The Greek Island of Old Age

The Greek Island of Ikaria got its name from Icarus, who flew too close to the sun. But what sets this island apart is the fact that its inhabitants live an average of ten years longer than the rest of Europe. Scientists are trying to find out why.

It could be the fresh air and the friendly, easy-going, open-door lifestyle. It could be fresh vegetables and goat's milk.

It could be the mountainous terrain. Everywhere on Ikaria is up, or down, so getting around keeps you fit.

It could even be the natural radiation in the granite rocks. But Stamatis Moraitis thinks he knows what it is.

"It's the wine," he says, over a mid-morning glass at his kitchen table. "It's pure, nothing added. The wine they make commercially has preservatives. That's no good. But this wine we make ourselves is pure."

Or it could be that Moraitis is 98 years old and still tends his olive trees and his vineyard, and makes 700 gallons of wine every year. Sixty percent of the island's people over age 90 are still active, compared to 20% elsewhere. It's just a way of life for the people of Ikaria. Read more about them at BBC News. Link -via the Presurfer


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