A little gem

Ikaria, located in the Aegean Sea, is one of Greece’s many islands. What sets it apart is how long its residents live. Known as the island of longevity, one in three of its residents make it to their 90s, and rates of dementia and some other chronic diseases are very low, according to the Blue Zones website. Moreover it’s common for people to remain active well into their 90s. Residents In Ikaria, people also tend to have lower rates of cancer, heart disease, and depression than in the US, The Guardian reported. and spend lots of time with friends and family.
The diet
In essence Ikarians follow the Mediterranean Diet. They drink a lot of herbal tea made using staples such as oregano, sage, or rosemary. As well as containing antioxidants, as the Greek dietitian Elena Paravantes previously told Insider, they are low in calories. Dr. Ioanna Chinou, one of Europe’s top experts on the bioactive properties of herbs and natural products, told The New York Times that many of the teas Ikarians drink are traditional Greek remedies used for ailments such as gout and digestive problems and to improve blood pressure.
The culture
Ikarians spend a lot of time together and have a collective mindset. Dr. Ilias Leriadis, one of the island’s few physicians, told The New York Times: “It’s not a ‘me’ place. It’s an ‘us’ place.” There are frequent religious and cultural holidays, and people pool their money to buy food and wine, Leriadis said. If there is anything left over, it is donated to someone who needs it. People typically end their day by sharing a cup of herbal tea, followed by a few glasses of red wine with friends. Spending time with family is also a central element of Ikarian culture, with residents typically living with their children and grandchildren rather than in a home for older people.
  • Moderate, regular physical activity.
  • Life purpose.
  • Stress reduction.
  • Moderate calories intake.
  • Plant-based diet.
  • Moderate alcohol intake, especially wine.
  • Engagement in spirituality or religion.
  • Engagement in family life.
  • Engagement in social life.
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