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The daily meal that powers the world's longest-living family: 'They love it'

It is not like the family is forced to eat that one meal for health issues. They enjoy eating it and that's why, prefer it for lunch every day.

The daily meal that powers the world's longest-living family: 'They love it'
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Foodie Factor | Instagram | @danbuettner

Many of us aim to pack our daily meals with essential nutrients. To do so, people experiment with their meals and try out new combinations to enjoy the maximum health benefits. But interestingly, the world's longest-living family enjoys the same lunch meal every day. Bestselling author Dan Buettner, who has worked immensely on understanding communities and their lifestyles, shared about the longest-living family in the world in a recent post on Instagram. He revealed the one meal they eat every single day. 

Image Source: Pexels | Maria Das Dores
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Maria Das Dores

It's "sourdough bread, three bean minestrone (garbanzo, pinto, and white bean), a glass of red wine" that the Melis family, from Sardinia, Italy, prefers every day for lunch. They hold a world record for the longest-living family. "Nine siblings, collective age: 861 years. Oldest sibling is 109," as per Buettner. They made the Guinness World Record for the highest combined age for nine living siblings in 2012, reports TODAY. The Guinness World Records editor-in-chief, Craig Glenday, said that having a "large number of living siblings with an average age of more than 90 years is incredibly rare." "We believe Ogliastra (province in Italy) likely contains the highest number of centenarians per capita in the world," he added. 

When it comes to the Melis family, they have had the exact same lunch every day, Buettner said in the video. "...a kind of a chunky Minestrone, used with the garden vegetables that were growing, but always three beans: a Garbanzo, a pinto, and a white bean. And they had a small glass, I'm talking 2 or 3 oz glass of wine every day of their life. Now, this wasn't because 'my diet requires me to do it.' No, they loved it," he added. This meal exemplifies what Buettner calls the Blue Zone diet, which focuses on whole foods and plants.


Scientists have tried to understand why Sardinians live so long and found that it could be due to genetic heritage, a frugal Mediterranean diet and a hardy lifestyle. 100-year-old Alfonso Melis, in an interview with The Guardian, said, "We eat genuine food, meaning lots of minestrone and little meat and we are always working. Every free moment I have I am down at my vineyard or at the allotment where I grow beans, aubergines, peppers and potatoes." His older sister, Claudia, believes one should keep working and eating minestrone, beans and potatoes for a healthy life.

Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

Luca Deiana, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Sassari in Sardinia, said that the region is the perfect environment to produce centenarians. "Local DNA is geared to long life and has not been diluted, while the cell proteins of Sardinians are also beneficial," he revealed. "Sardinia is windy and that changes the air they breathe, there are no great extremes in temperature and the magnetic fields help. The prevalence of farming and shepherding means people are physically active."

He also spoke about the food that the 100-year-olds have. "A glass of red and a chunk of sheep's cheese or goat's ricotta is the standard meal for these 100-year-olds – all local, genuine food," he said. He also added that most elderly people live with their families and "are respected as the living memories of their communities." And that's true for the Melis family as well. Claudia's daughter Marta, who is 90 now and lives with her mother, said, "We are a tight family – everyone should be like this."

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A post shared by Dan Buettner (@danbuettner)


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