Italian Village Residents Live Over 100 Years

November 7, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. coast / koʊst / (n.) – an area near the sea
Example: The cold ocean breeze always blows over the coast.

2. longevity / lɒnˈdʒɛv ɪ ti / (n.) – long life
Example: Apart from diet, access to health care also affects a person’s longevity.

3. steep / stip / (adj.) – high and slanted
Example: Walking on steep streets is good exercise for the legs.

4. diet / ˈdaɪ ɪt / (n.) – the type of food that a certain group of people eats
Example: American diet contains a huge percentage of red meat.

5. anti-inflammatory / ˌæn ti ɪnˈflæm əˌtɔr i / (adj.) – describing something that prevents swelling due to pain
Example: We need anti-inflammatory treatment to prevent the pain from becoming worse.

Read the text below.
Scientists have discovered the secret to the long life of an Italian village’s residents.

Acciaroli [ah-cha-ROL-ee], a village along a coast, is home to many hundred-year-old residents. For six months, scientists studied the lifestyle of around 80 elderly residents in the village. They tested the residents’ blood, heart, and nervous system, including the brain and nerves.

Findings revealed that the residents have blood circulation that is similar to that of a 20-year-old. This is a remarkable discovery because the circulatory system typically deteriorates through the years. The researchers also found metabolites, or substances that aid in the body’s use of energy, in the participants’ body.

In conclusion, the scientists believe that the residents’ lifestyle and diet contributed to longevity.

The residents have to walk on the village’s steep streets all the time, giving them opportunity to exercise regularly. The villagers also perform physical activities like gardening and fishing on a daily basis. Aside from these, the village’s geography contributes to its residents’ good health. There are practically no industries in the area, making it free from pollution.

The villagers were also found to follow a healthy diet, known as the Mediterranean diet. This diet involves eating freshly-harvested ingredients, including nuts, olive oil, vegetables, and fish. 

The key components of the Mediterranean diet are olive oil and rosemary. Olive oil is known to reduce heart problems. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Rosemary is also anti-inflammatory and is known to improve brain function, which could explain why memory loss is not rampant in the village.

The researchers intend to extend their study to see if genetics also plays a role in the villagers’ longevity.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you recommend the Mediterranean diet to anyone? Explain.
·         How else do you think a person can improve his/her longevity?

Discussion B

·         Who is the oldest person you know? Discuss his or her lifestyle.
·         Where do you want to live in your old age? Why?

November 7, 2016