Systemic Inflammation: What Is It and How to Manage It

Inflammation is a very important aspect to good health. Without it, your body wouldn’t be able to heal from injuries or heal infections. However, systemic inflammation is a condition that can negatively impact your long-term health and even lead to disease. 

How Inflammation Keeps You Healthy

When your body senses that something is amiss, whether it’s a stubbed toe or an invading virus, inflammation alerts your immune system to the issue. Proteins called cytokines are released and act as an alarm to make it known that specific tissue in your body needs attention. At that point, your immune system is activated and begins the process of healing the ailment.

Signs of inflammation include heat, discoloration, swelling, and pain. It can also limit mobility. For example, if you sprain your ankle, inflammation will likely make it more difficult to walk normally. But beyond the annoyance, inflammation promotes healing by releasing hormones that dilate blood vessels in order to improve blood flow. That allows more cells from your immune system to reach the damaged area and begin the healing process. The associated pain also serves a purpose, as it’s alerting you that an area of your body needs protection.

What Is Systemic Inflammation?

While inflammation is a natural and normal feature of your immune system and keeps your body functioning properly, systemic inflammation is a condition in which the inflammation is chronic.

Good to read: Chronic Pain Can Be Improved with Simple Lifestyle Adjustments

Your immune system remains active, even when there’s nothing in your body that needs healing. Beyond physical symptoms, a blood test can detect systemic inflammation by observing an increase in markers of an overactive immune system. 

How Systemic Inflammation Impacts Your Body

The false alarm of systemic inflammation causes an increase in immune system cells, specifically white blood cells. With nothing to fight, fix, or heal, those cells sometimes begin to attack healthy cells. The result can be damaged tissue or even compromised internal organs. 

If systemic inflammation isn’t controlled, your health may be forever altered. The John Hopkins Health Review says conditions including cancer and diabetes can be the end result as the inflammation damages how your body functions. According to the American Heart Association, systemic inflammation has been linked to heart disease and stroke. Other conditions including depression, autoimmune disorders, and even Alzheimer’s have been linked. 

How to Manage and Minimize Systemic Inflammation

In many cases, systemic inflammation is treatable. Over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin have anti-inflammatory properties. A doctor can also prescribe a corticosteroid, a steroid that controls inflammation by suppressing the immune system. Supplements are also an option. A study by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that fish oil can help manage inflammation. In order to minimize systemic inflammation, a change in your diet may be in order. Foods that cause inflammation include red meat, refined carbohydrates, and sugary beverages. On the other end of the spectrum, anti-inflammatory foods include leafy greens, olive oil, nuts, and many types of fruit. 

Additionally, don’t overlook your microbiome’s role in systemic inflammation. Your microbiome is made up of microorganisms — trillions of them, in fact — ranging from bacteria to viruses to even parasites. These microorganisms, which are mostly located in your intestines, aid in digestion by breaking down food compounds, play a part in emotional and mental health and help stimulate your immune system. Keeping your microbiome healthy can help properly regulate your immune system, which in turn can manage systemic inflammation. To ensure that the right kinds of microorganisms are present in your microbiome, look into introducing prebiotics and probiotics via supplements or foods like yogurt and kefir.

To avoid damage to your body’s tissue and potentially deadly conditions, you should be proactive about managing systemic inflammation. By knowing the signs and what you can do to minimize inflammation, you can increase your chances of living a long and healthy life. 

This is a guest post written by Holli Richardson from A holistic health enthusiast who has experienced the benefits of the practice.

Your Loved One Has Cancer: Here’s How You Can Help

This is a guest post written by Scott Sanders from In this post are tips and advice on how to best help a loved one who is going through cancer treatment.

How to help a loved one with cancer

Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-changing, earth-shattering experience.

A person with a serious illness is filled with lots of emotions and feeling a lot of physical pain, too. Learn how to give your best self to your loved one and find ways to give them the support they need during this difficult time.

How to Talk to Your Loved One

The things you say to a cancer patient affect them in a lot of ways. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is simply listen and say nothing at all, according to Cancer Care. Don’t give advice or opinions unless you’re asked or make reassurances that everything is going to be OK.

Get Them to Talk to You

It’s not uncommon for terminally ill patients to attempt to downplay their pain or refuse to talk about it. Encourage your loved one to be open about when they’re in pain, what the pain is like and how much of it they’re experiencing. Physicians treating the cancer need to know about the physical discomfort of their patients so they can design effective treatment plans, and you need to know when they’re in pain so you can help them through it.

Get Physical

There are many physical things you can do to help a person who has a serious illness. Do their grocery shopping for them, run errands and do chores around the house. According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, these things can be very helpful and provide the sick person with the support they need.

Get Mentally Prepared

The way you react to your loved one is going to affect them. That’s why it’s important for you to mentally prepare yourself for the changes that cancer may cause. People going through this often suffer from weight changes, all-over hair loss, extreme fatigue and pale skin. You will also notice many emotional changes. Cancer patients may have trouble staying focused, vomit frequently and suffer with insomnia, according to the American Cancer Society. Try your best not to have a visible reaction to these changes. Understand that these changes are normal and expected.

Create a Safe Space

People who have a terminal illness often feel as though they have lost control of their lives, because in many ways they have. Depression, anxiety, stress and other strong emotional states are common among people who have cancer. One way you can help them is by decluttering their homes. This may seem like a strange approach, but decluttering can decrease stress and increase that feeling of being in control and in charge that seriously ill people lack in their lives. Decluttering helps increase focus and improves mood, and that will always have a positive effect.

Encourage Positive Feelings

After you’ve decluttered for your loved one, give them a meditation space. Pick a room, or even just a corner of a room, and turn this into a tiny meditation retreat where they can let go of stress and learn how to focus their minds away from the pain. Some physicians use meditation as a treatment tool for this reason.

Create a meditation space by placing a comfortable chair or bed that your loved one can use, along with some candles or incense, in the space. Provide them with a focal point, a small piece of art or some beloved object, so they can use this to tune out the rest of the world. You may even include a book or a graphic picture that offers tips on how to meditate.

Be Supportive

Stay supportive, stay prepared and stay active when you want to help a loved one with cancer. Keep doing the little things that you can do to make them more comfortable and make their environment more pleasant. Be a good listener, and when you aren’t sure what to say just don’t say anything. Stick to a few simple tips, and you’ll be the best friend you can possibly be to your loved one.

Chronic Pain Can Be Improved with Simple Lifestyle Adjustments

This is a guest post written by Jackie Waters from She was diagnosed with a chronic illness and wants to help others who are living with chronic pain.

improve chronic pain

Suffering from chronic pain can be physically, mentally, and emotionally debilitating. Those suffering from chronic pain may question how or why their bodies could turn on them. They feel frustrated, angry, and sometimes hopeless.

Through simple lifestyle adjustments, chronic pain can be improved.

Continue reading “Chronic Pain Can Be Improved with Simple Lifestyle Adjustments”

Get Shiatsu on your Health Insurance!!

More and more people are coming to realise that Shiatsu is more than just a way to de-stress the body. For people who are suffering from joint and muscle pain, anxiety or depression and other related illnesses, Shiatsu is recognised as a highly effective treatment. And because for some, it is considered to be medically necessary, it is increasingly becoming part of health care. And by becoming a part, we mean being more and more accepted by Health Insurance companies. That means someone else will be shouldering its cost provided that the shiatsu therapist is correctly licensed as a health care provider. Good news, right! Continue reading “Get Shiatsu on your Health Insurance!!”

Is the Yoga Studio App any good? Yoga Studio App review

It won Best Yoga App at the Best App ever awards in 2013… But does it stand the test of time?

I’ve been a fan of Yoga Studio app by Lotus Studios (recently acquired by Gaiam Inc) for some time now and have recommended it to anyone and everyone since discovering it!

So I decided it was about time to put a wee video together to explain why I find it to be so good!

Take a couple of minutes out of your day to watch the video and grab the app!



Hopefully you can see the value in a high quality and versatile app like this!

Please visit the App Store and get your own copy today!


If you’ve used the Yoga Studio app yourself please leave your impressions in the comments below. We’re also interested in hearing about other Yoga apps too 😎 Maybe I’ll even review it!



Can Meditation and Yoga Help Relieve Social Anxiety?

This is a guest post by Dan Fries:

Dan Fries is a science writer and published author in the field of translational oncology. Dan’s work has been featured in journals such as Cancer Discovery and Cancer Research. His contribution is exploring the natural health approach to relieve social anxiety and panic attacks. Find out more about Dan’s mission at 


Have you ever felt a cramping sensation in your gut or beads of sweat forming on your forehead when you enter a room full of people? Clearly, anxiety is killing your professional as well as social life. Fear, stress and anxiety are in the driver’s seat and you end up being a passenger who is traveling into the depths of the unknown.

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” – H.P. Lovecraft.

Yoga and Meditation to beat social anxietyThis quote tells us that it is normal to have slight fear, as it is in human nature to be afraid of unforeseen circumstances. But you need to be focused, disciplined and dynamic to overcome and fight this fear. The problem begins when this fear becomes intimidating and persistent, and starts to take control of your everyday life.

Slowly this leads to anxiety disorder, worry, a state of overly-uneasiness, etc. which if left unchecked can require medical treatment. That is where yoga and meditation can help. Of course, yoga and meditation alone are unlikely to be your only treatment options. Both of them should sync with each other and then only after consulting a specialist or a doctor. The medical practitioner can guide and help you to know what kind of anxiety disorder you are having – OCD, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), to name a few.

Symptoms of Social Anxiety

  • Having obsessive and uncontrolled thoughts related to past traumatic experiences
  • Feeling uneasy, scared and panicky
  • Tendency to repeatedly wash hands
  • Waking up from frequent nightmares
  • Having problems getting sound sleep
  • Sweating hands and feet
  • Frequent heart palpitations

Relieving Social Anxiety Through Yoga

The regular practice of yoga can assist you in staying relaxed and calm in your day-to-day life. It can give you the energy for facing events as and when they occur without being restless. The practice of yoga consists of a complete package of body postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayamas).

Yoga Postures for the relief of Social Anxiety

Yoga postures or asanas can help in getting a healthy body and mind. Stress and negativity are released from the system through the following postures –

  • Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
  • Shirshasana (Headstand)
  • Janu Shirsasana (One-Legged Forward Bend)
  • Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
  • Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
  • Marjariasana (Cat Stretch)
  • Setubandhasana (Bridge Pose)
  • Hastapadasana (Standing Forward Bend)
  • Paschimottanasana (Two-Legged Forward Bend)
  • Adhomukha Shavasana (Downward Facing Dog)

Once you’ve finished the yoga postures, you need to lie down so that your body and mind can get a few minutes of relaxation. This flushes out the toxins in the body which are the major cause of stress for your biological system.

Breathing Exercises to relieve Social Anxiety

Proper breathing techniques can help free your mind from unwanted clutter and thoughts. This avoids the breeding of anxiety and keeps the mind fresh. You can try the following breathing methods –

  • Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breathing Technique)
  • Kapalbhati Pranayama ( Skull-Shining Breathing Technique)
  • Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breathing Technique)
  • Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Meditating Your Way To A Relaxed Mind

meditation for anxiety and stressMeditation is a great technique for relaxing a mind which is distracted. It provides a sense of peace and calm. You can observe that with daily practice your mind gets involved with petty and insignificant things. Plus, meditation can help you to avoid worrying or getting anxious about the unforeseen future.

You will most likely be familiar with the term ‘adrenalin rush’. This occurs when you are too anxious or scared about a potential threat. For example, at the time of an adventure ride, your adrenalin levels would be higher than usual, leading to a faster heartbeat. It could also make your muscles tense and your body sweat profusely.

Various scientific researchers have shown that regular practice of meditation can lower the stress hormones. A study was conducted by the Department of Psychology of the Standard University for the participants of social anxiety disorder. They underwent a two-month meditation training which resulted in reducing their anxiety and transforming their thoughts to a more positive outlook.

Supplements For Controlling Stress And Relieving Anxiety

Did you know supplements are one of the best options for taking control of your anxiety and stress? You could, for instance, try the nootropic supplement of Phenibut, which is available in tablet as well as powder form. This supplement is not only safe; it has already been used by people for several decades. Phenibut is a derivative of the brain chemical GABA but is able to pass the blood-brain barrier more effectively, it is one of the most significant neurotransmitters in the human body. It effectively calms the hormones related to anxiety and stress and brings a positive change to the mood and confidence of the user.

Summing It Up

Social anxieties and stress can be traumatic and create majorly off-putting experiences in your life. With the regular practice of yoga and meditation, you can minimise the negatives and hopefully kick them out of your life. However, if they are still persistent in your life, you can take mood and memory enhancing supplements to counter their ill-effects and reduce it safely and gradually. So go ahead and enjoy a stress-free life!


Thank you to Dan Fries for this guest blog post!


If you have suffered in the past or currently suffer from stress and social anxiety we would love to hear about how you’ve managed to relieve it. Have you been successful using meditation and yoga or other types of natural therapies, or have you been successful in taking supplements to cope?

Please leave a comment below, we love to hear from our readers!


5 Benefits of Thai Yoga Massage for Sports People

Thai Yoga Massage has been proven very beneficial for athletes and sports people because of its unique combination of deep stretching and yoga moves.

If you feel maxed out and that your muscles need to rest and recover from very tiring sports activity and training, then Thai Yoga Massage is perfect to refresh and return your energy so you can reach new athletic levels.

ThaThai Yoga Massage stretchi Yoga bodywork can play a vital role for every sports person or serious athlete in addition to your regular workouts, exercise and sports practice. Actually regular Thai Yoga therapy may help you gain the athletic advantage over your competition and lengthen the overall life of your sporting career if added to your existing conditioning program.

So below are the benefits of Thai Massage and how it could help athletes, martial artists, dancers, runners, Cross-fitters and other sports people in a way that is perfect for those who are highly active and whose bodies are put under constant pressure from aggressive, explosive and repetitive movements.

5 Benefits of Thai Yoga Massage and Bodywork

  • First, Thai Yoga massage enhances and boosts performance by increasing energy and flexibility as well as decreasing muscle tension. This may lead to an increase in performance ability and decrease the chance of injury. And also, because Thai Yoga bodywork improves blood circulation, it helps the body to more efficiently receive and process nutrients that are essential for optimal body functions.
  • Regular Thai Yoga bodywork helps maintain better condition of the body by keeping your muscles healthy and flexible, which prevents them from developing injuries or losing mobility. 
  • It also helps heal sports injuries (which as you know is all too common) more quickly by reducing pain, swelling, bruising and muscle adhesions, as well as relaxing and stretching sore muscles. And while recovering from injury, Thai Yoga Massage partially compensates for the lack of exercise during inactivity.
  • And of course, let us not forget the meditative qualities of Thai Yoga therapy. It is a known fact that Thai Yoga massage relaxes the mind and body and improves emotional balance, making it the top choice for athletes when it comes to game-winning relaxation and mindset-mastery.
  • Thai Yoga Massage hip stretchFurthermore, athletes and sports people may maximise the benefits of Thai Yoga massage through having it before an event or competition as a preparation therapy and after the event as a recovery therapy. The pre-event massage will aid in increasing flexibility, mobility, preventing injuries as well as improving concentration and focus plus it calms down nervous athletes prior to the competition. The post massage will then promote faster recovery through pain relief from muscular fatigue, soreness, stiffness and especially sports injuries. 

So whether you are into sports activity professionally or simply as a hobby, Thai Yoga massage is a great way to condition your body and keeping it in peak performance as well as helping in recovery after tiring and extreme activity.

Please leave comments below about your own health issues or concerns, or tell other readers about your experiences of having received Thai Yoga Massage

We’ve also explored the benefits of Thai Yoga Massage for Office Workers as well as the differences between Norther and Southern style Thai Yoga Massage in other blog posts… Subscribe to receive updates on new posts!

6 benefits of Thai Yoga Massage for office workers

There are so many benefits of Thai Yoga Massage, it’s fair to say that everyone can benefit from regular Thai Yoga bodywork.

Office workers benefit from Thai Yoga MassageThai Yoga Massage is particularly effective for people who are often on their feet, are involved in long days of physical work, regularly suffer from muscular tension and sports injuries or are suffering from the long-term effects of whiplash.

And Thai Yoga Massage is also perfect for aching professionals such as office workers, educators and business people who sit for long periods of time doing potentially repetitive and tedious movements. The Thai masters say that Thai Yoga therapy is not only for those who ‘move more’ but also for those who ‘move less’.

So in a world of those who ‘move less’, we would say that Thai Yoga Massage can do wonders for your tense, tight body. It delivers physical and psychological benefits that impact on every aspect of the body and mind.

6 Benefits of Thai Yoga Massage for Office Workers

  • Reducing stress is at the top of the list as it is one of the most common causes of pain and illness at work.
  • Thai Yoga bodywork has meditative qualities that improves emotional balance and harmonises mind and body, making you feel calmer and helps you gain mental clarity through the deep relaxing stretches and massage techniques. 
  • Thai Yoga Massage also relieves pain due to overworked muscles such as tight necks, hips, backs and shoulders. It is done through using gentle pressure to open joints, highlighting deep stretching and lengthening tight muscles. This combination encourages the muscles and joints to settle into their proper positioning and alignment, relieving you from pain.
  • Another good thing about Thai Yoga therapy is that it also improves overall posture by balancing and correcting body alignment as well as improving body functions resulting to increased flexibility and mobility.
  • In addition, it has also been proven to reverse some degenerative spinal diseases such as scoliosis, lordosis and kyphosis. [citation needed, like Wikipedia]
  • And just like other types of massage, Thai Yoga Massage helps release harmful toxins from your body. Through improving blood circulation, toning the internal organs and lessening digestive disorders, Thai Yoga bodywork will assist your body in getting rid of dangerous toxins. 

Thai Yoga Massage stretchSo there you have it, the many benefits of Thai Yoga Massage for Office Workers. Not only does it give you relief from stress and muscle pain, it also improves your overall posture and body functions as well as the added benefit from its detoxifying effects. It has been proven to be very effective not just for those who are always active and on the go but also for those whose jobs make their bodies stiff and tight due to prolonged sitting or standing.

Please leave comments below about your own health issues or concerns, or tell other readers about your experiences of having received Thai Yoga Massage

We’ve also explored the benefits of Thai Yoga Massage for Sports People as well as the differences between Norther and Southern style Thai Yoga Massage in other blog posts… Subscribe to receive updates on new posts!

Longevity advice from the Greek Blue Zone of Ikaria – Part 3

This is the third and final part of the distilled wisdom of 105 year old Blue Zone lady of  Ikaria; longevity advice from the Greek Blue Zone on diet, lifestyle and happiness. 

So part 3 of the series is on health and longevity according to the 105 year old Ikarian lady called Ioanna who we met on our recent summer holiday to the Greek island of Ikaria.

Ioanna only speaks Greek, so I had my wife (who speaks Greek) ask her some questions for me and translate the answers. 

The main think I wanted to know was what Ioanna’s view was on the chance of the young people of today living as long as her.Ikaria - Blue Zones - Diet advice 

I wanted to know if she though we young folk (anyone under sixty?) were making any mistakes that might jeopardise our chances of a ripe old age

I wanted to know what advice she would give us youngsters to reach the same age as her

She said that people born today had every chance of every living as long as her, 

she says “why not?!” 

The interesting thing was that to her it wasn’t particularly amazing thing that she’d lived as long as she had, that is was just her normal life. But from my experience of spending time with her, I felt that the most important thing was her attitude; that she still enjoyed life, wanted to be here and that she’d never given up on life. 

She’s still appreciating and enjoying every minute of life in quite an amazing way. She enjoyed interactions with people in a very open and genuine way, even random house-callers like us and another lady who rocked up while we were there 

Ioanna said “It’s about living your own life.

“Don’t expect anything from the world, don’t expect anything from your parents”

and that “nobody owes you anything”, that essentially life is what you make of it. 

Ioanna was big on taking responsibility for yourself, she said 

“you have to make your own destiny, it’s your own life and you have all the possibilities in your hand, it’s up to you to deal with it!”

This seems to be a fundamental thing for Joanna, that its a kind of ‘Will to Live’ that is important, that if you want to live then you will. It’s more about your desire to live than anything you’re specifically doing. 

Longevity advice from the Greek Blue Zone of Ikaria 1That seems to be her way or philosophy of life, although she doesn’t seem to be self destructive. She’s not actively doing things that are bad for her. Ioanna seems to have limited or eliminated any overtly harmful habits or practices. I didn’t ask but she didn’t seem to be a smoker so we can assume she was a non-smoker, which is relatively rare is Greece, so that will certainly have helped her.

Along with not smoking, she was also not much of a drinker, she doesn’t eat a lot of meat or any fried food, so that is all a part of it. 

Anyway, back to Ioanna’s advice. She said that you should have a good relationship. She was big on quality relationships! 

she said “don’t be distracted by others”

So this can be maybe taken as the post-modern obsession where the grass is always greener and always looking around for the better relationship rather than working in what you have, and it seems to Ioanna that this has been very important in her life. 


Love is a big thing for Ioanna. She said love for others, other people, but also love for the universe, the cosmos!

With the great energy that she had spent a lot of time thinking about the wonders of the universe.
She said she’d lay awake at night thinking about the world, the universe and just the wonders of it all (what exactly was a little lost in translation I think). Ioanna also thought it wasn’t good to spend too much time thinking about yourself, being selfish and self-centred.
Instead she said think about the universe, there is this amazing, wonderful thing out there thats for her a miraculous phenomenon that was amazing and glorious. 

So Ioanna is all about the bigger perspective, getting over the ‘me, me, me’ culture that we live in now…

Longevity advice from the Greek Blue Zone of IkariaIoanna said she listens to the inner music that’s playing. She said she hears melodies and symphonies in her head, choirs and orchestras. She sang a little of the music in her head and made her care-worker laugh because Ioanna doesn’t have the most amazing voice, but she’s got the most amazing spirit!

Ioanna regularly lays awake at night thinking just about life, the universe and everything, And I think for her that it’s really important just to have this fascination with the universe and know there’s plenty of reasons to keep going with life.

So she gave her own answers, her own take on things, not actually what I thought she would say at all, but she has definitely got a passion for life and I hope you feel that too.

If you’d like to catch up on the rest of this series, go here for Blog post 1 and here for Blog post 2

My Life Extension Project blog is here and you can get the Blue zones book on Amazon too

Longevity advice from the Greek Blue Zone of Ikaria – Part 2

Blue Zones: Diet advice from a 105 year old

Recently my wife and I went on holiday to the Greek island of Ikaria, where there are people who famously live well into their 90s and 100’s in good health. We met the lovely 105 year old Ioanna, and even heard a report of someone who is 115 and still going strong! Longevity advice from the Greek Blue Zone of Ikaria 2

There are number of factors contributing to this amazing longevity and we have been exploring them in this series of three blog posts on the Blue Zones. This is the second blog post where Ioanna gives us her advice on diet. 

Ioanna told us that although she was a very young child, that she had lived through World War 1 and into World War 2. She said she got married in the second World War in order to have companionship and not feel alone. She didn’t talk about her husband any more than this so who knows what happened there, but she did tell us a lot about her diet! 

I’ll just summarise now that her advice is very much in keeping with the advice in the Blue Zones book by Dan Buettner. I highly recommend the book but if you don’t have time then you’ll get a fair idea about the recommendations for diet from the following post.

Ioanna lives by a rather simple diet that is probably much older than she is. Though with that said I don’t feel she was trying to live to 105, she seems as surprised by it as anyone… But she also doesn’t look to be giving up any time soon! 

Now for her advice:

Ioanna said she doesnt eat very much meat and she has a lot of vegetables and fruits.

She said that fish was okay and I think she maybe ate a little bit of chicken now and then, but she didn’t have any red meats. 

In terms of oil she said she really liked olive oil on her salads and that she used a little corn oil in cooking, but she said she didnt eat any butter. 

Ioanna did also say don’t fry things, that its bad to fry food and you should bake or boil them instead. 

And in terms of fruit and vegetables, she said that she eats everthings like potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, things like that. There are figs and grapes growing outside her front door, so she certainly eats fresh fruit on a daily basis!

She doesn’t have a big or heavy meal in the evening. She just has a snack and very weak milky coffee.

Ioanna said she quite enjoyed a coffee and a few figs and also maybe a few biscuits in the evening.  And she seems to be okay with eating a little bit of sugar now and then.

She also said that every morning she’d have a teaspoon of Ikarian honey and it was quite nice. 

Ioanna says she enjoys a little bit of wine with water now and then. Ikaria - Blue Zones - Diet advice

She said she doesn’t drink beer or the famous Greek drink of Ouzo or Tsipouro or the stronger spirits, just a little bit of wine and water. (She has a habit of repeating herself but that can be helpful for us young folk with our short attention spans)

One of her gems about drinking alcohol “Drink wine if you can drink it, but not if it drinks you!”

So as you can see Ioanna has quite a simple diet. and I would say probably everything in Ikaria that she eats is essentially organic, because everything is grown naturally from the land. I think it’s quite good volcanic soil, high in nutrients and they are still farming and growing in the traditional Greek style.

It’s a very fertile land, there’s fruit growing everywhere, right outside her front door there are grape vines and fruit trees.
The island also has its own underground water source and receives more rain than the average Greek islands in the autumn, winter and spring so I think that helps a lot.
It’s more difficult for those of us who live in the colder countries and more temperate climates as things don’t grow quite as easily or reliably… and there’s not much food just growing on the trees where I live!

If you’d like to read more then there’s more information on diet in the Blue Zones book, and they generally agree with Ioanna (in fact I’m quite sure she contributed to the book) 

To summarise Ioanna eats a little bit of meat, mostly fruits and vegetables and also nuts, she drinks a little bit of red wine, 

Longevity advice from the Greek Blue Zone of Ikaria 1And one of the main things she said is that she doesn’t eat in the evening. 

So she’s right on track with the diet recommendations in the Blue Zone book. 

There’s also a growing belief that Greek coffee has anti ageing benefits, which is good for coffee drinkers to know 🙂
I hope you’ve enjoyed Blue Zones blog post no. 2, the next and final part will be blog post no. 3 where I ask Ioanna about her opinion on whether the young people of today have as good a chance to live to 105 as she did!
Please post any questions below or any advice that you’d like to share on longevity and healthy ageing

Part 1 is here