Higher Life Expectancy Associated With Greek Monastic Diet

Higher Life Expectancy Associated With Greek Monastic Diet

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    The diet followed by Greek monks is associated with longevity, balanced mental health and reduced cardiovascular problems, as noted by the Mount Athos monk Epifanios Mylopotaminos in his speech at the Health Feast yesterday.

    The event was organized by the Atherosclerosis Society of Northern Greece within the framework of the 8th Pan-Hellenic Atherosclerosis Conference.

    “Monastic diet is not merely what we call the Mediterranean diet. It is also the fact that monks eat in the old traditional way of two meals per day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Two simple meals lasting about twenty minutes, free of conversation and disruptions” highlighted the Mount Athos monk.

    Nutritionists and doctors agree that the monastic diet and the diet of Lent are a natural defense mechanism against cardiovascular diseases and several other health problems. The traditional Lent diet is very rich in vitamins, folic acid, antioxidants and nutrients, while it is low on saturated animal fat. Bread is one of the key food sources for a monastic diet and legume is a substitute for meat if cooked and combined with other food correctly.

    Fresh and refrigerated vegetables and fruits are further basic sources of nutrition for monks. They also eat fish on weekends and holidays, while they sometimes savor cod preserved in salt. They even drink a bit of raki and enjoy some fasting sweets and bakery products. “Most sweets are made of sugar and some are made of honey. We make our own sesame halvas for the fasting times and cultivate our own vegetables and fruits” commented monk Epifanios.