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Wax wings and a diet for longevity

Eurest | Health and wellbeing |  24 January 2013

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WHEN ICARUS TOOK FLIGHT ON HIS WINGS OF WAX AND FEATHERS, HE DID SO WITH VERY CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS FROM HIS FATHER: DON’T FLY TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN AND DON’T FLY TOO CLOSE TO THE SEA.

We all know what happened next: giddy with the excitement of flight, he soared up high above the clouds, went too close to the sun and his wings melted — before he plummeted into the sea and drowned. If only he’d listened.

We mention this because in the Aegean Sea, near the spot where Icarus fell is the eponymous island of Ikaria, which has recently been found to have some to the longest-lived people in the world.

People who live on Ikaria enjoy extraordinary life expectancy; they’re two-and-a-half times more likely to reach their nineties than residents of the United States (Buettner 2012).

In part — it’s believed — this is down to their diet. On a typical day breakfast consists of goat's milk, wine, sage tea or coffee, honey and bread. And the rest of their diet is made up of pulses, home-grown vegetables, fruit and plenty of foraged herbs.

It’s no secret that healthier food makes for healthier people and, judging by the results, we could all do with taking a leaf out of the Ikarian book. Perhaps, unlike Icarus, we might even manage to follow some of the advice we get.

At Eurest we work hard to provide healthy, delicious, seasonal food for our clients and their people. While we may not offer wine for breakfast and don’t go foraging every morning, we do make sure all people using our workplace restaurants can get nourishing, nutritionally balanced food that helps them stay fighting-fit and energetic at work. And we think we’re pretty good at it; after all, it’s the Eurest way.

Buettner, D (2012) ‘The island where people forgot to die’, The New York Times, 24 October 2012 [online] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/magazine/the-island-where-people-forget-to-die.html?pagewanted=all (accessed 11 December 2012).

 

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