What if your pets could reach the equivalent age of centenarians living in good health in the Blue Zones?
Their longevity secrets keep them physically active, mentally sharp, and happy.
Discover the Blue Zone lifestyle, how it can also extend the healthy years of your pets, and why it became our company mission.
My Zone Blue: a brand with a mission.
I’m not going to lie; it took me and my wife Monica a lot of time and many, many heated discussions to finally agree on a brand name for our pet food.
In retrospective, I realize it was not going to be easy anyway.
We were looking for a brand name that would transmit our vision and goals in just one word or in a short phrase.
Not an easy task.
A name that would immediately make the reader feel and understand the reasons behind all the time and effort we’ve put on the company.
We knew that your main concern as pet parent is to keep your pet healthy for as long as possible.
And after years of research, we had accumulated enough evidence and knowledge about the important role that nutrition has on pets’ healthy longevity.
So, our brand name had to convey just that.
It also had to communicate that your furry babies can age healthy and happily.
That ageing doesn’t have to be accompanied by disease and disability.
That, just like people, the healthy years of your cats and dogs can be extended with the right diet and healthy habits.
When Monica came up with the name My Zone Blue, the peace returned to our home.
Blues zones are hot spots around the world known for their long living, fit, and healthy populations.
The original demographic work identified Sardinia’s Nuoro province as the place with the higher concentration of centenarians.
This area was referred to as “Blue Zone”.
From there, additional work described the unusual high rates of people who live over 90 and 100 in other regions of the world, establishing four more Blue Zones: Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.
What’s more important than the number of years people live in the Blue Zones, is that long-lived people in these areas have grown old without most of the characteristic chronic disease of aging such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
They’re physically active, mentally sharp, and generally healthy and happy.
And most of them don’t even take any medication!
Some are even said to “die healthy”.
Check these facts about the Blue Zones:
- Ikaria has the lowest rates of middle-age mortality and dementia.
- Okinawa is home of the longest-lived women.
- Sardinia has one of the lowest rates of cancer, diabetes, and death of people under age 65.
- The Seventh-day Adventists of Loma Linda, as well as some of its residents, live 10 more healthy years than the average American (again, the key words here are “healthy years”).
- Nicoya residents have the world’s lowest rate of middle-age mortality and the second highest prevalence of male centenarians.
How to live to 100? The Blue Zone lifestyle.
But, what’s the secret of Blue Zones?
What gives their habitants a better chance of a long and healthy life compared to the rest of the world?
Is it genetics?
Or the fresh air?
Or maybe their gorgeous beaches and landscape?
There’re scientists studying these kinds of things, and they have found that genetics only account for a rather small percentage of the longevity advantage (around 20 to 30%).
On the other hand, a combination of factors that are common to the lifestyles of inhabitants of Blue Zones seem to determine their longevity and health.
Most studies agree that a healthy diet, physical activity, and strong social relationships are the cornerstones of successful aging in the Blue Zones.
No miracle elixirs, no magic pills, no fountains of youth.
You shouldn’t be.
What this means is that graceful and healthy aging is within everyone’s reach.
The Blue Zone diet.
- A typical diet in the Blue Zones consists of 95% plant-based food rich in legumes, whole grains, veggies, and nuts.
- Very similar to the Mediterranean diet.
- Sporadically fish and rarely meat.
- Overall, the Blue Zone diet is low in protein.
- Virtually zero consumption of highly processed foods!
- Also, Blue Zones people consistently consume fewer calories compared to other regions.
A study on Okinawans suggests that before the 1960s, they were eating fewer calories than what’s normally recommended.
This might contribute to their longevity as shown by hundreds of studies in small organisms and larger animals.
Fasting is also known to be beneficial for health.
Ikarians, a Greek Orthodox Christian community, have fasting periods during religious holidays every year.
Not surprisingly, after these fasting periods, people have lower blood cholesterol and body mass index.
The next one is my favorite.
People living in the Blue Zones drink one or two glasses of red wine per day which seems to help them prevent heart disease and decrease the risk of death.
But remember, only one or two per day!
And obviously not recommended at all for your pets!
Physical activity and Blue Zones.
Another important factor for healthy aging is exercise.
No fancy gym membership required.
People in the Blue Zones keep an active lifestyle by daily walking, cooking, gardening, and other regular activities.
We’ve known for years that exercise reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and death.
For example, Sardinian men that live in steep slopes, farm their animals, and walk long distances to work tend to live longer.
Strong social relationships.
People in the Blue Zones, especially seniors, have a strong feeling of purpose in their lives.
Family and social networks also keep them healthy for longer.
Family ties are very important.
So important that is not unusual to find multiple generations living in the same household.
This is in agreement with lessons drawn from the world’s longest scientific study of happiness: strong personal relationships make a life fulfilling, meaningful, and healthy .
A Blue Zone for your pet!
The Blue Zone lifestyle teaches us the main principles of longevity.
And these principles also apply to your pets (except for the daily glasses of wine).
You keep your pet active, and you both share a strong bond with extra doses of reciprocal love.
You might even have integrated your pets into your family (or maybe your pets ARE your family).
So, you can check the first two boxes.
Nutrition, on the other hand, is trickier.
Is one of those things you’re always wondering if you’re doing it right or whether you can do better.
And that’s where we can help.
All our years of research indicate that the right diet can extend the healthy years of your pets.
Some foods can prevent cancer. Others alleviate inflammation and chronic conditions in a natural way.
Calorie restriction and fasting extend the life of dogs.
The opposite is also true.
An unhealthy diet can shorten the life of your pet.
Excess of nutrients resulting in overweight bring a myriad of health issues and reduces, on average, 2 years of your pet’s lifespan!.
Highly processed foods also have devastating effects on your pets in the long term.
With good nutrition, the senior years of your pets don’t have to be filled with chronic diseases, vet appointments, tons of medication and its side effects.
Finally, another important lesson from the Blue Zones is that aging is a continuous process.
Your pets’ bodies start aging before they look old, so it’s very important to take good care of their health from early on to increase their chances of aging successfully.
My Zone Blue mission.
The name My Zone Blue encapsulates our goal and mission: to help you create a Blue Zone for your pets, a combination of the right diet and all your caring.
A pet Blue Zone where they can live a life of wellbeing and happiness from their youth until their senior years.