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Can You Live Long and Still Drink Alcohol? You Would Be Surprised (Don't Fight Me)

by Christal Burnette 03 Apr 2024 0 Comments

Many people see me, a loud promoter of health, drink alcohol and say 'But I thought you were healthy!' (often in a sarcastic tone). I then must explain that the longest-living people on this planet actually drank alcohol. Many things like sugar and alcohol get a bad rap and rightfully so BUT only when they are overconsumed.
Anything is bad for you if you have too much of it.
Let me explain by telling you about the Blue Zones.

What are Blue Zones?

Blue Zones are specific regions around the world where people have been found to live longer, healthier lives. These regions include Okinawa (Japan and where I live!), Sardinia (Italy), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Ikaria (Greece), and the Seventh-day Adventist community in Loma Linda, California (USA). Researchers have identified common lifestyle factors among the inhabitants of these regions that contribute to their exceptional health and longevity.

Moderate Alcohol Consumption:

One interesting commonality among the Blue Zones is the moderate consumption of alcohol. Contrary to what some might assume, alcohol is indeed a part of the traditional culture in these areas, and its consumption is integrated into social and family life.
  1. Red Wine in Sardinia: In the mountainous region of Sardinia, residents have a long-standing tradition of consuming red wine, particularly Cannonau wine. This wine is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which are believed to contribute to heart health and overall well-being.
  2. Awamori (Sake) in Okinawa: The people of Okinawa, Japan, often enjoy drinking a locally brewed alcoholic beverage called awamori. Awamori is made from rice and contains essential amino acids and antioxidants that could potentially contribute to their health and longevity.
  3. Homemade Wine in Ikaria: The people of Ikaria, Greece, have a habit of making and drinking their own wine. Their version of wine is less processed and contains more natural compounds, possibly providing additional health benefits.
  4. Guaro in Nicoya: Nicoya, Costa Rica, is known for its centenarians who regularly enjoy a local alcoholic drink called guaro. This beverage, made from sugarcane, is consumed in moderation during celebrations and social gatherings.

Moderation is the Key:

While alcohol consumption is a common thread in these Blue Zones, it's crucial to emphasize that the key to their health and longevity lies in moderation. Unlike excessive drinking, which is associated with various health risks, the inhabitants of these regions consume alcohol in small quantities and usually as part of their meals or social interactions.

Potential Health Benefits:

Researchers have studied the potential health benefits of the moderate alcohol consumption observed in Blue Zones. Some studies suggest that moderate alcohol intake, particularly red wine, may have cardiovascular benefits due to its antioxidant content. Additionally, alcohol in moderation has been associated with improved social connections and reduced stress, both of which contribute to overall well-being.
The lifestyle of people living in Blue Zones is a fascinating subject of study, and their moderate alcohol consumption is just one aspect of their unique way of life. It is important to note that the exceptional health and longevity observed in these regions are not solely attributed to alcohol consumption but are the result of a combination of factors, including a plant-based diet, regular physical activity, strong social connections, and a sense of purpose.
If you have been following me, you will know why I made the above words bold: improved social connections and reduced stress. These are the two most important factors when it comes to living a long, happy life. Many people think it is diet or a certain type of exercise. While those are important, they are not the number one factor. Ever heard of that lady who lived past 100 despite smoking cigarettes in one hand and drinking in the other? While Nancy's aunt died at the age of 70 despite eating healthy her entire life and never touching 'the devil's liquid' or smoking cancer sticks? There is more going on here and many need to remember: your mind is stronger than you think.
Follow me to delve deeper into that topic, but for now: yutashiku and stay tuned for more longevity tips and secrets.
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