ua en ru

How to live till 100 years old: Costa Rican longevity secrets

How to live till 100 years old: Costa Rican longevity secrets Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

Costa Rica is one of the world's "blue zones," where people live longer and healthier lives compared to other countries.

CNBC shared what the locals eat to achieve longevity and happiness.

What Costa Ricans eat to live longer and happier

The best way to describe Costa Rican cuisine is simple and fresh food!

Nutrition in this zone heavily relies on staple foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes.

Beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals. They are linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Black and red beans are the most popular, usually served as part of casado (a traditional dish with rice, beans, vegetables, and protein) or as a soup consisting of beans and vegetables. Chickpeas and lentils are also popular and can be used as substitutes for traditional black beans.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables in Costa Rica are usually eaten fresh, rather than from a can or freezer. People typically buy fruits and vegetables from local markets called verdulerias.

Some of the most common fruits in the diet include papaya, mango, bananas, watermelon, pineapple, and passion fruit, which are either eaten on their own or made into drinks and juices.

Costa Rican cuisine uses a variety of vegetables, including potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, avocados, onions, beets, yucca, and zucchini.

Vegetables are either eaten raw in simple salads dressed with lime or cooked in the form of picadillo (boiled vegetables).

Chayote is a type of squash that is native to Central and South America, and not very common in the United States. It is green and crisp, and it tastes similar to a jicama.

Rice and corn

Grains like rice and corn are present in the diet of long-lived people but mostly as a complement to beans and vegetables.

Arroz con pollo is a traditional Costa Rican dish consisting of rice, plenty of chopped vegetables, and various pieces of chicken. This dish is very popular at celebrations such as birthdays but is also frequently eaten daily.


Costa Rican coffee is known for its high antioxidant content, which can help reduce inflammation. Sweet drinks are generally not a large part of the coffee culture.

Coffee here is enjoyed black or with a bit of milk. And, like any other food, it is savored slowly.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.