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Meet the Ikarians: the Greeks who outlive other Europeans

Meet the Ikarians: the Greeks who outlive other Europeans
By NBC Left Field
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Ikarians follow a few rules to outlive other Europeans, which includes taking daily naps and eating a diet full of olive oil, honey, and wine.


Ikaria is a Greek island in the Aegean sea known not only for its natural beauty but for its really old people. The island forms part of the blue zone areas — parts of the world where inhabitants live longer than anywhere else.

The blue zone areas list includes Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California.

People from Ikaria tend to outlive the average lifetime; studies show that one in three Ikarians lives to be 90.

Inhabitants of the Greek island have lower cases of dementia and tend to live a decade longer before developing heart disease or cancer.

So what's the secret to the Ikarian lifestyle?

The Ikarian way of life has a few secrets, which include staying physically active, a communal way of life, taking daily naps (which is linked to a decrease in cardiovascular disease) and following a plant-based Mediterranean diet full olive oil, honey, and wine.

—This story was produced by NBC Left Field, which creates short, creative docs and features, all designed for social media and set-top boxes.

Video Journalist: Nikolia Apostolou

Editor: Haimy Assefa

Producer: Shaminder Dulai

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