Experts appear to have found the secret to longevity and it resides in the small Aegean island of Ikaria: siestas (short naps), a healthy diet, and oh yeah, genetics.
Conducted by Greek cardiologists, a study examined more than 1,400 residents of Ikaria (there is just a population of 8,000) over several months in 2009. Thirteen percent of those polled were over 80 years old and more than one percent were over 90.
“While in the rest of Europe only 0.1 percent of the population is over 90 years old, in Ikaria the figure is tenfold, 1.1 percent,” said Christina Chrysohoou, a cardiologist at the Athens university school of medicine.
Researchers also noted that the parents of the study participants lived long lives for their time. On average, they lived between 67 and 80 years while other Greek residents only live between 50 and 55 years.
So what do residents of Ikaria eat specifically? According to researchers, it’s mainly fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes and tea that help “shield” the cardiovascular system. Daily use of olive oil is also seen as being beneficial for sexual activity. Throw in a little extra time for rest in the form of an afternoon nap and you have the recipe for a long and healthy life.
Now if we could just convince our bosses here in the States that a daily afternoon nap is a good thing.