Do you know what a “blue zone” is? Centenarians, or persons who live to be 100 years or older, are reported to be most prevalent in several regions of the world. To better understand the causes of such great lifespan, researchers have researched the cultures and way of life in these “blue zones.”
Sardinia (Italy), Okinawa (Japan), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Ikaria (Greece), and Loma Linda are the current four blue zones (California). Despite the fact that these areas are relatively distinct, certain similar patterns have emerged from the research.
A diet high in vegetables, legumes, and whole grains that is plant-based appears to be a factor that is common to all blue zones. It’s important to remember, though, that every tribe in the blue zones consumes pork, albeit generally in moderation and as a component of bigger meals. In truth, pork is a traditional and significant component of the diet in some of the blue zones (such as Okinawa and Sardinia).
In addition to eating, blue zone residents appear to have longer lifespans and better health due to lifestyle characteristics like frequent physical activity, a sense of purpose, and strong social ties.
So what can we draw from the blue zone cultures? While adopting every component of these lifestyles may not be feasible or desirable for everyone, it appears that embracing practices like a plant-based diet, consistent exercise, and strong social ties might benefit our health and wellbeing.
So the next time you sit down to a meal, consider incorporating more vegetables and whole grains – and don’t be afraid to include a small serving of your favorite pork centered dish as well!”
Asian Inspired Glazed Pork Chops Recipe
2 Large Bone-In Pastured Pork Chops
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tbsp Sea Salt 1 Bay Dried Leaf
½ tsp. Cinnamon Powder
1/2 tsp. Ground Szechwan Peppercorns
1 tsp. Soy Sauce
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Small Piece Fresh Ginger, minced
2 Tbsp. Honey
- In a small bowl, mix together the apple cider vinegar, salt, bay leaf, cinnamon, Szechwan peppercorns, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger to create a marinade.
- Place the pork chops in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the top. Marinate the pork chops in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Remove the pork chops from the marinade and discard the excess marinade. Grill the pork chops for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through and reach an internal temperature of 145°F.
- In a small saucepan, heat the honey over medium heat until it becomes thin and easy to brush onto the pork chops.
- Brush the honey glaze onto the pork chops and continue grilling for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the glaze is caramelized and the pork chops are nicely browned.
- Remove the pork chops from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. Serve the pork chops with your choice of side dishes and enjoy!