line include kale, tomatoes, and red bell peppers.

However you eat your beans, whether it's through one of these new products or cooking up your own creation, you'll get a meal packed with nutrients. Beans are full of both fiber and protein, which not only provide the body with energy and keep the digestion tract running smoothly but are also key nutrients for feeling full. Besides those two powerhouse nutrients, beans are also a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.

Watch the video below to learn more about the best vegan and vegetarian sources of protein:

It just goes to show you that simple really is best. Combine beans, rice, veggies, and spices and you're creating a meal where literally every single ingredient is full of health benefits. Some days, you may want to play around in the kitchen and come up with your own longevity-supporting meal. Or, on days when you don't have the time or energy, you can grab a can opener and rest assured that someone did the legwork of recipe creating for you. And we have centenarians all around the world to thank for that.

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