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In fact, it’s been called “The island where people forget to die.” Its residents live 10 years longer on average than individuals in the rest of Europe and America. One in three lives into their 90s. They also have much lower rates of cancer and heart disease. They suffer less depression and dementia. And they are active well into their 90s.
One of the keys to their happy life is the Mediterranean way of eating. Ikaria residents don’t follow a “diet.” Like most Mediterranean cultures, healthy lifestyle choices seem to come naturally as part of their day-to-day routine.
The Mediterranean diet features lots of foods fresh from the sea and local farms, including:
It’s not just about the ingredients, but about the act of making meals and enjoying them with family and friends. Cooking and eating a meal is done with others.
Groups like the American Heart Association and The American Diabetes Association back this approach to eating.
You don’t have to take a trip for a taste of the Greek life. Try this recipe to enjoy Mediterranean food at home.
Prep Time: 15 minutesServings: Four
1 red onion, small, sliced into rings2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, diced1 medium tomato, chopped2½ cups chickpeas, canned, rinsed and drained1 tablespoon olive oil½ cup low-sodium vegetable stock1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and diced
Warm the oil in a large, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and rosemary. Stir frequently for two to three minutes, or until tender. Add the stock and chopped tomatoes. Cook for three to four minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes and vinegar. Cook for one to two minutes until heated through.
Originally published 3/16/2015: Revised 2019, 2022
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