A BBC news report about the elderly population of the Greek island of Ikaria in the Mediterranean has highlighted the importance of a lifestyle rich in fresh food, wine, friends and family on health and longevity.
Research carried out by the University of Athens studied those aged over 65 on Ikaria. On average, the 8,000 residents of the island live 10 years longer than most Europeans and in much better health to the end. On the island, rates of smoking are relatively low, mid-day naps are the norm, the pace of life is slow and people socialise frequently with friends and family, drinking moderate amounts of wine. Extended families give older people an important role in society and levels of depression and dementia are low.
While we can’t all live the island life of stress-free days and mid-day naps, we can at least try to incorporate some of the elements of life on Ikaria – keeping as active as possible; maintaining good links with our friends and family; eating healthily and drinking moderately.
See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20898379 for the full BBC article.