BusinessBusiness & EconomyBusiness Line

I spent twenty years finding out foods 100-twelve months-outdated other folks eat—and right here is the field’s No. 1 healthiest breakfast

As a longevity researcher, I’ve spent the previous twenty years finding out the habits of those that are living to 100 years outdated or longer, in particular the foods they eat.

And in a tucked-away corner of Nicoya, Costa Rica, I could even merely maintain found the field’s healthiest breakfast.

Below a red-tiled roof, a dozen or so other folks of the Cooperativa Nicoya wake each and every morning at 4:00 a.m. They stoke wood fires in clay ovens, build apart cauldrons of appealing beans to boil, and blend corn dough with wood ash.

A girl pinches off a golf ball-sized portion of dough on a portion of waxed paper and rotates it with mechanical precision into a wonderfully round patty. She slaps it onto a sizzling clay plate, the build it expands to a puffy disc before collapsing into a supreme tortilla.

At the opposite pause of the stove, three others mix beans with onions, red peppers and local herbs. The beans cook slowly for about an hour to tender perfection and are then blended with rice.

What makes this hearty longevity dish so wholesome?

The corn tortillas, chewy with a nutty taste, are an very fair actual provide of complete-grain, low-glycemic advanced carbohydrates.

The wood ash breaks down the corn’s cell walls, making niacin (a B weight loss program that performs a position in cell signaling and DNA restore) on hand, and freeing amino acids so the physique can possess them.

A Nicoyan centenarian spending time with his prolonged family.

Characterize: David McLain

The gloomy beans possess the same pigment-based mostly anthocyanins (antioxidants) verbalize in blueberries. They’re prosperous, colon cleansing, blood rigidity lowering, and insulin regulating, and they are stuffed with folates admire potassium and B nutritional vitamins moreover.

The bean-and-rice aggregate creates a complete protein, which is to utter the total amino acids main for human sustenance.

The espresso right here, fabricated from a neighborhood rigidity of “pea berry” beans, offers a rob of antioxidants plus metabolism-boosting caffeine.

The chilero, made with vinegar, carrots and searingly sizzling peppers, offers a probiotic boost to the breakfast in conjunction with curcumin, a compound confirmed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.

Total tag of the breakfast: $4.23. A truly comely tag to belief Nicoya’s secrets and ways to longevity. That you just need to perchance have the choice to enact as the Nicoyans enact — fabricate a gargantuan batch of bean soup and then experience all of it week

Nixtamal Tortillas

Nixtamal is corn dough blended with wood ash to enhance the taste and method the B weight loss program niacin.

Characterize: David McLain

Nixtamal refers to corn that has been soaked and partially cooked with wood ash or lime. This releases the amino acid niacin in corn, which helps to diminish terrifying cholesterol and lengthen correct cholesterol and furthermore aids in digestion.

Corn itself is high in fiber, folate, and nutritional vitamins B and C. That you just need to perchance have the choice to aquire your nixtamal corn flour from the ethnic food aisle, from Mexican or Latin grocery retail outlets, or on-line.

Total cook time: quarter-hour

Makes: 5 servings


  • 2 cups masa harina (corn flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups heat faucet water, plus extra as needed
  • Plastic wrap
  • Waxed paper, as needed


  1. In a gargantuan bowl, shuffle the masa harina and baking soda together.
  2. Add water and shuffle except a soft dough forms (if the mix also can merely now not method a soft ball of dough, add heat water in one tablespoon increments except this can).
  3. Masks with plastic wrap and build of abode apart for five minutes.
  4. On a tidy, dry work surface, knead dough gently for one minute. Divide it into 16 equal balls, each and every concerning the scale of a tiny plum.
  5. Roll out dough between pieces of waxed paper into 6-tear rounds.
  6. Situation a griddle or forged iron skillet over high heat except smoking.
  7. Situation dough on the griddle and cook for 30 seconds. Flip with kitchen tongs and cook except evenly toasted, with tiny bubbles within the tortilla, about 30 extra seconds. Work in batches.
  8. Transfer to a tidy kitchen towel and wrap gently. Serve heat.

Scheme tip: Chilly any unused tortillas to room temperature and store within the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in a kitchen towel, for up to in some unspecified time in the future. Reheat on a baking sheet four to 6 inches from a heated broiler for 10 seconds.

Jose Guevara’s Gallo Pinto

This time-honored rice and beans recipe could even be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Characterize: David McLain

I finest visited Jose Guevara in Costa Rica in 2015, when he was once 105 years outdated. This recipe he gave me is his version of Costa Rican rice and beans, or gallo pinto.

The genius of the Costa Rican kitchen is its capability to manufacture a humble bean dish so appetizing that that you simply need to perchance likely eat it on each day basis. Many Costa Ricans eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It be customarily topped with eggs and Salsa Lizano (a bottled condiment, a little bit of sweet and acidic, that that you simply need to perchance gain on every restaurant desk).

Total cook time: 20 minutes

Makes: 3 servings


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked gloomy beans (or one 8-ounce can gloomy beans, drained)
  • 3 cups cooked long-grain white rice
  • Salt and pepper (now not main)
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced, for topping (now not main)
  • Chilero sizzling sauce (now not main garnish)
  • Chopped cilantro (now not main garnish)


  1. In a gargantuan skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté except it begins to melt, about four minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for yet any other five to seven minutes, or except greens are browned.
  3. Add Worcestershire sauce and beans; turn heat to low and shuffle. Cook for two to a couple minutes extra.
  4. Add rice and shuffle to mix. Cook and shuffle except rice and beans are evenly dispensed and heated via. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. High with sliced avocado, sizzling sauce and chopped cilantro, if desired.

Soft Bean, Potato and Onion Stew

Sunless beans are a Costa Rican staple that are high in antioxidants that are correct for regulating insulin and lowering blood rigidity.

Characterize: David McLain

Total cook time: 1 hour

Makes: 6 servings

Featured in nearly every Nicoyan meal, gloomy beans possess high ranges of anthocyanins, the crucial flavonoids in red onions and blueberries, and maintain 10 cases the antioxidants of an an analogous serving of oranges.

These one-pot meals are staples in Costa Rican kitchens. They are easy to manufacture, high in nutritious greens and spices, and tag decrease than $1 a serving. Neatly off and hearty, they’ll operate a valuable meal paired with corn tortillas or rice.


  • 1 pound dried kidney beans, soaked overnight (or three 15-ounce cans, drained)
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 chayote squash, diced
  • 1/2 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 red, orange, or yellow sweet peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 gargantuan potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped culantro coyote
  • 1 tiny onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper (now not main)


  1. If the utilization of dried beans, drain the beans; discard the soaking water.
  2. Situation beans in a gargantuan pot and add vegetable broth. Add water, as main, to duvet beans. Raise broth to a boil; then at once turn down to simmer. Cook for 25 minutes.
  3. Scoot within the remainder of gear; cook for about 25 extra minutes, or except beans are tender, stirring now and again to protect from burning.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving. Indulge in alone or with tortillas or rice.

Dan Buettner is an explorer, longevity researcher, National Geographic Fellow, and award-a success journalist and producer. He is furthermore the author of the finest-selling books “The Blue Zones: Classes for Residing Longer from the Of us Who’ve Lived the Longest” and “The Blue Zones Resolution: Ingesting and Residing Just like the World’s Healthiest Of us.” Be conscious Dan on Instagram @danbuettner.

Don’t miss:

Prefer to be smarter and extra a success along with your money, work & existence? Join our fresh e-newsletter right here

Web CNBC’s free Warren Buffett Files to Investing, which distills the billionaire’s No. 1 most effective portion of recommendation for odd investors, enact’s and don’ts, and three key investing suggestions into a transparent and straight forward guidebook.

Content Protection by

Back to top button