The oldest family in the world eats this meal every day

To learn the secrets of a long and healthy life, many turn to the habits of the inhabitants of the so-called blue zones. These are regions of Italy, Greece, Japan, Costa Rica and the United States, among other countries, where people usually live to be 90 and 100 years old.

Dan Buettner, book author bestsellershas made it his life’s work to shed light on these communities and understand their lifestyles, discovering the habits that help them live longer than most of us.

In a recent social media post, he shared the food he “the oldest family in the world” consume every day.

The Melis family, from Sardinia, in Italy, holds the world record for longevity. In 2012 they took the Guinness World Record title for the joint oldest of nine living siblings.

“Nine brothers with a total age of 861 years. The oldest brother is 109 years old. Every day of their lives they have eaten exactly the same thing,” Buettner said in the video.

The family’s only daily meal

“The oldest family in the world eats this food every day,” Buettner wrote in the Instagram message. The food consists of:

  • Three grain minestrone soup (chickpeas, pinto and white beans).
  • Sourdough bread.
  • A glass of red wine (2-3 ounces)

Although many factors besides what you eat will influence your longevity, this food exemplifies what Buettner calls “the blue zone diet”which emphasizes whole foods and plants.

3 Grain Minestrone Soup

Buettner said the family eats a minestrone soup, made with a variety of vegetables grown close to home, and which always contains three types of beans: chickpeas, pinto beans and navy beans.

“People who live longer, healthier lives usually eat between half a cup and one cup of grains a day. Plus, soup is rich in vegetables, which are the main foods for longevity,” Samantha Cassetty told .com , a New York-based dietitian and co-author of Sugar Shock.

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“Also worth noting is that the soup uses three types of beans and multiple vegetables. Research suggests that eating 30 vegetables a week can improve gut diversity, which is a sign of a healthy gut. The gut regulates health functions , such as blood pressure and cholesterol, inflammation, mood, weight and nutrient absorption, so you will be more likely to live a longer, healthier life if you have a healthy gut,” Cassetty explained.

Sourdough bread

Although bread often gets a bad rap, it can be part of a healthy diet, and choosing a sourdough variety can be especially beneficial for gut health.

“Inhabitants of ‘blue zones’ consume fermented foods daily. Naturally fermented sourdough bread (…) does not produce the same blood sugar spikes as white bread, which helps maintain healthy levels. healthier blood sugar levels. Over time, High blood sugar levels can contribute to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes,” Cassetty explained. “In addition, there is evidence that the resistant starch in sourdough bread may contribute to other health benefits, such as increased satiety and improved insulin sensitivity.”

The wine glass

Buettner emphasized that the family enjoys a “small” glass of wine, 2 or 3 ounces, half of a typical 5-ounce serving.

“Alcohol can raise their levels of good cholesterol, HDL, but even one drink a day is associated with other health risks,” Cassetty said. “However, (they) may drink less than one drink a day. “It’s also possible that wine enhances your enjoyment of your food, and that’s a factor that’s often overlooked when we talk about healthy lifestyles.”

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Buettner also noted that the family did not choose this meal because “‘my diet forces me to do it.’ No, they loved it.”

Cassetty added: “Keep in mind that this food is consumed in the presence of loved ones. Maintaining a strong social circle helps improve happiness and combat loneliness, providing additional health benefits beyond nutrients.”

A balanced plant-based meal?

Some people asked if this meal had enough protein, a common concern about plant-based foods.

“A typical minestrone soup has 8 grams of protein per cup, but most people eat more than that,” Cassetty said. “A can of soup is about 2 cups, so you might get about 16 grams of plant protein from the soup. Sourdough bread can add another 4 grams of protein, so your total protein would be about 20 grams”.

“A balanced meal contains mainly whole plant foods and an adequate amount of protein. This meal certainly fits the bill.” Cassetty added. “You can get all the protein you need from plants as long as you meet your caloric needs and vary your protein sources.”

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For those who need more protein, Cassetty recommended adding more grains to the soup, but also reminded that it is better to spread your protein intake throughout the day instead of consuming it all in one meal.

Is it healthy to eat the same thing every day?

Eating the exact same thing every day can sometimes be a red flag for dietitians, but Cassetty insisted that this meal shouldn’t worry anyone.

“I would be concerned if someone was eating the same thing every day if they lacked plant diversity or what they were eating was low in vegetables, but this meal is 100% plant-based and has a lot of variety,” Cassetty said. “Plus, the vegetables in the soup can be mixed using whatever is in season, adding more vegetable variety to your diet.”

Eating the same midday meal can also help take the stress out of meal planning.

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“People have a hard time making decisions about what to eat. This can be a real challenge when juggling family, work and other priorities,” Cassetty said. “Eating the same thing every day reduces decision fatigue, which can reduce stress levels. Thus, repeating the same meal can be an appropriate routine to combat stress, and reducing stress has health benefits and is a principle of the ‘blue zones’ philosophy.”