Fountain of Youth May Be Found in Southeast Italy
The mythical fountain of youth has been the basis for countless films and books. And although we may not be able to live this life forever, that fact has not stopped people from looking for new ways to stay younger and healthier for longer. Perhaps the good people of Acciarolli, Italy have figured it out. Roughly one-third of the town’s residents are currently over the age of 100.
FOX News Health recently reported on the town, and a University of California team traveled to southeastern Italy to see if they could figure out why people there enjoyed such long life. To live in a town where 300 people are, at the least, centenarians is more than unique – it is outright astonishing. The U of C team decided they wanted to know what the secret was.
Their visit revealed some interesting things. First, residents of Acciarolli do not engage in regular exercise classes. There are not people out jogging on the street every day. In the evenings, townspeople gather at local cafés to enjoy hours of conversation, coffee, and some good wine. Second, researchers did observe widespread healthy eating habits and a noticeable lack of stress in the town. They say both are factors in longevity.
Healthy Eating Improves Overall Health
We say this a lot, but it is true: healthy eating habits lead to better overall health. As with any other ‘machine’, the human body requires certain nutrients to function optimally. It also needs those nutrients in the correct volume. That is what healthy eating is all about. It’s about finding the right kinds of foods, consuming them in the right volumes, and combining both with a few additional healthy habits that make the difference.
What is interesting about Acciarolli is the town’s position on the southeast coast of Italy. We have long believed the Mediterranean diet to be very favorable to human health, and this town seems to prove that assumption. U of C researchers noticed two particular things that were part of nearly every meal in the town: anchovies and rosemary.
Anchovies are fatty fish with exceptionally high levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. As for rosemary, it has long been thought of as a healing herb with an extensive list of health benefits. The people of Acciarolli combine these two healthy foods with plenty of other fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and fish.
Learn to Relax for Your Health
Researchers were also struck by how calm and laid-back life is in Acciarolli. Life in the town is slow-paced and relatively stress-free by all accounts, and that could be another significant factor in their longevity.
We already know that stress is rough on the body. Stress has been linked to all sorts of maladies including heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, liver disease, respiratory problems, joint problems, and so much more. Reduce your stress and you are more likely to live a healthier and happier life.
No, there is no mythical fountain of youth that offers longevity with every drink. But perhaps the people of Acciarolli have figured out the next best thing. By maintaining healthy eating habits based on fresh foods and good balance, they are setting themselves up for healthy lives with fewer medical problems. By practicing a lifestyle that is laid-back and low stress, they seem to manage to ward off the diseases that plague so many others.
It would be interesting to look into Acciarolli a bit more. If we could learn more details about life there, perhaps we could also learn how to live healthier and happier too.