They are unequivocally doing something right. Over 300 people in the isolated Italian village of Acciaroli are centenarians—they are living past the age of 100. It may not seem too remarkable, but consider that the population of Acciaroli is 2000!
Researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of Rome La Sapienza are looking at why these people are leading longer lives with health and vigour.
The key to longevity may be learned from residents who have traditional lifestyles and diets. What can scientists hope to uncover? This is the first study ever for the village of Acciaroli, but perhaps it will be a candidate for the Blue Zones, pockets where more people are living to be over 100 more than anywhere else in the world.
Blue Zones are geographic and demographic areas where people are living considerably longer lives. The “longevity hot spots” are in Okinawa, Sardinia, Nicoya, Icaria, and with Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California.
They have healthy diets and social lives while incorporating moderate exercise into their lifestyles.
The Mediterranean Diet
The traditional diet in Acciaroli is akin to the so-called Mediterranean Diet. This means they eat a plant-based diet with an emphasis on fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains with a few other special additions like extra-virgin olive oil and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Is Rosemary Important?
Each of the Blue Zones has something unique that could help them live longer. Rosemary is the standout feature of the diet in Acciaroli where it shows up in many dishes. Herbs and spices are known to benefit the body and rosemary is no exception because of its anti inflammatory properties.
Rosemary might also improve your brain function and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. This might be an easy connection to draw since Acciaroli has low instances of the debilitating disease.
More Than Just Diet
It’s not just their diet that helps them to have long lives. A main reason for their prolonged life and health might be that they’ve incorporated exercise into their lifestyles, as mentioned earlier. Villagers in Acciaroli are active every day by hiking through mountains and walking long distances.
Acciaroli residents also live a relaxed life. Reducing stress is known to make you happier and healthier. When it comes to eating they take the time to eat well and really savour it all! Copy them by eating meals with good friends and by eating mindfully.
Average life expectancy in the United States is 78 years old despite modern advances in healthcare. Far less than the residents in Acciaroli. Developed western countries have ageing populations that are going to be extremely expensive to take care of, so we should all turn our attention to ways to make our lives long, healthy and happy. We hope to learn more secrets to longevity once the study is concluded!