‘The Blue Zones’ Shows You How to Live to 100

Forget the fountain of youth: a new book tracks the habits of the longest-living communities on earth, sharing their secrets for surviving well past 100.

According to ancient legend, explorer Juan Ponce de Leon found his fountain of eternal youth in St. Augustine, Florida – and considering how crowded the Early Bird dinners are there, we’re willing to believe it. But according to new research from writer Dan Buettner, Floridians aren’t the only ones with seemingly endless lifespans – in fact, he discovered four distinct regions with no shortage of centarians: the Barbarigia region of Sardinia, off the coast of Italy; a Seventh-Day Adventist group in Southern California; Okinawa, Japan; and Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula.

In Buettner’s new book, The Blue Zones, he analyzes the factors that keep these members of these communities thriving way past their expected expiration dates. He discovered a group of common threads, which he calls “The Power Nine,” which include close ties to family, healthy eating habits, and a sense of purpose in life. And, according to him, you don’t need to move to one of these isolated regions to increase your own longevity – all you’ve got to do is pick a few items from the list and fit them into your lifestyle.

“Picking half a dozen things off of this al a carte menu, and sticking to it, is probably worth eight to 10 (extra) years for the average American. And you’ll look younger and feel younger on the way,” Buettner told The Associated Press.

So eat your broccoli and call your grandma, and you’ll be set. Who needs a fountain of youth anyway?