The Ikarian way of life consists of both the dietary habits and everyday activities that were first observed in the people of Ikaria in the 1970s. And while the locals created this model mainly due to specific circumstances and partly because of conscious decisions for better survival, it is proven to be one of the most effective in terms of maintaining normal weight, good health and achieving longevity, since it resulted in ranking the island as one of the top 5 regions on the planet in these areas. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to admit that this way of life is an example to follow, making it very important to find ways to apply it in modern times. In the year 2020, we aim at the adoption of the Ikarian nutrition, with all the elements of lifestyle that can be combined, providing the appropriate means and guidelines so as to achieve this.
Regarding the characteristics of the Ikarian nutrition, which is probably the most important part, it relies mainly on the consumption of plant-based products, such as grains, fruits, vegetables, and olive oil, with lower consumption of legumes and quite limited dairy, animal products and sweets, while combined with daily consumption of red wine, tea and herbal beverages. Despite the fact that olive oil consumption is not restricted, the locals seemed to maintain a normal weight. Additionally, when the model was given to overweight / obese people as part of research programs, a rapid and easy body fat reduction was noted, that was maintained in the long-run. This outcome was significantly better compared to other types of diet, even from the Mediterranean diet that differs in several aspects from the Ikarian, while the latter was easier for the subjects to adhere to. And, truly, it is practically almost effortless to follow this nutritional pattern. And surely, not everyone is able to grow their own vegetables or go fishing, but anyone can choose to buy fresh produce and other foods, instead of processed or pre-packaged. In addition to this, buying locally grown, seasonal goods is beneficial not only to the human body, since it ensures the best food quality, but also because it reduces the distance they need to travel in order to arrive on our table, thus protecting the environment. Overall, by consciously choosing to follow the example of the Ikarian nutrition, it is easier to regulate body weight, protect our health and contribute to the sustainability of the environment.
Apart from diet, however, there is a set of habits that should not be omitted. The people of Ikaria had a very active way of life, either due to engaging in agricultural work, or in the context of social life, as long walks. Similarly, being active during the day, either in order to get around on our everyday tasks, or by using the stairs instead of an elevator, or just taking a walk with friends, proves to be even more effective even than the gym. Additionally, the very existence of social life, either expressed as frequent socializing with loved ones, or engaging in activities that lift our spirits, ensure good mental health which ultimately supports the action of nutrition in terms of body weight and overall well-being. Finally, reducing, or even eliminating, stress better regulates the secretion of hormones in the body, resulting in the optimal effect of the Ikarian diet as a whole.
Consequently, it becomes clear that the Ikarian people mainly through diet, but also through their daily routine found the key to longevity, while having physical and mental well-being. It is now up to us to recognize their value, learn from them and apply these teachings to the modern way of life. Our approach concerns the application of the Ikarian nutrition with ease in any place in the world, through appropriate guidance and support. Healthy body weight, health protection and psychological well-being are invaluable gifts and there are no barriers to gaining them.