Sea Diet And Siesta Result In Longevity, Study Suggests
A sea diet and siesta, as well as genetics, are possible explanations of why people living on Ikaria, a tiny Greek island, live so long.
Cardiologists conducted a study analyzing data from 1,400 people living on Ikaria, looking at information such as diet and lifestyle. 13 percent of the group of people polled were over 80 years old, and a little over one percent of women were over 90. There are only about 8,000 residents living on the island.
Results indicated that Ikaria’s elderly residents had healthier eating habits than younger residents. They also took naps more regularly and had lower rates of depression. Additionally, high blood pressure and cholesterol manifest much later among those living on Ikaria than in other parts of Greece, according to Christos Pitsavos, one of the study’s authors.
"Fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes and tea shield the cardiovascular system. Moreover, daily use of olive oil is beneficient 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," AFP quoted the researchers as saying.
According to Pitsavos, genetics could also have something to do with the study findings.
"What's interesting is to see that the parents of people participating in the study had also lived long lives,” said Pitsavos, as quoted by AFP. "On average they died between the ages of 67 and 80 when elsewhere in Greece at the time it was 50-55."