National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner and his team found that people in specific locales in Costa Rica, Greece, Italy, Japan, and California with extremely long lifespans eat healthier and drink tea daily. Buettner and his team dubbed these areas “Blue Zones.”
According to Buettner, those within the Blue Zones consume at least two cups of black or green tea or more each day, but what exactly are their habits? Was it just black and green tea, or were there herbal varieties too? Here’s what we discovered.
Japan – In Okinawa, Japan, Buettner, and his team found that the people there most often consume green tea throughout their day. According to Buettner, as a result,
Okinawans have far lower incidences of heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Buettner notes that green tea, in particular, also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that naturally supports the brain and cognitive function.
Greece – In Ikaria, Greece, the residents like making teas with various herbs known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Along with infusions of rosemary and dandelion, Buettner says that Ikarians enjoy herbal teas made with sage.
Italy – Buettner found that in Sardinia, Italy, the locals really love their espresso and cappuccino. Other travelers to the country have noticed that the strongest tea available in Italy is an English Breakfast tea.
Buettner and his team found that Sardinians also make an herbal tea made with milk thistle seeds for its anti-inflammatory properties and reputed ability to help remove toxins from the body. Milk thistle seed has been traditionally noted for its ability to support healthy liver function and its ability to support the cardiovascular system.
Costa Rica – This country’s national drink is coffee, mainly because it is a major coffee-producing area in the world. Despite this, many Costa Ricans drink black or green tea brewed with milk. Sometimes lemongrass and ginger may be added to their tea. These herbs are known for both their anti-inflammatory properties and can also aid in digestion.