Greek Researchers Reveal Secrets to Living Longer, Healthy, Happy . . . and Sexy Lives
A just-released study conducted by Greek cardiologists reveals why people who live on Ikaria, an island right off the coast of Greece, live such long, healthy lives that include happiness and sex well into old age.
Apparently, their secrets are simple:
• Heavy use of olive oil
• A cup or two of coffee a day (or tea)
• Plentiful fruit, veggies, and fish
“Fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes, and tea shield the cardiovascular system,” the lead researcher said.
“Moreover, daily use of olive oil is beneficial to sexual activity and, if added to the moderate consumption of coffee in the afternoon ‘siesta,’ form the ingredients that may compose the secret of longevity.”
One thing to bear in mind about olive oil in the Greek diet is that the oil they consume is incredibly fresh, whereas in the U.S. genuinely fresh olive oil can be exceedingly difficult to locate.
Interestingly, Ikaria was identified several years ago as one home to some of the healthiest people on earth by National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner. Buettner traveled the globe to uncover the best strategies for living longer. As a result he identified places in the world where higher percentages of people enjoy remarkably long, full lives. Buettner calls these areas, which include Ikaria, Blue Zones (also the name of his bestselling book on the same topic).
While Beuttner’s observations were based primarily on interviews and anecdotes, this latest Greek study quantifies the same findings.
The blogspot Hellas Frappe reported results of the Greek study in detail:
“While in the rest of Europe only 0.1 percent of the population is over 90 years old, in Ikaria the figure is tenfold, 1.1 percent,” said Christina Chrysohoou, a cardiologist at the Athens University School of Medicine.
The study was conducted from June to October 2009 on over 1,400 of the island’s some 8,000 residents, divided into elderly and middle-aged groups and assessing lifestyle, diet, clinical, and other factors.
The study found that the elderly had healthier eating habits and took midday naps more regularly than younger islanders, presenting lower depression rates. And although the risks of high blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes are the same as in other parts of Greece, they manifest much later among Ikarians, said professor Christos Pitsavos, a co-author of the study.