Ikaria, Greece residents are well known for their long lifespans. They typically live 9 years longer than Americans. This means they are 2.5 times more likely to live to 90.
They are less likely to get age-related illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. They are much more active in their later years.
Common Traits For Longevity in Ikaria
Here are some of the common attributes of the people of Ikaria.
Mediterranean diet – consisting of olive oil, raw goats milk, fruits, vegetables, greens, legumes. (little to no pesticide are usage)
Herbal remedies – Ikaria citizens don’t rely on prescription drugs. They use herbal remedies for medicinal purposes to heal and maintain good health. They use spices and herbs in their foods, herbal teas, and raw honey.
No processed foods – whole foods are prepared and eaten. Everything is fresh.
Daily exercise – no, not gyms. Activities include walking, hiking, biking, manual labor, gardening.
A relaxed way of life – work and social culture are relaxed with little regard to time.
Minimum sugar, white flour and meat – low intake of these items decreases your risk of heart disease.
Regular naps – 3 naps a week was correlated with a 37% drop in cardiovascular disease.
Staying busy and involved – elders are active and involved in their communities. They are not left out but valued.
Common Foods For Longevity in Ikaria
Here are 9 foods most commonly eaten in Ikaria that promote a healthy lifestyle.
1. Honey – Raw honey contains many nutrients and is high in antioxidants. It assists in healing the gut lining, combatting allergies and acne. Make sure it’s raw and not processed.
2. Chickpeas – are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.
3. Lemons – high in calcium, potassium, and vitamin C and help with digestion.
4. Coffee – is high in antioxidants.
5. Olive oil – is a powerful antioxidant that lowers inflammation and supports brain and heart health.
6. Wild greens – eating fresh, nutrient-dense greens with little to no pesticides.
7. Potatoes – rich in vitamins C (with skin), B6, and potassium. Make sure to eat baked or roasted and not fried.
8. Black-eyed peas – contain minerals such as magnesium and iron. They are best bought uncooked.
9. Mediterranean herbs – cooking with herbs has tremendous health benefits that include lowering of inflammation and reduced cardiovascular disease.