Back in the day (or mere seconds before you read this article), you might’ve thought that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. While we have nothing against a good, juicy Honeycrisp, there are even better ways to achieve a long, healthy life.
Take the residents of Ikaria, Greece. Not only is this city almost entirely free of dementia and many chronic diseases, but it also reports one in three residents making it to their 90s. Their secret? A Mediterranean diet, being active, and creating a positive atmosphere.
A Long Life? It’s a Dream Come Blue!
With its population living long, healthy lives, Ikaria is one of five places in the world labeled as an official Blue Zone, alongside Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California.
Can all of us pack our bags, say sayonara to our families, and escape to these oases? Probably not. But we can integrate their lifestyles into our own with a few simple changes.
Getting into the (Blue) Zone
Step 1: Steps
Yep, that’s right. Ikarians tend to exercise by gardening, walking to their neighbors’ homes, or doing yard work. So, go ahead! Bike to town instead of drive. Walk to your friend’s house on a nice day. Garden like you’ve never gardened before. A few small changes can have a large impact.
Step 2: Make Mediterranean Meals
Eat our way to good health? Say no more. Part of the longevity of Ikarians is due to their Mediterranean diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, fish, potatoes, and olive oil. Whether you get your veggies in with our fresh RawSpiceBar Greek Vegetarian Lasagna or enjoy the comforting, zesty warmth of our RawSpiceBar Greek Lemon Chicken Soup, there are many ways to incorporate the Mediterranean diet into your life.
Step 3: Make “You” a Priority
The best way to care for ourselves is to take care of ourselves. This can include napping (which can reduce heart disease by 35 percent thanks to the lowering of stress hormones), fostering social connections with friends and family, and enjoying the antioxidant punch of herbal teas when you need some Me Time.
Who knew a healthy lifestyle could be so enjoyable?