270px-Agios_Kirikos,_IkariaView of Agios Kirykos, Ikaria’s capital

Not only do the inhabitants of the Greek island Ikaria, located off the coast of Turkey, live a decade longer than do westerners, most 90-year-old Ikarians are sexually active.

Ninety-eight-year-old Stamatis Moraitis thinks it’s because of the quality of the wine he and other locals produce:  “The wine they make commercially has preservatives.  That’s no good.  But this wine we make ourselves is pure.”

Moraitis lived in the US for a period of time but returned to his birthplace on the island to die after US doctors had diagnosed him with lung cancer, giving him only nine months to live.

That was forty-five years ago, so maybe he’s right about the wine.

Maybe it’s the water.  The hot springs on the island are radioactive.

Or it could be the natural radiation of the island’s granite terrain.

Another factor in the geomorphology of Ikaria is the steepness of the terrain that forces an abundance of exercise for everyone going from someplace to anywhere else.

There’s also an abundance of fresh air and olive oil on the island.

What’s not in abundance is stress.  Ikarians go to bed after midnight, sleep late and take naps.

Is a puzzlement that western societies are at a loss to understand.

Source:  smartplanet, January 7, 2013              


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