Ikaria is a tiny rocky island of Greece that is situated in the Aegean Sea. The island derives its name from the Greek mythological character, Icarus who was the son of Daedalus and is believed to have fallen into the nearby sea after trying to fly too close to the sun. It is a sort of Wonder Island in the sense that residents of the place enjoy a longer life compared to other Greek islands and also the mainland. As a matter of fact, Ikarians may live at least ten years more than people residing in other parts of Europe or America. Hence, it is known as the “Island of Long Life”
Additionally, the prevalence of chronic diseases like heart-related ailments and cancer is also very less over here. Aging-related issues like dementia and depression are also considerably less due to which one in every three people on the island is able to cross 90-years of age and stay healthy! A mix of reasons may be responsible for this absolutely fantastic phenomenon, some of which are described here for an understanding.
The people of the island mostly consume more green and natural products like fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, and potatoes. They prefer having Mediterranean diets cooked in low-cholesterol olive oil that also helps in lowering mono-unsaturated fats. Food items having refined sugar or meat is usually not very highly consumed on the island. Moreover, Ikarians like to consume grass-fed goat milk instead of cow milk because it has the stress-relieving hormone, tryptophan and also contains potassium in it. Additionally, lactose intolerance can also be countered by it as it is a hypoallergenic drink.
The life on the island is quite easy going as people generally like to cultivate their own greens for consumption. As a result, up to ten times more antioxidants can be expected in the veggies cultivated by the people here so that it can have an amazing effect on one’s health. People also enjoy gardening, completing their own yard work, and meeting with neighbours so that there is a strong social bond between the people on the island. Islanders also tend to go for a small nap after lunch in the afternoon that can help their metabolism further.
People of Ikaria have an affinity towards herbal teas and like to have a drink with family and friends. Herbal drinks have superb antioxidant properties that can help tremendously to stay healthy for long. Oregano, sage or rosemary teas that are mostly consumed in Ikaria work as a diuretic and also help in lowering the blood pressure by maintaining a proper balance of water and sodium so that there is no abnormal loss of these constituents.
A small nap can be the difference as stated earlier; people of Ikaria like to enjoy a mid-afternoon break. Studies have shown that people who take a nap regularly can be at a 35 percent lower risk of suffering from a heart ailment. It may be due to the fact that napping helps to rest the heart and improves upon stress hormones considerably.
Ikaria is a picture-perfect island with deep valleys, beautiful coves, and some really beautiful beaches. The Seychelles and Messakti beaches are two of the most popular beaches of the island where some good times can be spent with family and friends. Seychelles is a small beach that can be accessible after making a hike for about ten minutes. It is a rocky beach with cliffs and boulders and not many commercial spaces nearby to it.
On the other hand, Messakti is more hospitable and offers abundant possibilities for water sports, enjoying some cool drinks or building sand castles with the family. It is a large golden beach that can be ideal for visiting by a family as there are ample opportunities for kids to keep them busy during the summer seasons. Visitors can also expect facilities like sun loungers and umbrellas over here so that visiting this beach can be absolutely fantastic.
The island is also popular for its celebration of “Panagiria” that is a cultural feast day celebrated in honor of the Saints. The festival is usually held in August during the summer months and a large number of tourists also try attending the feasts. Life on the island is completely different than the mainland as there is more reliance on nature and social bonding. That may be one of the reasons that people enjoy longevity here as happiness can be a big determinant for a fulfilling life.