The five cantons Hojancha, Nandayure, Carillo, Santa Cruz and Nicoya on the Nicoya Peninsula are one of the few blue zones that exist in our world. It is questionable whether this “title” can be sustained any longer, because the habits and behavior of the inhabitants of this zone are more and more differentiated from the original way of life of the Ticos …
What are blue zones?
From a geographical point of view, blue zones are areas that are shaped by certain factors that their inhabitants have in common. These factors include, for example, longevity, physical and mental health and fitness, good nutrition but also spirituality, faith and a solid life content. In total there are only 5 blue zones in the world. In addition to the Nicoya Peninsula, Sardinia in Italy, Loma Linda in the USA, Icaria in Greece and Okinawa in Japan can proudly be called blue zone.
natural food for a long life
The Nicoya Peninsula has an above-average number of inhabitants over the age of ninety or one hundred. The Ticos owe this old age to their original and traditional way of life. This includes the simple but good diet: corn, beans, rice and a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits, often even from their own production. These foods bring the body all the nutrients it needs. In addition to the good food comes a sufficient physical exercise in the fresh air.
Fast food culture is spreading
But this lifestyle has changed enormously over the years and one must ask the question: Will the Nicoya Peninsula continue to remain a blue zone? Those who have already reached this proud age are mostly fit – both physically and mentally. It looks more problematic in the new generations, whose longevity is far less guaranteed than that of their ancestors. The main reason for this: New food trend, less exercise and general laziness and sloth, which spreads already in the youth and becomes a habit. Instead of rice and beans, more and more fast food such as chips, fries and nachos are on the table. There are masses of sugary drinks. The consequences are diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
And these forecasts have already become reality, because between 2015 and 2017, the Costa Rican Health Department just in Nicoya diagnosed 3,667 new cases of overweight in people between the ages of 20 and 65 years. But also the death rate in Nicoya rose from 29 to 44 in the years 2011 to 2016. These numbers should be taken seriously because today’s trends will lead to fatal problems for the humanity. The traditional food in Guanacaste is so simple that people do not realize the power behind the food. And if it continues like this and the last of the old generation is gone, it will be questionable whether the area around Nicoya has even earned the title as a “blue zone“.
Poor nutrition and an unhealthy lifestyle are spreading more and more around the world. And just factors such as diet and exercise are crucial for a long, healthy and happy life. That’s why you should also deal with this issue and know what’s really in our food. In addition, medicinal plants in Costa Rica promote longevity. And the most important thing: always move a lot, avoid stress and do something good for yourself, for example with a stay at Hotel Costa Rica. If this does not work out so easily we recommend the article “Why aren`t we able to change ourselves?”