Want to live longer? It seems Italy and Italians do it better than (almost) everyone else!
The year 2020 is sure to go down in history as a time of re-assessment regarding personal health. When the skies re-open, we’ll no doubt prefer travelling to health-conscious countries. This is where the Bloomberg Global Health Index comes in. It is a study that ranks 163 countries based on variables such as life expectancy, environmental factors, and health risks. Now did you know that Italy is in 2nd place on the list as the most desirable destination for health-conscious travellers? Yes, the land of Pizza and Pasta boasts citizens who lead active lifestyles and stick to the famed Mediterranean diet. A diet rich in olive oil, fresh fruit and vegetables, cereals, grains, legumes, cheese, fish……and of course all washed down with a glass of robust red vino at each meal for a healthy dose of antioxidants! The longevity enjoyed by Italians is particularly evident on the island of Sardinia. Known as the island of centenarians, scientists have been studying communities to find out the reason for their longevity. The small town of Perdasdefogu in the province of Ogliastra on the island, boasts the Melis family of eight whose ages range from 91 to 103! The has earned them a spot in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest-living family on the planet. What’s their secret? The answer is simple: genuine, authentic, unadulterated food. Handmade cheeses, oil and wine from the area itself, home-baked bread, seasonal fruit and vegetables from the kitchen garden. Coupled with active work, strong and loving family bonds, and an unpolluted environment, it seems the Sardinian centenarians have found the answer to a long and healthy lifestyle. Well…..we may not be able to replicate all the factors in our busy city lives……but following the Mediterranean diet with a good glass of red at each meal might be a good place to start!