In fact, in a small village called Acciaroli in Southern Italy, 1 in 10 inhabitants is a centenarian enjoying high-quality health well into the second century of their lives. Researchers from the University of California at San Diego and Sapienza University attribute these remarkable life spans in large part to the population’s high consumption of rosemary.
Living Long and Strong
For 6 months, researchers studied 80 centenarians living in Accioaroli. Blood tests revealed shockingly low levels of the hormone adrenomedullin. Levels mimicked those you’d expect to find in someone in his/her twenties or thirties! High levels of adrenomedullin have been found to cause blood vessels to contract, inhibiting blood circulation and instigating serious conditions such as heart disease. Centenarians in Accioaroli had extraordinarily good blood circulation, and didn’t suffer the infamous chronic conditions that plague Western countries—heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cataracts. They also seem to still be enjoying thriving sex lives. The researchers believe rosemary, frequently consumed by residents, may account for such great circulation and health.
Health Benefits of Rosemary
With the help of rosmarinic acid, an antioxidant and antibacterial aid, rosemary helps heighten memory and brain function. Essential oils cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, and α-pinene help to subdue inflammation and also possess antifungal and antiseptic properties.
Rosemary is rich in vitamin A, which helps to protect vision, skin, and mucous membranes, and vitamin C, which combats infections and produces collagen needed for optimal blood vessel, skin, and bone health.
Manganese works with superoxide dismutase to help prevent cancer, particularly breast cancer. And rosemary is also highly concentrated in iron, fiber, copper, magnesium, cooper, and B vitamins.
Adding Rosemary to Your Diet
To get the longevity benefits of rosemary, start adding at least 2 tablespoons of the herb to your diet a few times a week. You can mix it with olive oil and use as a dipping sauce for bread. Rosemary is a wonderful addition to soups. You can also roast it with potatoes, or use it to flavor pastas such as gnocchi.
You can also enjoy homemade rosemary tea simply by steeping fresh rosemary leaves in hot water and then straining. Rosemary essential oil is also a popular oil for use in aromatherapy. Breathe in some rosemary essential oil for its brain-boosting benefits, and who knows, you may be increasing your life span that way as well!