The Ikaria Blue Zone in Greece and Its Longevity Secrets – Business Insider

Ikaria, located in the Aegean Sea, is one of Greece’s many islands. What sets it apart is how long its residents live. Known as the island of longevity, one in three of its residents make it to their 90s, and rates of dementia and some other chronic diseases are very low, according to the Blue Zones website.

The island is one of the world’s five Blue Zones, which are regions of the world where people regularly live about a decade longer than the US or Western European average. In Ikaria, people also tend to have lower rates of cancer, heart disease, and depression than in the US, The Guardian reported. The first Blue Zone, Sardinia in Italy, was identified by the researchers Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain, and the concept was built upon by Dan Buettner, who named four more and has explored the habits and lifestyles of people in all five locations for the past 20 years.

Ikaria is a tiny island located about 30 miles from the Turkish coast with a population of about 8,400. Due to its geographical location, it has historically been the target of invasions by neighboring nations, which Buettner said forced residents inland, leading to an isolated culture heavily rooted in family life. Remaining active well into your 90s is common there, as well as staying sexually active into old age. A study on Ikaria from the University of Athens indicated 80% of Ikarian males between the ages of 65 and 100 were still having sex.

Source: The Ikaria Blue Zone in Greece and Its Longevity Secrets – Business Insider