The benefits of a healthy Mediterranean diet and lifestyle have long been known, however new figures prove that Spain has the second highest life expectancy globally, narrowly missing out on first place to Japan.
The latest data released by the OECD reveals that the country has more than 100,000 people aged over 100 years old with the average life expectancy for a newborn Spaniard today being 83.2 years, just 0.2 years behind Japan’s 83.4 years.
As with most countries included in the census, Spanish women’s life expectancy at 86.2 years, is greater than that of Spanish men who fall behind at 80.4 years.
The UK and Ireland hold 17th and 18th position respectively with a lower average life expectancy than most of Western Europe and Scandinavia at 81.4 years.
A number of Spanish centenarians recently interviewed by a Reuters photographer revealed their secrets to a long and healthy life. Tips ranged from a daily spoonful of honey to keeping active, playing the piano and Gazpacho, a traditional cold Spanish soup.
Experts attribute the countries healthy Mediterranean diet, rich in fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and olive oil along with a more leisurely lifestyle and warmer climate to the Spanish populaces impressive longevity.