Nicoya, Costa Rica

The Nicoya Peninsula is a travel brochure writer’s dream. Stunning beaches lapped by sapphire blue waters, rugged mountains, lush vegetation, a perfect climate…Nicoya has it all. But Nicoya has something else, too, which most tourist destinations can’t boast of. Their asset is a notable absence of disease and a multitude of vivacious octogenarians, nonagenarians and centenarians trotting about the market with their shopping, riding their horses on the steep terrain, and enjoying life to the maximum in their Central American paradise.
Researchers have found that a Costa Rican man at the age of 60 is twice as likely to reach 90 years of age as a man living in the United States, France or even Japan which is known to have one of the world’s highest life expectancies. This is despite the fact that Costa Rica is a developing country with minimal health care. There is also a clear longevity hot spot in the central part of the Nicoya Peninsula, where cancer rates are 23 percent lower than in the rest of the country and there is a high concentration of centenarians. Nicoyans are also known to have excellent bone and heart health and have much lower rates of stomach cancer than elsewhere in Costa Rica, where it is a common disease.
Nicoyans enjoy an active yet low-stress lifestyle in a beautiful environment where friends and family are close and make everybody, including the oldest old, feel needed and loved. They also benefit from a healthy diet of natural unprocessed foods and micronutrient-rich organic produce which they grow themselves. In short, they are living examples of the formula for long life where many factors come together to create abundant good health, happiness, and reasons to live long.
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