Research into ‘Blue Zones’ shows how a healthy Mediterranean breakfast, including extra virgin olive oil, could help you live longer.
Updated February 9th 2023
- A healthy breakfast is one of the most important things you can do for your body, and according to new research, it could also be the key to a longer life.
- A recent study has shown that starting your day with a healthy Mediterranean diet breakfast could help you live longer. The study, which looked at so-called “blue zones”, areas where people tend to live longer, have healthier lives and have a lower incidence of chronic diseases, found that a healthy Mediterranean diet breakfast, including extra virgin olive oil, may be one of the key factors.
- The Mediterranean diet is high in healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to have many health benefits including a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- The healthy fats in extra virgin olive oil can help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation, both of which are important for longevity.
- So, if you’re looking to add a few extra years to your life, start your day with a hearty Mediterranean diet breakfast, a plate of eggs, avocado, and whole grain toast drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and you could be well on your way to a long and healthy life.
- What Are ‘Blue Zones’
- Where Are These Blue Zones?
- Blue Zone Diets Are 95-100 Percent Plant Based
- Starting The Day With A Healthy Mediterranean Breakfast
- A Shot of Extra Virgin Olive Oil In The Morning
- Polyphenols: The Magic Ingredient In Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- So How Much Extra Virgin Olive Oil Should I Take Each Day?
- Benefits Of Olive Oil
What Are ‘Blue Zones’
‘Blue zones’ have identified the world’s most extraordinary cultures whose health and longevity and happiness are outsized. People in blue zones didn’t have to embark on a special program to transform their lives. Luckily for them, they live in places where moving naturally all day, eating healthy, and connecting with neighbours is the norm.
The blue zone areas of the world share and benefit from a set of habits and practices that—together—increase longevity, health, and happiness. The benefits of these sets of behaviours and outlooks include:
- Longer, healthier life. Not just longevity for the sake of a number, but vitality. Engagement with family, friends, and daily routines into your 90s and beyond.
- Lower rates of chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, depression, and dementia.
- Quality relationships: part of the key to a life in alignment with blue zone habits is active engagement with community, friends, and family. These relationships work in a virtuous cycle of happiness and health: spending quality time with others is not just enjoyable in the moment but it contributes to your overall health and that of your circle, too!
- Adding life to your years, while adding years to your life. All of the Power 9 components help you to build a longer AND better life.
- Life satisfaction increases when you have a purpose and are engaged in a spiritual practice. Both of these are important to your quality of life and how you demonstrate outwardly your health and well-being.
Where Are These Blue Zones?
The original five blue zones can be found all over the planet, demonstrating how we can live healthy lives no matter what climate or country we are in. It’s now a solution in almost 50 communities around the USA and has been able to improve population health and reduce healthcare costs in a ground breaking way.
Blue Zones Projects are places where whole communities come together with guidance to encourage all community members—as well as local policies and infrastructure—to grow into thriving places where the healthy choice is easy. So where are some of the current projects?
- Albert Lea, Minnesota (the first location, where lifespan and community physical activity rocketed up and has stayed for a full decade)
- Beach Cities, California (where childhood obesity declined by 50%, smoking declined by 17%, stress by 8%)
- Fort Worth, Texas transformed from one of the unhealthiest cities in the nation (the city’s well-being rank rocketed to 58th from 185 out of 190 in the nation)
These Blue Zones Project communities have shown that the benefits of blue zones can be built from the ground up.
Blue Zone Diets Are 95-100 Percent Plant Based
People in the blue zones eat an impressive variety of garden vegetables when they are in season, and then they pickle or dry the surplus to enjoy during the off-season. The best-of-the-best longevity foods are leafy greens such as spinach, kale, beet and turnip tops, chard, and collards. Combined with seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans dominate blue zones meals all year long.
Oils derived from plants are all preferable to animal-based fats. Olive oil is the one most often used in the blue zones. Evidence shows that olive oil consumption increases good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol.
Blue zone research in Ikaria Greece, found that for middle-aged people, about six tablespoons of olive oil daily seemed to cut the risk of dying in half.
Starting The Day With A Healthy Mediterranean Breakfast
Based on the findings of author Dan Buettner, whose pioneering research on longevity hotspots or ‘blue zones’ lifts the lid on how we can potentially extend our life quality and duration, the article recommends a breakfast of foods which reduce blood pressure and cholesterol as one of 4 key choices.
The Mediterranean diet, which includes an emphasis on healthy ‘monounsaturated fats’ found in foods such as extra virgin olive oil, is known to help prevent a wide range of diseases such as cardiovascular disease or stroke.
Also listed in the article, entitled 4 Morning Habits of the Longest-Living People in the World, are:
- Finding your ‘ikigai’ (the Japanese concept of what drives you to get up and out of bed in the morning.
- Enjoying a cup of morning coffee – ideally with a plant-based milk alternative and natural sweetener.
- Say something nice to the first person you see. Self-explanatory this one but Buettner starts each morning by literally complimenting others.
A Shot of Extra Virgin Olive Oil In The Morning
If you like the sound of Buettner’s teachings and want to incorporate a Mediterranean start to your day, one of the best ways to do so is by drinking a shot of extra virgin olive oil, first thing in the morning. This is a quick and easy way to boost your daily intake of antioxidants and healthy fats.
Polyphenols: The Magic Ingredient In Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The level of polyphenols present in Morocco Gold varies slightly from year to year, depending on a range of factors, weather, time of harvesting and processing etc.
This year we are pleased to say the level of polyphenols is the highest we have yet seen. Our latest harvest polyphenol content is 644mg / kg.
So How Much Extra Virgin Olive Oil Should I Take Each Day?
Each Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil bottle size is 500ml (16.9 fl.Oz.USA). There are around 35 tablespoons in each bottle (1 tbs. = 14.3ml).
What Is In 1 Tablespoon Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
- 120 calories
- 10 grams of monounsaturated fat
- 2 grams of saturated fat
- 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat
- 1.9 milligrams of vitamin E (10 percent of Daily Value)
- 8.1 micrograms of vitamin K (10 percent of DV)
European Food Safety Agency Recommendation
The European Food Safety Agency regulation states that extra virgin olive oil with a polyphenol level of 250mg / kg and above can make health claims. However, it is also very specific about which polyphenols this applies to. It specifically states that this must include hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives, (oleuropein and tyrosol). So long as these polyphenols are present, the beneficial effects can be obtained with a daily intake of around 20ml of olive oil.
At this level of polyphenol, 1 tablespoon will have around 7.1 mg/kg (250 / 35) So to get the health benefits you would need to take around 3 tablespoons per day.
Because the concentration of polyphenols in Morocco Gold is much higher than the standard, you will get the associated health benefits with around 2 tablespoons per day.
Due to the numerous health benefits of extra virgin olive oil it is typically used in cooking,but eating or drinking it raw is even healthier. A lot of health experts recommend drinking extra virgin olive oil in the morning, here’s why:
Benefits Of Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Helps in Weight Loss
The idea of consuming olive oil this way comes from the Mediterranean diet, which, despite its share of naysayers, has been found to be effective. Olive oil has an acid called oleic acid, which gives the feeling of fullness and promotes the feeling of satiety.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Aids Detoxification
The idea of a digestive cleanse has been denounced by some health experts. But as per few experts, an olive oil and lemon detox cleanse has benefits for the digestive system in the short term.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Helps Prevent Colon Cancer
According to various studies, drinking extra virgin olive oil may prevent the formation of free radicals in the body, and reduce the incidence of colon cancer. This is because olive oil is full of antioxidants.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Help Promote Healthy Skin
Anything full of antioxidants is always great for the skin. Just like Vitamin E, antioxidants also slow the ageing of skin. Olive oil has an abundance of both of these.
So now you know! All you need to do, to make the most of this amazing morning tonic, is to take the juice of a ripe lemon and add it to a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and drink it up! The better the quality of olive oil, the more beneficial this exercise will be for you. You can also add a little bit of water to make the mixture more palatable and improve its cleansing properties.