On the Greek island of Ikaria, there’s a less than 10 per cent chance that you will develop Alzheimer’s in old age.
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behaviour. Symptoms eventually grow severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
In Ikaria, the elderly are staying sharp and healthy and according to the New York Times bestselling author, Dan Buettner, they have a few ancient secrets to avoiding the disease.
1. The Ikarian Diet:
Ikarians eat the strictest version of the Mediterranean diet in the world. They eat a lot less fish and meat and a lot more wild greens. These wild greens have ten times the artery scrubbing antioxidants that red wine does.
According to dietary surveys conducted by Mr Buettner on the island over time, the Ikarians also enjoy herbal teas. These teas are made with herbs like oregano, dandelion, sage, and rosemary.
Samples tested at the University of Athens show that these ingredients are anti-inflammatory as well as mild diuretics. Johns Hopkins research published in the journal Neurology confirmed that the use of diuretics reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s by nearly 75 per cent.
2. Village Living:
In Ikaria, you can’t avoid social contact. People expect you to show up at village festivals, at church, and at celebrations. If you don’t, your neighbour will be pounding at your door wondering where you are.
As a result, Ikarians are much less likely to suffer loneliness and depression. Depressed people are 50 per cent more likely to suffer from dementia.