The countries that border the Mediterranean Sea know a thing or two about the good life. Sardinia in Italy and Icaria in Greece are two of the five blue zones around the world known for the longevity of their residents. Here, the three main contributors to a high quality of life in old age are a habit of physical activity, social connection, and the Mediterranean diet.

There's nothing groundbreaking about these nutritious choices—you already know how good they are for you, but here are some tips and tricks to incorporate this breezy, coastal eating style into your life.


1. Plant-Based

Plant-based foods are the heart of the Mediterranean diet. Fruits and veggies like grapes, figs, and cucumbers abound. If you want to shift to a more plant-based diet, don't forget about your macronutrients (carbs, fats, and protein). You won't feel full and energized if you don't add protein to your meals. Pulses, legumes, and whole grains are your friends.

These days, you don't need to soak your legumes for hours; you can buy cans from the grocery store instead. Open, rinse the contents, and add to a seasoned salad bowl—it's that easy. Garbanzo beans are a fab addition to soups, and you can make garlic-infused butter bean dips for spreading on sourdough bread or as pasta sauce.

Falafel and pita bread on marble table Monica Bertolazzi / Getty Images


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