People on this island in Italy live to 100—here's a look at their diet for longevity

People on this island in Italy live to 100—here's a look at their diet for longevity

Sardinia, Italy is one of the world's five "Blue Zones" — or places around the world where an unusually large number of people live to 100 or longer.

For these vibrant Sardinian senior citizens, what they eat plays an important role in longevity. But you don't need to live in Italy to get these culinary health benefits.

Here's how to eat like a Sardinian for a longer life:

1. Use Sardinian-inspired ingredients

Meat is used sparingly, and much of the food in Sardinia is locally grown, and generally free of pesticides, hormones, dyes or sugars.

Here's exactly what you'll find on a typical Sardinian menu:

  • Vegetables, greens, salads and bean soups with fennel, fava beans, chickpeas and tomatoes.
  • Goat and sheep's milk products, which have anti-inflammatory properties and have been found to lower bad cholesterol.
  • Sardinian red wine from the mountaintop regions, which has higher levels of polyphenols than most other wines. Polyphenols are antioxidants that can help protect against ailments like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Their signature flatbread ("carta di musica"), made of high-protein, low-gluten triticum whole grain, which is the main ingredient in Italian pasta.
  • Milk thistle tea, thought to clean the liver, is enjoyed daily.

2. Grow some of your own food

Sardinians like to forage for wild asparagus, wild greens, berries and mushrooms. Don't do this yourself without the proper training, otherwise you could run the risk of eating something poisonous.

If you don't have a garden, try allotting a small plot of land for growing the Italian basics: lettuce, tomatoes, basil, parsley and squash. You can also grow these items in pots if you don't have a garden space.

There's nothing like the vibrant flavors of food that is eaten shortly after being harvested.

3. Eat out less

Sardinians love to cook. Take the time to enjoy the sounds of chopping onions, mincing garlic, and crushing fresh tomatoes for a delicious Sunday sauce.

You can gradually ease into the habit of cooking at home. If you work full-time, take weekends to do some batch-cooking or meal prep to last two or three days during the week.

Instead of looking at cooking as a chore, relax and embrace the process. Invite your family to help with cleanup and preparation, or have a friend over to share the fun over a glass of Sardinian wine.

4. Move more

Sardinians stay active all day long, especially in their culinary pursuits. They tend to their sheep, milk their goats, forage for wild greens, cook, clean and garden.

While you most likely won't be herding sheep or searching for mushrooms, you can still find ways to stay active throughout your day.

If you sit in front of the computer all day, set the timer on your phone or smartwatch in 30 to 45 minute intervals so you'll remember to get up and stretch, or take a walk on your lunch hour.

When you incorporate more movement into your routine, it can help uplift your spirits.

Raeleen D'Agostino Mautneris the author of"45 Ways to Live Like an Italian: Italian-Inspired Self-Care Traditions for Everyday Happiness."She holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a citizen of both Italy and the U.S. She is a regular contributor to bilingual (English/Italian) publications and has served as the stress-reduction interventionist for a large cardiac study at Yale. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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This is an adapted excerpt from "45 Ways to Live Like an Italian: Italian-Inspired Self-Care Traditions for Everyday Happiness,"by Raeleen D'Agostino Mautnerpublished bySourcebooks. Copyright © 2023 by Raeleen D'Agostino Mautner.

  • https://www.msn.com/en-ph/health/nutrition/people-on-this-island-in-italy-live-to-100-here-s-a-look-at-their-diet-for-longevity/ar-BB1hG1Ck?ocid=00000000

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