While Okinawa has the longest-lived women, Sardinia, Italy has the longest-lived men. It too is an isolated island and although most men’s job is tending to their sheep, in the past they did not eat much meat. A Sardinian centenarian explains their longevity to clean air, locally produced wine or as another suggests, making love every Sunday.
Top longevity foods from Sardinia:
- goats milk and sheep’s milk-higher nutritional value and more easily digested than cow’s milk
- Flat bread-made of high-protein, low gluten wheat
- Barley-ground into flour for bread and added to soups
- Sourdough bread-made from whole wheat
- Fennel-licorice tasting vegetable used as a herb and a spice also
- Fava beans and chickpeas-provides protein and fiber-eaten in soups and stews
- Tomatoes-tomato sauce tops breads and pizzas
- Almonds-eaten alone, chopped into main dishes and used as a paste for desserts
- Cannonau wine-Sardinia’s garnet-red wine made from the Grenache grape
Many Americans believe more protein is good for us, but this long-lived population grew up on a low-protein diet. Over the years their diet has evolved and the Italian influences, including an increased popularity of meat, has contributed to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease rates soaring in recent decades.
Taken from National Geographic’s “The Blue Zones-The Science of Living Longer”
I need to use my garden tomatoes or cans from the market more frequently by cooking them to use in and on top of casseroles. I do use chickpeas in salads and to make hummus, but I also will be experimenting with cooking more barley and beans in my kitchen. Look at the above list and if these foods are not already a part of your regular diet, put a few of them on your grocery list.
I believe I do not drink quite as much red wine as the Sardinians, however I do have a glass 3 to 4 times a week.