The Melis family, from Sardinia, Italy, took the Guinness World Record title for the highest combined age for nine living siblings in 2012. In a recent video, author and Blue Zones expert Dan Buettner revealed the meal this family eats every day for lunch. For the unversed, Blue Zones refer to geographic areas where people have lower rates of chronic diseases and a longer life expectancy. There are five Blue Zones in the world, located in Italy, Greece, Japan, Costa Rica, and the US.
Talking about the remarkable long lives of the Melis family, Buettner shared, “Nine siblings, collective age: 861 years. The oldest sibling is 109. Every day of their life, they had the same lunch.”
Here Are 3 Longevity Foods On The Lunch Menu Of The Longest-Living Family:
1. Three-Bean Minestrone (Garbanzo, Pinto, And White Bean)
Buettner explains that the family eats a chunky minestrone made with a variety of garden vegetables grown nearby. Minestrone is a thick Italian soup made with meats, vegetables, and pasta. Ingredients can vary, with common ones including beans, onions, celery, carrots, parmesan cheese, and tomatoes. The soup is seasoned with Italian herbs. The minestrone prepared by the Melis family always contains three types of beans: garbanzo, pinto, and white bean.
Also Read: Make 3 Protein-Rich Snacks With 1 Batch Of Black Chickpea (Kala Chana); Watch Recipe Video
Eating a healthy diet that promotes good gut health can help in living a long and healthy life. A healthy gut is essential for regulating functions like blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation, mood, weight, and nutrient absorption. According to a 2018 research published in the journal ‘mSystems’, eating 30 unique plant foods per week can improve your gut health.
2. Sourdough Bread
Along with the bean and veggie-loaded soup, the family enjoys sourdough bread. While bread is usually considered ‘unhealthy’, it can be part of a healthy diet if choosing fresh bread without harmful additives. The Melis family’s choice, sourdough bread, may be easier to digest than white bread for some people, noted WebMD. According to research, sourdough bread acts as a prebiotic and the fibre in the bread helps feed the “good” bacteria in the intestines. Studies have also found that the resistant starch in sourdough bread may contribute to increased satiety and better insulin sensitivity.
Also Read: What Is Sourdough Bread, Why It Is Trending And How You Can Make It Yourself
3. A Glass Of Red Wine (2-3 Ounces)
Buettner shares in the video that the family enjoys a “small” glass of wine, half of a typical 5-ounce serving. While excessive alcohol consumption is associated with multiple health risks, in this case, the family is consuming less than a drink a day. While there is no direct proof that alcohol can boost health, experts note that drinking wine can boost the enjoyment of the meal, which is also an important factor for a healthy and long life.
The Secret Ingredient
It is important to note, as Buettner points out, that the family did not eat this meal every day for lunch because “my diet requires me to do it.’ No, they loved it.” Enjoying your meal and loving what you eat is the secret ingredient of a healthy diet. Plus, the family enjoyed their lunch in the presence of loved ones. Eating food in a happy social circle can contribute positively to your health, happiness, and longevity.