Ikaria is a small island of North Aegean, world renowned as being one of the Blue Zones. This means that at least one out of three inhabitants live through the age of 90. This is definitely impressive! As expected, the phenomenon of longevity in Ikaria has raised global attention. Eventually, the Ikarian diet was questioned. And from what you will see, the Ikarians have a thing or two to teach us in this matter.
But what is it that makes the locals of this island turn 90 or even 100? And more importantly, what keeps them healthy and well at this age? Everyone agrees that it is the mindfulness of their lifestyle. They respect nature and avoid the principles of materialism.
Ikarian Diet: Longevity in a Plate
First of all, the Ikarians avoid anything processed. There are no junk foods there! Topped with the scarce meat consumption, you can see why they do not have increased saturated fat. They have goats and maybe some pigs. But they use them on rare occasions and moderately.
Instead of meat, they consume wild fish and seafood. Healthy omega 3s and 6s are certainly beneficial to their health. In addition, it seems that all Ikarians are experts in gardening. They all have their own garden, where they plant seasonal fruits and herbs. So they respect nature’s course and only eat something in season. Why bother eat strawberries in the middle of winter, anyway?
Apart from food straight from the orchard, they make their own cheese and yoghurt. They use goat’s milk as the basis of their production. So they make a great Greek salad, on top of everything else! However, they mainly consume legumes and vegetables on a daily basis. Of course, extra virgin olive oil could not be absent from the table.
Last but not least, wine is a major part of Ikarian diet. The locals tend to have a glass of wine (or two) with every meal. Some even have wine at breakfast. But they take their time and relish every sip. They do not rush or hurry to go somewhere. On the contrary, they appreciate each moment and treasure it.
Live Like an Ikarian
Now that you have read about the Ikarian diet, would you live by these rules? Would you let go of contemporary conveniences and live according to nature? If you are willing to try, you will notice a huge difference in your body and mind state. You will feel lighter than ever, filled with energy and in a great spirit.
In modern life, daily routine can be exhausting. Time goes by so fast that you cannot even realize anything. So in such a society it could be difficult to change the way you eat and behave. But it is definitely worth trying. It may seem hard at first and even impossible. Over time, you will notice that it is getting easier.
One thing that we learn from the Ikarians, besides their dietary patterns, is to take all the time we need. Life is not a fast race, rather than a marathon. And if you want to finish the race, you need to hold back. You must keep your strengths for the time when it all matters. And trust nature, not only for your nutrition, but maybe for medicinal purposes too. If you have a sore throat, drink tea with honey and some lemon. Why go for antibiotics or cough syrups from the beginning?
Some people describe the Ikarian diet as vegetarian or even vegan. Although there is moderate consumption in several food categories, basically it is an all-natural diet. With absolute respect to the environment, with water sustainability and ecological principles, the Ikarians know best.