Everyone knows of the great benefits that EVOO gives to our organism, and there are numerous studies and a lot of research supporting this. EVOO, the Mediterranean diet and a healthy lifestyle, in which we do exercise and have water daily, are the keys to success for having good health.
This fact that EVOO has amazing benefits is not only demonstrated by studies, but by a little place where it is consumed and where the people have great longevity.
This place is known as Ikaria, a Greek island that is 255 square kilometers and has close to 10,000 habitants. It is located just 30 kilometers from the western coast of Turkey. Its irregular mountain range is covered with bushes and rises steeply out of the Aegean Sea. Before the Christian era, the island was home to thick oak forests, vineyards and productive wild olive trees that still exist today. The strong winds that hit the island are mentioned in the «Iliad», and the lack of natural harbors kept it off the main navigation routes for most of its history. This forced Ikaria to be a self-sufficient island.
This unique island is considered to have the longest-living people on the planet, as many of its habitants easily get to 100 years old. On Ikaria, it is as if they forget to die.
A particular instance is that of Stamatis Moraitis. 9 doctors diagnosed him with severe level 4 cancer with several metastases. At this point, he was a bit more than 60 years old, and he was expected to live for at most 6 months. He then returned from the city to his island to retire in such a peaceful place, one bathed by a sea of self-reliance and tranquility. Then, he planted an olive tree in the garden in order to get to see it grow in the short time that he had to live. After, without realizing it, he continued planting olive trees and vineyards, year after year. He did not have any treatment, and lived on the fruits of those olive trees and the wine from his vineyards. The tumor disappeared, and he lived to be 102 years old. Life granted this man more than 40 years to live after being diagnosed.
Many of the people from this area say that the secret to this longevity is due to their way of life, one where they don’t worry about the time, have olive oil everyday, wake up late, take daily naps and are never in a rush. Also, they have a daily tea made from seasonal herbs, that comes from herbs from the area like salvia, dandelion and mint. This tea is accompanied by a little bit of lemon too. This drink is almost always drunk with company present.
In searching for the secret of this prolonged longevity, the habits of the habitants have been studied. The results are that the Ikarian diet includes a lot of vegetables, a low amount of lactose (except for goat milk), a low consumption of meat products and moderate quantities of alcohol. More elements include potatoes, legumes (chick-peas, peas and lentils), wild vegetables, goat milk and honey. All of these products are produced locally and greatly contribute to the island’s success as being a very long-living place. However, the long-living people from the island insist that along with these products and the special tea they enjoy, EVOO constitutes a fundamental part of their daily diet. Not being in a rush, maintaining relationships with friends and family, taking naps, eating the Mediterranean diet and consuming EVOO on a daily basis with help us to remember that we can live much longer and better. Death can wait a little bit longer.