As Okinawa was home to the world’s oldest living women, Sardinia is home to the world’s oldest living men! Sardinians live as a culturally isolated community, on an island, as a group of villages in the Barbagia region. So what is it about Sardinia that makes it so special?
“Kent’annos; Health and life for 100 years.”
6 CORE MEDICINES & PRINCIPLES FOR SARDINIANS
- Connection: For Sardinians connection is a powerful medicine for them too. They honor family and strongly believe that this connection is a clue to their long life.
- Lifestyle: Men in Sardinia gather in the street each afternoon to laugh with and at each other and share a glass of red wine.
- Movement: Movement is a lifestyle where Sardinians walk for five miles a day or more.
- Nature: Sardinians have a great connection with the natural world that supports them.
- Food: They still hunt, fish, and harvest the food they eat. They laugh and drink wine together
- Genes: Good genes are good; 8 in 10 Sardinians are directly linked to original Sardinians.
CONNECTION IS MEDICINE
Sardinians' longevity secret may again be found in the simplicity of connection being the ultimate medicine; by putting family first, celebrating elders and laughing with friends, Sardinian men ensure that they have a supportive social network over their lifespan.
FAMILY IS MEDICINE
The beauty of Sardinia’s strong family values is that it helps assure that every member of the family is cared for. Modern research has shown us over and over again that people who live in strong, healthy families suffer lower rates of depression, suicide, and stress. It is important to know that we all have a family that loves us—they just might not be related by blood. You could meet someone tomorrow who has better intentions for you than someone you have known your entire life! Build your social support network with this in mind.
Like the Okinawans, grandparents in Sardinia provide love, wisdom, support, childcare and financial help, to their grandchildren and children’s lives. They aim to continue family traditions and help raise healthy, well-adjusted family members. Imagine how much money people could save on childcare and the unconditional love that could be utilized to nourish future generations if we all applied this with our grandparents, godparents, or even the community.
LIGHT HEARTS & HEALTHY MODERATION
Living a connected and light-hearted lifestyle is powerful. Laughter reduces stress, which can lower one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Contrary to modern beliefs on alcohol, they also drink red wine at 5 pm! They toast— “Kent’annos” which means “Health and life for 100 years.” Maybe you don’t have to make excuses for that glass of red wine with dinner after all? Just enjoy healthy moderation without drinking the whole bottle (or two!). The connection alone helps reduce stress from the day.
MOTION IS LOTION
Movement is also a lifestyle for Sardinians. Imagine walking for at least 5 miles a day without it being a chore. Imagine the cardiovascular and mobility benefits. The Sardinians believe in staying active and working their entire life. Sardinian men commonly share that “We walk and work our entire life, even when we don’t feel great.”
FOOD FROM NATURE
Most Sardinians still hunt, fish, and grow their own food. They eat mostly plant-based foods alongside their classic Italian cuisine including whole-grain bread, beans, garden vegetables, fruits, cheese, and homemade oil. Their pecorino cheese is made from grass-fed sheep and is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Meat is largely reserved for Sundays and special occasions.
Sardinian men are a great example of a well-balanced life. Connection and family is a core medicine, movement is s way of life, and food is eaten and prepared with pride from nature. Drinking a glass of red wine, laughing with friends, and dancing spontaneously on the street is welcomed. If life gets too serious, perhaps it would be a good idea to spend some time in Sardinia for a month and see how it changes your perspective on life and living.
Curious questions to self
- How well connected are you to your “family” (blood or non-blood related)?
- How often do you laugh and live lightly?
- How connected are you to the natural world?
- Is movement a lifestyle or a chore?
- Do you live in the realms of healthy moderation?
This is directly referenced from the best-selling amazon SelfCare Book "Lifestyle Medicine For the People" by Rory Callaghan. If you would like to read more content like this. Grab the free online chapters of the book or a hard copy.
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