A Village Full of Centenarians Shares Secrets to Longevity

by Anna Scanlon
Natural Society

1 in 10 people in this seaside village are over 100 years old.

Acciaroli, Italy is known for two things: its stunning seaside beauty and the fact that 1 in 10 people who inhabit the village are classed as centenarians – someone who lives to be 100 years old or more. Eighty-one of its 7,000 citizens are over 100, not to mention a large population of those living healthily in their 80’s and 90’s.

Drawn to understand the secret of their longevity, scientists at Rome’s Sapienza University and the San Diego School of Medicine spent 6 months studying the locals and unveiled their findings at a conference in the village. [1]

But, not only do the residents of Acciaroli live to a ripe old age; most of them don’t suffer from age-related conditions. Very few of them develop heart disease or dementia.

Many of them credit their good health and longevity to their healthy diet. Most consume what is known as a Mediterranean diet, rich in fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a modest helping of carbohydrates per day. Others say that it’s their old-fashioned lifestyle that helps them stay young; many raise their own animals to eat, grow their own vegetables, spend time fishing for their food, and the village even produces its own olive oil.

Those who live in the town are also fairly active, many walking a couple of miles a day if they are able. Alan S. Maisel, the San Diego cardiologist who spearheaded the study, noted during his study that everyone in the village did something active each day. [2]

Scientists think that there is no one magic ingredient to the longevity of the town, but many factors play a role, including a healthy diet, exercise, and good health care.

A couple named Amina and Antonio, who are 93 and 100, respectively, said that their secret to their long life was love. However, when interviewed by CNN, Antonio reminisced about how when he was a young boy, the village was remote and cut off from the rest of the world, without running water or electricity for many decades. Because only the strong survived these difficult times, it is theorized that those who are alive today are those who have been able to bear hardships throughout their lives.

Others around the world who are known for living long lives, such as those tucked away in the Aegean Sea is a small, rocky island called Ikaria, credit their easy-going lifestyle for their long lives. It seems that taking naps, living stress-free, drinking goat milk, and living an active lifestyle are essential components for long, happy living.

[1] CBS
[2] The Daily Mail

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