There is a Greek island which is called Ikaria. It is located in the East Aegean, near the island of Samos. Ikaria is known as the island where the residents live longer than in any other region in Greece. In fact, Ikaria has been at the center of many studies by scientists who try to find the secrets in the daily life of the residents that provide them with this unique privilege. A recent survey points out the major factors that give the inhabitants of Ikaria longevity and well-being.
Adopting the Mediterranean diet has beneficial effects even on diabetic seniors. The Mediterranean diet also appears to reduce elevated blood uric acid levels leading to gout. When asked about nutrition, the residents of Ikaria said that they consume tea at least once a week. The consumption of the tea usually lowers lipid levels, even in diabetics, while improving kidney function. Also, the majority of the residents consume more than 150 grams of fish per week, which helps in satisfactory kidney function.
Another interesting fact is that they consume products that they cultivate by themselves in their gardens or farms. They cultivate their own fruits and vegetables or breed animals for meat. Daily fruit consumption, according to research, seems to reduce the risk of death by 18% and further intake of 100 grams of fruit per day reduces mortality by 40%. Increasing the consumption of fresh vegetables by 100 grams per day reduces mortality by 50%.
Their consumption of food includes small portions. Usually, they don’t eat much, but they try to eat less food about three or four times a day. Alcohol is, of course, part of their nutrition but in moderation.
The next secret to a longer life is physical exercise. Residents in Ikaria love to walk and participate in agricultural work. Surveys have shown that physical exercise improves body weight and reduces the occurrence of cardiovascular events while reducing the size of the increase in heart mass, even in overweight / obese people. Lastly, physical activity is associated with better mental alertness.
Also, the close family ties and companionship seem to characterize the elderly of Ikaria. The feeling of support and help from the younger members of their family is a common finding in the lives of elderly Ikariotes, contributing to their longevity.
Maintaining an optimistic attitude towards life is another secret that contributes to longevity and well-being.
8th on the list with the top 10 longevity secrets comes stress control combined with living simply. People on islands have a more simple life than people in large cities. They don’t have to face everyday traffic jams, they usually go from one place to another on foot, and their working environment is less demanding.
Participation in social groups with common interests and views holds 9th place on the list. The Ikariotes have intense social interaction while participating in social events. The social environment constantly renews in the elderly the feeling of usefulness and active participation in social events.
Lastly, a good night’s sleep always lowers the risk for serious health problems.
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