The place you live greatly influences how long you will live. Diet, health initiatives, and environmental quality all influence life expectancy. HFR has compiled a list of the top 10 places with the longest living population:
Japanese citizens are more likely to reach the age of 100 than anywhere else on earth, and Okinawa is one of the healthiest parts of Japan. People are more than twice as likely to reach an average age of 90 as Americans. Why? Their diet certainly helps. Dr. Craig Wilcox said “the Okinawans have a low risk of arteriosclerosis and stomach cancer, a very low risk of hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer. They eat three servings of fish a week, on average … plenty of whole grains, vegetables and soy products too, more tofu and more konbu seaweed than anyone else in the world, as well as squid and octopus, which are rich in taurine – that could lower cholesterol and blood pressure.”
Off the coast of Italy lies Sardinia, a large island with a rich tradition of healthy, active lifestyle. Sardinians benefit from a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and a strong sense of community. That is why Sardinia is home to more male centenarians than anywhere else on earth.
Sweden is behind only Japan and Switzerland in terms of life expectancy, and Danderyd, just north of Stockholm, is the municipality with the highest life expectancy in Sweden. Excellent medical care and a healthy diet explain long life in Sweden.
Inhabitants of this Mediterranean island, named after Icarus, live up to 8 years longer than Americans. They hail from a land with a healthy diet, fresh air, and friendly, sociable people. They also have a much lower incidence of cancer and no reported cases of dementia. Cardiologist Christina Chrysohoou found that the Icarian diet “featured a lot of beans and not much meat or refined sugar. The locals also feast on locally grown and wild greens, some of which contain 10 times more antioxidants than are found in red wine, as well as potatoes and goat’s milk.”
Loma Linda, California
Members of this adventist community live an average of ten years longer than the average US citizen. Their faith instructs them to treat their bodies as temples: little or no meat or fish, no smoking or alcohol, plenty of exercise and a sense of purpose. They follow a biblical diet, which tends to be as organic and minimally processed as possible. A testament to their dedication to healthy diet can be seen at the Loma Linda Market near Loma Linda University, which has bin after bin of beans and grains; there’s no meat section. There is a McDonald’s in a shopping center, but it moved in only after a fight; the arches are demure, and a countertop poster advertises veggie burgers.
Nicoya, Costa Rica
This Caribbean island village is a place where the stress levels are low and the diet is mostly pants based. “Nicoyans specifically have water that percolates through the limestone and it’s very high in calcium and magnesium quite literally, it might be a little bit in their water they tend to have fewer fatal broken hips — their bones tend to be stronger.”
Hunza Valley, Pakistan
HFR profiled why the residents of this Northern Pakistani village live long lives than the rest of the world. We found that physical activity, low-calorie diet, and lots of apricot juice.
A high GDP has translated into an almost 82 year life expectancy in Switzerland. A great health care system, fresh air, and an active lifestyle has benefitted them greatly. Not to mention, according to the Huffington Post, Switzerland is home to one of the world’s most thriving economies and also one of the happiest populations on the globe.
Both a nordic and an island nation, Iceland has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. High life expectancy can be attributed to a healthy diet with lots of seafood, water therapy, gender equality, and exercise.
This small nation has some of the best health care in the world and its citizens are happy to use it. All Singaporeans are required to invest in a medical program called Medisave. The city also invests in a lot of public health programs. According to CNN, Singapore’s more successful health campaigns have included rental bicycle, trans fat-free and anti-smoking programs. There’s also an entire government agency, the Health Promotion Board, dedicated to promoting healthy diets, exercise, health education and regular screenings.