Singapore Named ‘Blue Zone 2.0’ in ‘Are living to 100’


For greater than two decades, longevity researcher Dan Buettner has been touring the globe to search out and find out about the puts the place other people have a tendency to reside the longest, healthiest lives, thriving neatly into their 100s. Through the years, those explorations have yielded 5 longevity sizzling spots, which he is dubbed Blue Zones: Nicoya, Costa Rica; Loma Linda, California; Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; and Okinawa, Japan. The use of his forays into the livelihoods of the centenarians occupying them, Buettner has written 5 books on longevity. However his newest ventures are giving us the inner most dive but into the workings of wholesome growing old: a 6th guide, The Blue Zones Secrets and techniques for Residing Longer: Classes From the Healthiest Puts on Earth and a brand new Netflix documentary sequence, Are living to 100: Secrets and techniques of the Blue Zones.


The sequence, premiering August 30, places faces and names to the longevity insights round consuming, workout, sleep, and socializing that Buettner has shared through the years, following his conversations with citizens in each Blue Zone, in addition to in Singapore, which Buettner calls a “Blue Zone 2.0:” a spot the place the federal government has instituted insurance policies designed explicitly to advertise longevity—versus one the place other people have lengthy embraced cultural conduct that simply so occur to strengthen wholesome growing old (extra on that under).

Spotlighted within the sequence are the citizens of Okinawa, who frequently experience plant-focused foods, and of Sardinia, who scale near-vertical hills on day-to-day walks and all the time find time for dinner with friends and family, in addition to the locals of the Nicoyan peninsula, who’re recognized to embody a plan de vida, or explicit existence function, as their north megastar. Any other episode takes Buettner to apiaries in Ikaria; and every other takes him to the pickleball courts, kitchens, and worship teams of citizens of Loma Linda. It is not till the closing installment of the sequence that Buettner makes his technique to Singapore, which he sees because the style for developing further Blue Zones thru infrastructure and coverage.

“The largest alternative with this documentary was once to harness the entire medical analysis that was once performed at the Blue Zones and metabolize it into an attractive tale,” says Buettner. He was once extremely joyful to paintings with director Clay Jeter, who directed episodes of Chef’s Desk, to convey the folk of the Blue Zones to existence.

“We discovered other people within the Blue Zones, and we distilled the science of why they’re making it to 100.” —Dan Buettner, longevity researcher

Buettner hopes that by means of getting to listen to immediately from the individuals who reside and breathe the foundations of longevity on a day by day foundation, those that watch the sequence will higher know how and why they reside goodbye, and really feel impressed to undertake an identical behaviors. “We discovered other people within the Blue Zones, and we distilled the science of why they’re making it to 100,” says Buettner. However the energy of the display is actually in its storytelling round that science. “One of the simplest ways to any individual’s mind is thru their center and by means of telling gorgeous tales that transfer them emotionally,” he provides.

Why Singapore is deemed a “Blue Zone 2.0” within the new Are living to 100 documentary sequence

In to begin with figuring out every of the 5 Blue Zones, Buettner discovered that they had been puts the place longevity-boosting conduct had been handed down thru generations and ingrained within the native tradition—puts the place the surroundings naturally nudges the individuals who reside there towards the movements that advertise a longevity. “The massive perception with the Blue Zones has been that longevity ensues over the years,” says Buettner. “It is not one thing you have got to check out to persuade other people to pursue; moderately, it occurs the place the healthiest selection is the perfect selection.”

However within the sequence, Buettner finds that Singapore has turn out to be a long life sizzling spot in its personal proper by means of very other manner—thru proactive coverage adjustments and funding in infrastructure that helps a wholesome way of life. “It is not the similar elegance as the unique Blue Zones, however what is distinctive about [Singapore] is that they engineered a Blue Zone by means of shaping their surroundings so the wholesome selection was once no longer simplest simple, however in some instances unavoidable,” says Buettner, who first started investigating Singapore in his reporting for a 2017 Nationwide Geographic tale about happiness.

For a pair examples, Buettner issues out that Singapore’s authorities has carried out restrictions on sugary beverages like soda and provides subsidies to meals companies for together with nutritious substances like complete grains on their menus.

Singapore additionally has common well being care, the standard of which has been deemed the most productive in Asia by means of the Global Business Management. Scientific amenities also are regularly integrated proper into housing complexes, lots of which might be designed to recreate a kampung, or “village” in Malay, the place other people can simply co-mingle—every other longevity-boosting dynamic Buettner explores within the sequence. The federal government additionally gives credit of as much as $30,000 Singapore bucks (about $22,000) to other people purchasing properties with or close to their oldsters or married kids to inspire familial strengthen.

Transportation and recreational infrastructure in Singapore has simplest added to its longevity energy: Broadly to be had and reasonably priced public transit facilitates quite a lot of on a regular basis strolling, and numerous leisure parks—lots of which give government-sponsored workout categories—make it simple and delightful to spend considerable time shifting your frame in recent air, says Buettner.

Taken in combination, those government-directed systems and insurance policies turn out {that a} Blue Zone is conceivable to engineer from scratch, says Buettner, which has far-reaching implications for making longevity available to extra other people.

2 different key takeaways from Are living to 100: Secrets and techniques of the Blue Zones

1. Romantic partnership is a recurrent characteristic a few of the longest-living other people

Buettner has lengthy espoused robust social ties as a key guideline of Blue Zones residing—however in filming the sequence, he discovered that romance, specifically, could also be a particularly essential piece of that. “Visiting Ikaria this time, I had a actually large epiphany round love,” Buettner narrates within the sequence. “The facility of satisfied, dedicated partnerships would possibly appear glaring, however we will be able to’t underestimate how this sort of connection can result in an extended, extra fulfilled existence.”

One in particular touching vignette within the documentary sequence highlights Panagiotis Kouloulias, 96, and Aleka Mazari, 81, a pair residing in Ikaria. Those two discovered love later in existence, when Kouloulias was once a 73-year-old widower. “When my first spouse gave up the ghost, I had misplaced my urge for food to reside,” says Kouloulias within the sequence. “I would not communicate, I would not snigger, I would not devour…I fell into items, and [Mazari] introduced me again.”

Kouloulias and Mazari’s relationships demonstrates the facility of a romantic partnership not to simplest spice up your happiness, but in addition, to inspire you to partake in wholesome conduct, says Buettner. Analysis has proven that we have a tendency to reflect the way of living behaviors of our companions, so if we are romantically concerned with any individual who is attractive in longevity-boosting actions all day lengthy, there may be additionally extra of an opportunity we can, too.

2. A easy snack may have a large affect for your longevity

Despite the fact that Buettner recognized a plant-based nutrition as some of the authentic 9 pillars of the Blue Zones, he is discovered within the years since that one not unusual piece of that nutrition would possibly play an outsize position in longevity—and that’s the reason nuts, specifically walnuts. Certainly, an observational find out about revealed in 2021 that assessed mortality in just about 100,000 other people over the process two decades discovered that upper walnut intake was once related to better existence expectancy, most likely as a result of the nut’s prime focus of omega-3 fatty acids.

Within the sequence, nuts get their highlight when Buettner visits Loma Linda, the place many citizens are individuals of the 7th-day Adventist religion and thus devour a plant-based nutrition for spiritual causes—which surely contributes to their longevity. In exploring the diets of locals within the episode, Buettner uncovers that “it is not simply the absence of meat, however the common presence of complete grains, legumes, end result, greens, and nuts [that makes a difference].”

On nuts specifically, Buettner emphasizes the significance of consuming a handful each day to up your probabilities of residing an extended existence. And if walnuts are not your factor, know that there are well being advantages to be gleaned from a wide variety of nuts, which might be wealthy in protein and wholesome fat.


  1. Liu, Xiaoran, et al. “Affiliation of Walnut Intake with Overall and Motive-Particular Mortality and Existence Expectancy in U.S. Adults.” Vitamins, vol. 13, no. 8, Aug. 2021, p. 2699. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082699.
  2. Nakaya, Naoki et al. “Spousal similarities in cardiometabolic possibility elements: A cross-sectional comparability between Dutch and Jap knowledge from two huge biobank research.” Atherosclerosis vol. 334 (2021): 85-92. doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2021.08.037


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