31 Mar 2022
Who amongst us doesn’t hope to live a long, happy and healthy life? While small in size, Costa Rica continues to show the rest of the world what it means to live a happy and healthy life. Holding space to one of only five so-called Blue Zones in the world and consistently ranking as one of the happiest countries in the world, there is much to be desired about the Pura Vida lifestyle.
Wellness and a healthy lifestyle continue to be one of top reasons that expats relocate to Costa Rica. Check out our 7 reasons why living in Costa Rica is good for your health!
One of the greatest aspects of Costa Rica is it’s temperate climate all year long. While Costa Rica has many microclimates, the generally warm weather across the country year round creates a sense of ease in the body and allows for much time to be spent outdoors, doing different activities and connecting with nature.
Healthy Outdoor Activities
Costa Rica’s amazing weather makes for the perfect outdoor playground. Whether is be the mountains, the beach, or the ocean there is something for everyone. Surfing is a big part of the culture in Costa Rica and is a great mental and physical sport for people of all ages. However, calmer bodies of water allow for paddle boarding and kayaking, while the mountains make for great hikes, and of course there is nothing better than a long walk on the beach.
Healthy Accessible Food
Unlike other Central American countries, healthy food is very accessible in Costa Rica. Due to the temperate climate fresh fruits and vegetables grown year round, many towns offer organic vegetarian cuisine, shops that sell natural products, as well as easy access to farmer’s markets with organic local produce and raw foods.
Some of the healthiest food grown all around the world can be found growing naturally and with ease in Costa Rica. Those superfoods include:
Coconuts - fresh, young coconuts are plentiful in Costa Rica and filled with vitamins and minerals that have shown significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects.
Noni & Guanabana - both of which are filled with powerful phytochemicals that act as antioxidants, neutralizing free radicals.
Cuculmeca - a native root that has amazing properties that help purify the body, get rid of toxins and boost your immune system.
Cacao - a well known superfood, rich in antioxidents and filled with iron, magnesium, and zinc.
The Blue Zone
The Nicoya peninsula in Costa Rica is home to one of the five original Blue Zones in the world, where many residents enjoy an extraordinarily long and healthy lifespan. There are many reasons why Nicoyans say that they have achieved longevity going back generations, including but not limited to:
A strong sense of purpose - The need to contribute to the greater good drives them to stay involved in their local communities, including physical work which keeps them agile and feeling young.
Calcium - Water in this area has the highest calcium content in the country which perhaps could explain the lower rates of heart disease and well as stronger bones.
Family Matters - Centenarians in this area tend to live with their families including grandparents, children and grandchildren, providing a sense of security, purpose, and belonging.
Less is More - Eating fewer calories appears to be one of the surest ways to add years to your life. Nicoyans eat a light dinner early in the evening and have a focus on corn, squash and beans.
Let the Sun Shine - Nicoyas have been known to take regular breaks in the sun which helps their bodies produce vitamin D. About 15 minutes of “smart” sun exposure helps supplement their diet for strong bones and healthy body function.
Those living in Costa Rica tend to feel less stress due, in large part, to the fact that the people here are more friendly and easy going. Whether impacted by the mild weather year round or due to their “pura vida” mindset, Ticos have a very relaxed and simple way of looking at life. Simply put, “pura vida” embodies the idea of being thankful for what you have and not dwelling on the negative and let’s face it, their positive way of looking at life has a way of rubbing off on anyone who spends time in Costa Rica.
A key element to maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes an adequate healthcare system.The Costa Rican healthcare system is ranked by the UN as one the best in Latin America and in the top 20 worldwide. It should be noted that Costa Rica also has many companies that offer private health care options at much more affordable rates in comparison to healthcare costs in the US, for example.