Who doesn’t want to live a long and healthy life? The modern world is so fast paced that we mostly take for granted how we are living our lives. We lead unhealthy lifestyle because we tend to be too busy with work or family. More and more people are diagnosed with the chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle. Apart from eating healthily and working out, how can we achieve a long life?
It should come as no surprise that following the Mediterranean diet leads to a longer life. However, we should also take a look at the overall lifestyle of the people of that region, so that we can learn a few things from them about how we can improve our life expectancy. Ikaria, a tiny, rocky island hidden in the corner of the Aegean Sea, is a home of people with an average life expectancy of 90 years old. We will let you in on some of their secrets to a long life, which researchers have discovered after years of studying their place and people.
8 Secrets to a Long Life
Here are some secrets we learned from the Ikarians for a longer life!
Regularly Drink Herbal Tea
Ikarians love their herbal tea. Most of the tea blends found in their island serve as mild diuretics which help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of dementia. Some of the diuretic herbs they use as tea include dandelion, stinging nettle, green tea and yarrow. Green tea has astounding health benefits, so you should give that a try.
Instead of drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, switch it up with green tea! Eight ounces of green tea contains about 35 grams of caffeine, so you will get the same pick-me-up as your coffee. You can also drink the tea in the afternoon which can boost metabolism and help to detox your body.
Ikarians love their sleep. They do not bother waking up to get working until they feel like it and often take an afteroon siesta. A short rest like an afternoon nap or siesta can have wondrous effects on cardiovascular health, as it can reduce the risk of heart diseases, including heart attacks. It will make you feel energized and well-rested, allowing you to do more things effectively.
It can be hard for adults to get enough sleep daily. However, an hour or two of extra sleep can do wonders. Do you usually go to sleep at midnight, because you waste time surfing the net or watching a movie? Try going to sleep an hour or two earlier and switch off devices earlier too so you can get relaxed earlier.
Consume Fresh Produce
It is common sense that the regular consumption of vegetables is important to keep the body healthy. People can choose to eat full-sized vegetables or micro greens. In Ikaria, close to 200 varieties of green vegetables are grown. As a matter of fact, the islanders consume their produce freshly, and in season. As is common with the Mediterranean diet, it includes small amounts of meat and sugar, plus lots and lots of beans, vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil, which is very rich in antioxidants.
There are so many smoothie recipes that include green vegetables. If you’re a busy bee, try mixing up a green smoothie a few times a week. Opt for fresh produce and dine in restaurants that offer organic foods.
Consume Goat’s Milk
Goat’s milk is a better alternative to cow’s milk since it contains the amino acid tryptophan which helps to fight stress, and is also easier to digest. Goat cheese also boasts significant levels of vitamin D, which is just another source of the vitamin for these people who are already getting a lot of it directly from the sun.
Goat’s milk is now widely available in groceries and markets, so you can switch up your full cream milk with this much healthier alternative.
Just Keep Walking
People in Ikaria have to walk – a lot. They walk uphill and downhill since they live in mountainous terrains. Since these people are usually very relaxed, they are in no realhurry to get to where they are going, so they get to enjoy regular leisurely walks while they sip their healthy tea.
Try taking the stairs instead of using the escalator or elevator. This will improve overall blood circulation and help reduce stress.
Take a Dip in a Hot Spring
Ikarians have been taking dips in radium-rich hot springs since the 4th century. For most Americans, radium is believed to be harmful, but Ikarians would disagree. Because of their regular dips in hot springs, they enjoy less stress, joint pains, and skin irritations, among other health benefits.
Dance Dance Dance
Instead of swimming in bland tasting beer or paying ridiculous prices for alcoholic beverages with high sugar contents, Ikarians keep their food and drink consumption just right. Instead, they focus on enjoying each other’s company and dance the night away.
If you’re not a fan of exercise routines, try Zumba and other forms of dancing which will help to get you moving! Not only will it burn calories, but it will also help you to de-stress and have a great time.
Stress reduction is slowly gaining in popularity as the way to good health and a long life. Stress is one of the common causes of almost all illnesses and dangerous behaviors. Try asking an Ikarian the time – more often than not, they will not know. And actually, they do not care. Because we are so used to trying to fit everything in, into the limited time we have, it might be quite hard for us to take an Ikarian approach to our lives. But there’s no need to rush, starting with something as simple as reducing stress in your life will benefit you immensely. To reduce stress, try meditation, exercise, tapping, yoga or a simple 10 to 20-minute break to enjoy a cup of herbal. Sounds easy, right?