The Amazing Secret Behind Why The People Of Sardinia Live So Long

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Sardinia is one of the world’s top blue zones; areas associated with the greatest concentration of longevity in the world! With the recent advances in “big data” science and the ability to use computational power to analyze data, researchers have been able to examine the data of entire populations. For this reason, the location of the world’s blue zones are now fairly well established. The lifestyles, dietary habits and exercise patterns of their inhabitants have been the subject of very great interest and detailed analysis, in order to determine what we might do to extend our healthy lives.

Five official blue zone areas have now been identified: Okinawa (Japan), Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica), Icaria (Greece) and Loma Linda (California, USA). [1]

Other “potential blue zones” include:

• Hunza (a remote, pristine valley in the Pakistan Himalayas), which has been the subject of many legends of longevity. The uniquely mineralized Hunza water is thought to play a role in their long life and health.

• Yuzurihara (a village in Japan’s Yamanashi Prefecture). Researchers found 10 times as many people lived beyond 85 there as typically did in North America. They were found to have high levels of hyaluronic acid in their diet. [2]

• Other regions of Italy.

The World’s #1 Blue Zone

The village of Seulo in Sardinia is confirmed as the #1 place in the world where people have lived the longest and was home to a record 20 centenarians between 1996-2016. [1] In this interesting video, a documentary filmmaker travels to the blue zone and meets with the local people, sampling their food and getting an impression of their lifestyle. Here are our notes on the video and the characteristics that may contribute to their extraordinary longevity.

Family Is Vital To Them: They have very close family bonds and always look out for each other. For a few examples, we see the two sisters, age 94 and 101, who say that they “have never argued” – and the daughter who stays in the city for university during the week, but each weekend prefers to be home with the family, cooking and sharing the simple life with them. What a contrast this illustrates with the typical modern lifestyle where families tend to live separated lives.

Natural Environment: They live in an unpolluted area, eating locally produced food.

Fitness Through Lifestyle. Another remarkable characteristic of this area of Sardinia is that the men live as long as the women, which is not typical. This is attributed to their shepherd work. They are outdoors in the pristine environment and walking an estimated 10 miles per day, over hilly terrain. This, in conjunction with the red wine and olive oil, certainly gives them an incredible level of cardiovascular health and fitness – without extreme forms of exercise that might cause physical deterioration. Note – importantly – that the men are on their feet and not sitting all day; which is also closer to the lifestyle that we are ‘evolutionarily designed for’. Think of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, this is closer to how they would have lived.

No Additives: The diet is about as close to natural as can be. All ingredients grown locally, prepared by hand and eaten fresh.

Olive Oil: I was amazed to see that the olive oil farmer, preparing his salsa dish, used literally half a bottle of olive oil. Now of course, being the farmer, we might imagine that he is encouraging a large-scale use of his product; however this is generous use of olive oil is not out of the ordinary, and the olive oil is regarded as a key component of the longevity of the people there.

Red Wine: Drinking of a glass of red wine with a meal is a long-established part of the lifestyle. Moderate wine drinking has been found by researchers to support longevity [put link to our red wine and health article]. This quality is not attributed to the alcohol but the resveratrol in the red grapes.

Happiness And Harmony: Without a doubt, the people have a life that is free of many of the modern stresses. Stress is known to be a killer! You can see smiles and laughter galore and everywhere there is a sense of the natural celebration of the ‘simple pleasures’ of life – good food, togetherness, and the quiet beauty of nature.

The Amazing Secret Behind Why The People Of Sardinia Live So Long
The Amazing Secret Behind Why The People Of Sardinia Live So Long Graphic © Venn diagram image – Quest Network, via Wikipedia – lic. under CC 4.0


[1] Blue Zone – Wikipedia.

[2] Yuzurihara – Wikipedia.

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