Ikaria is known as the island of long life for all!
No gender bias! 1 in 3 make it to their 90s!
Icaria is an isolated entrenched with beauty, culture, and family tradition. On a health scale, Ikarians are almost entirely free of dementia and other chronic diseases. They live an active outdoor lifestyle and like the Sardinians maintain an abundance of social connections. Their strong social networks foster connections that last their lifetime. They prioritize family and close friends, which has been shown to benefit overall health and longevity.
4 CORE MEDICINES FOR IKARIANS
- Environment: Some of the longest-living Ikarians were those living in the highlands and coming from poorer socio-economic backgrounds.
- Movement: Their movement came naturally into their lifestyle; walking to see a neighbor, gardening, general work, consciously engineering environments, and lifestyles that promote more movement, without it being a chore or “exercise.”
- Food: Ikarians follow a largely Mediterranean regime when it came to eating. Lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, potatoes and of course olive oil. Herbal teas were commonly consumed rather than coffee.
- Rest: A mid-afternoon nap is a common practice for Ikarians, some scientific literature has suggested that people who nap more regularly have better health.
RICH OR POOR, YOU CAN BE HEALTHY HERE
There is a common belief that those from lower socio-economic backgrounds are less healthy than those living in the “developed world.” However, this is not so. One could even argue that modern lifestyles may have increased our length of life, but reduced the quality of life lived. Especially considering that 1 in 2 people are living with a chronic preventable disease that restricts them as they get older.
LIVING AWAY FROM CITIES IS MEDICINE
Some of the longest-living Ikarians were those living in the highlands and coming from poorer socio-economic backgrounds. As such, movement naturally integrates into their lifestyle; walking to see a neighbor, gardening, general work, and consciously engineering environments and lifestyles that promote more movement. Again, without it being a chore or “exercise.”
THE MEDITERRANEAN FOOD IS MEDICINE
Ikarians follow a largely Mediterranean diet including lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, potatoes, and olive oil. Herbs like wild rosemary, sage and oregano were used regularly. All of these plants have a high antioxidant punch and help keep the body’s cardiovascular system in good condition. Ikarians also consume animal-based food such as goat’s milk rather than cow’s milk.
Taking it one step further, they even enjoy periodic intermittent fasting or “caloric restriction” as part of their religious calendar.
Imagine adding intermittent fasting and a plant-based regime as a foundation to your week.
REST IS MEDICINE, LIVING PROOF!
Resting, digesting, and relaxing is important too. We all know that a rest day can be more important than another “working day.” Whether in the gym or at work. Ikarians enjoy a mid-afternoon nap.
Some scientific literature has suggested that people who nap more regularly can reduce their chances of dying from heart disease by 35%!
However, upon reflection. If you have time to nap in the afternoon, you are probably living a pretty stress-free lifestyle.
In the modern world, 1 in 2 people are living with chronic and preventable diseases. Ikaria is a community where 1 in 3 people live into their 90s with the absence of these chronic preventable diseases. Before looking for a magic pill or spending billions of dollars on the next silver bullet solution, perhaps we should start spending that money to build more environments and communities built on these ikarian principles!
Curious Questions To Self?
- When was the last time you used public transport or walked to see a friend?
- Do you schedule a rest day into your week, or enjoy an afternoon siesta?
- Are you currently enjoying a mostly plant-based eating regime, allowing for some animal-based food?
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.
We have done our best to reference everyone’s expert opinions, peer-reviewed science, and original thoughts, all references available here and referenced in the text.
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