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So there I am, sitting in my living room during COVID-19 lockdown, scrolling through Netflix, and I come across a show called Down to Earth with Zac Efron. This series follows Zac Efron and wellness expert Darin Olien’s journey around the world as they explore healthy, sustainable ways of life. As I’m two episodes into my binge-a-thon, I began to realize that I finally struck gold!

The episode that truly inspired me was episode 4, the Island of Sardinia. Sardinia is an island located west of Italy. What they discover about this island is that Sardinia boasts a high number of centenarians, who are people who live over 100 years old. According scientist, their research concludes that the Sardinia population longevity attributes to their active lifestyle and healthy eating. 

Sardinia Is a Blue Zone

New York Times bestselling author, Dan Buttoner, first coined the term Blue Zones in 2005. Buttoner discovered 5 places in the world to which he claims people lives the longest, healthiest, and happiest lives. The population of Blue Zones have a higher average of centenarians, which are people who live well over 100 years old.

According to Buttoner, the Island of Sardinia is a Blue Zone. In fact, Sardinia was the first Blue Zone to be found and studied. Researchers have found that the longevity of the people on this island contributes from 10% genes and 90% lifestyle. In addition, not only are the locals in this Blue Zone living well over 100 years old, but they are still living a vigorous high quality life.

The Lifestyle of a Centenarian

Because scientist are intrigued by the healthy long life of centenarians, they decided to study their healthy lifestyle.

According to Sardinaniche.com, scientist learned that centenarian lifestyle’s consisted of everyday habits, physical activity, relationships, work, psychological status, and food; which definitely plays a big part.  

For a long healthy life, the foods you eat are definitely a factor.

When it comes to dieting, most American consume very large amounts of animal protein. For example, when you read fitness magazines, the majority of them preach about high protein diets. In a similar way, whenever there is a new fad diet, they always talk about little to no carbs and eating foods high in protein. 

Surprisingly, this is totally contradictory to how centenarians eat. Coincidentally, this is also contradictory to the my personalized meal plans for my clients.

I am a firm believer that It’s very important for my clients to not only reach their fitness goals, but for them to live a healthier lifestyle. 

How Do Sardinia Centenarians Live a Healthy Lifestyle

A centenarians diet is predominantly vegetables, carbohydrates and a small percentage of animal protein. In addition to their diet, Sardinians typically eat whole grains, beans, veggies, and fruits. By eating small portions of protein, there is a balance of macro and micro nutrients, which makes controlling their calorie intake is easier. 

Go Ahead, Have a Glass of Wine!

Wine is very important to their diet as well. When consumed in moderation, wine with meals is healthy.

couple drinking wine

In Sardinia, Cannonau, considered the Longevity Wine, contains three times more polyphenols than other wines. According to an article on Healthline.com, Polyphenols, which act as antioxidants, boost digestion and brain health. Furthermore, Polyphenols can help protect you against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers. 


Cheese is also important to the Sardinia diet. Most of the cheese they eat comes from grass fed sheep and goats milk.

With these in your diet, you will be eating a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids and you will be taking in foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. This type of dairy can also help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s as well as help protect you against cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.

Another great health advantage is that the high calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium found in this type of dairy is essential for bone density and optimal immune health. 

We All Want to Live a Little Longer

If you want to live a longer, healthier life, you should consider adopting some of the healthy habits of centenarians. Although food does play a big part in their longevity, their active lifestyle does definitely contribute as well.

Staying active can be as simple as taking a walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking a salsa class. Lastly, It is also equally important to enjoy time with family and friends.

If you can stay active, eat healthy foods for the body, enjoy friends and family, try to keep stress low, you will be well on your way to a long healthy life!


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