Longevity in Crete has to do with the Cretan olive oil, as the basis of a healthy diet, namely the known Cretan diet.
Longevity of the Cretan people, according to scientists, is a global phenomenon that has long been the subject of numerous studies over the years. And all of these studies and research has concluded that it has to do with two main factors: The first is the quality of food, and the second is the way of living. Let's start with the first, and most important: the quality of Cretan food, and especially the quality of Cretan olive oil.
How the Cretan olive oil helps longevity in Crete
Scientists have found time after time that the Cretan people live longer. This mainly has to do with the lower percentage of locals who face one (or both) of the two most common dangerous health threats: heart problems and cancer.
The first thing researchers did is try and find the environmental factors that cause such a clear distinction in life expectancy. And they found that the main reason was the traditional healthy Cretan diet, with the Cretan olive oil at its core.
But how the Cretan olive oil helps the Cretan people live longer? And how we can use it to help and achieve our own longevity? The answer lies in the Cretan olive oil's ingredients.
The Cretan olive oil - and especially the extra virgin type - is full of fat that is not harmful to our body, but, instead, it's the most healthy, safe fat for our daily needs. This has to do with the olive oil being full of saturated fat, and also full of Omega-3 fat, both of which are beneficial to our health.
Most other kinds of fat, like the one contained in meat and dairy products, like butter, pose a threat to our heart. But this doesn't happen with the "healthy" fat that is found in the Cretan olive oil, which helps the locals have a sound, good-working heart long into their 70s, 80s and even 90s.
The Cretan olive oil is crucial in avoiding heart problems, but it also has very important anti-cancer qualities, too. Research has shown that frequent olive oil consumption - especially that of the extra virgin olive oil - prevents the development of cancer in the human body. Taking under account all these immense health benefits, we can hardly find another food product that is so beneficial to longevity as olive oil.
Other factors, apart from olive oil, that help the longevity of the Cretan people
Of course, apart from olive oil consumption, the longevity in Crete is the result of a number of other factors, too.
Some of these factors have also to do with the Cretan diet. The limited consumption of meat and dairy products, and the extended consumption of vegetables, which are a central part of the Cretan diet, are also very beneficial to our health.
The same goes for the way of living of the Cretan people. Most of them live a calm life, with strong ties with - and the full support of - their family. Stress in everyday living is considerably less in Crete than in other parts of the world, especially in contrast with living in a big city. All these social and psychological factors also help longevity in Crete.
Although you can try and live a calmer, simpler life, like that of the Cretan people, it's practically impossible to "duplicate" the Cretan way of living, especially if you live in a city. What you can do with 100% success, however, is to put firmly into your everyday diet the foundation of the longevity in Crete: the Cretan olive oil.