Sardinia’s 5 Secrets to Longevity

Sardinia’s 5 Secrets to Longevity
Sardinia’s 5 Secrets to Longevity

We all know that living a long and healthy life is dependent on many things, with a combination of good genes and healthy lifestyle choices being at the top of the list. Sardinians have been blessed with amazing genes, and have also adopted one of the healthiest lifestyles on earth, which makes it one of the few places in the world considered a Blue Zone.

A small cluster of villages in the Barbagia region of Sardinia make up the first Blue Zone ever discovered. For every 100,000 people living in Sardinia there are about 24 centenarians, but in the Blue Zone there are three to five times as many. Many research teams have studied this area, investigating a rare genetic trait that is carried by its inhabitants. This gene is linked to exceptional longevity, and due to the region’s geographic isolation, the genes of the residents have remained mostly undiluted, plus they have maintained a very traditional and healthy lifestyle. Many Sardinians live relatively stress-free and still hunt, fish and grow the food they consume.

Want to live a long, happy, and healthy life like the Sardinians? Sardinia’s 5 secrets to longevity should give you a basic foundation to get you started!

1) Eat a lean, plant-based diet accented with meat

The classic Sardinian diet consists of a largely plant-based diet, with an emphasis on whole-grains, beans (in particular fava beans), legumes such as chickpeas, and garden produce. Sardinians also traditionally eat pecorino cheese which is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Meat is largely reserved for Sundays and special occasions, and Sardinians consume a variety of lean meats, including organ meats.

Sardinia's 5 Secrets to Longevity

2) Drink goat’s milk

Goat’s milk and goat’s milk products such as pecorino cheese are consumed regularly. A glass of goat’s milk contains components that might help protect against inflammatory diseases of aging such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Goat’s milk is also rich in zinc and selenium, which are essential for optimal immune system activity and to promote healthy aging.

Sardinia's 5 Secrets to Longevity

3) Put family first

Sardinians have incredibly strong family values, which helps assure that every member of the family is cared for, regardless of the situation or their physical ailment. Most elderly people are cared for at home, as opposed to being sent to retirement or old age homes. People who live in strong, healthy families suffer lower rates of depression, suicide, and stress.

Sardinia's 5 Secrets to Longevity

4) Daily activity

As in many rural areas around the world, Sardinians partake in daily physical activity, whether it be walking to the local supermarket or tending to their gardens. Walking daily or moderate daily activity has all the cardiovascular benefits you might expect, plus a positive effect on muscle and bone metabolism.

Sardinia's 5 Secrets to Longevity

5) Drink a glass (or two) of red wine daily

Sardinians drink wine moderately, which in Italian terms means at least once a day, usually at dinner. Homemade wine is what you’ll most often find on dinner tables however, Cannonau wine, one of Sardinian’s most distinctive wines, is always a favourite too. It has two or three times the level of artery-scrubbing flavonoids as other wines.

Sardinia's 5 Secrets to Longevity

19 thoughts on “Sardinia’s 5 Secrets to Longevity”

  • Plant-based food + wine is a great combo 😉

  • Not a red wine fan…. bummer.

    Quality time with family is good for the soul indeed!!

    And, while I love goat cheese, I had no idea goat milk has the healing properties it does!!

  • adriana 6 years ago

    Ahh one of the most beautiful places ever! I’m Italian, so I always grew up with the mentality of drinking a glass of red wine a day! Haha it’s always been customary/normal to me; when I was younger my dad would always let me try a little sip of his at dinner. Now that I’m of age, I abide by the Sardinian way myself! Lol!

  • alisonrost 6 years ago

    I love the Sardinians. They remind me a lot of my grandparents, who both lived well into their late ’90s. They owned a farm in rural Iowa, lived a low-stess life, ate local or food they’d grown themselves, they laughed a lot, and made sure they had a reason to get out of bed every morning. x

    • Isn’t it amazing how stress can have the most negative impact on your life?! The simple life is obviously the best option.

  • I want longevity! These all sound like worthy tips. I do not drink red wine but I may just add it to my daily do. I also need to revise my diet.

  • All great tips towards a healthy lifestyle. I wish my family would eat more plant based foods instead of just me. My sister had to drink goats milk as she could not tolerate cows milk.

  • I have never heard of Sardinia before. It looks like a lovely place. I could certainly pout into practice many of these things so that I too can expericne a longer life. I definitely need to do the red wine.

  • These are great healthy living tips that we should all be adding to our lives. I love hearing peoples reasons for living a long life. I think most importantly we need to remember to live life having fun too!!

  • I’m not sure where I can get goat milk, but, red wine is plentiful where I live! I’ve been working on getting more exercise and drinking plenty of water (I shoot for 4-5 bottles a day, depending on whether or not I’m mowing the yard). Family means a lot to me, and I can’t wait until we get together for dinners on any given weekend.

  • Goat’s milk and red wine? Man, I fail at both of those! I do have to tell you something funny, though. Both of my grandparents lived until age 100, although they were two years apart, and so then died two years apart.
    When she turned 100, my grandmother was interviewed for the local paper and they asked her the secret to her longevity. She said, “Good genes, and eating ice cream every night!”
    Well then.

    • Wow! Lucky for you you have inherited their ‘good genes!’ I also think the Italians would agree that one gelato a day will prolong your life, lol!

  • Love these tips! Such a beautiful island Sardinia is. I think walking is like number 6! Sardinian’s walk everywhere!

    • Not like us North Americans, who for the most part, will jump into the car to go to a shop only a few minutes away!

  • It always seems that there’s a common theme in these longivety posts and that the Mediterranean cultures get it right! Who can argue with Mediterranean food and red wine at dinner? Not me! Living abroad makes the family thing difficult for me, and I’m not a fan of goat’s milk or goat’s cheese, but I’ll gladly partake of plant-based food and red wine 🙂

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