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Live like a monk on Greece's Mount Athos to avoid cancer

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/168045.html Live like a monk on Greece s Mount Athos to avoid cancer Posted : Thu, 03 Jan 2008 03:11:01 GMT Author :
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2008
      Live like a monk on Greece's Mount Athos to avoid cancer
      Posted : Thu, 03 Jan 2008 03:11:01 GMT
      Author : DPA
      Category : Health

      By Christine Pirovolakis, dpaAthens - Living like a monk may have the
      spiritual benefit of saving one's soul, a recent study into one of
      the world's most isolated monastic communities revealed as their
      dietary and healthy living habits have resulted in lower cancer rates.

      The dietary and lifestyle habits of monks on the all-male community
      in Mount Athos have shown that regular consumption of olive oil,
      daily portions of fish, seasonal fruit and vegetables are among the
      main contributors towards keeping prostate cancer below international
      averages, data presented by urologist Haralambos Aidonopoulos showed.

      "It is not just the Mediterranean diet that helps but generally a
      diet consisting of old, traditional standards," Aidonopoulos told
      Deutsche-Presse Agentur dpa.

      Aidonopoulos said he had examined hundreds of monks living on Mount
      Athos since 1994 and found that the incidence of prostate cancer was
      four times lower than the international average.

      The study found that in the last 13 years, there had been 11 reported
      cases of prostate cancer among the more than 1,500 monks living in
      the 20 different monasteries in the segregated community in
      north-western Greece from which women are banned.

      Other factors in the same study shown to keep prostate cancer at bay
      were the stress-free existence of the monks away from women, proper
      sleep patterns and the lack of air pollution.

      The lifestyle habits and traditions of the various monasteries on the
      peninsula, which the Prince of Wales visits regularly and which are
      only accessible by boat, have not changed in 1,000 years.

      Meals on Mount Athos are simple and do not contain meat, but fish is
      a regular fare on holidays and feast days such as Christmas and Easter.

      The staple foods are bread, olives, vegetables, rice, pasta, soya
      dishes and fruit. In fact,the monks grow much of what they consume themselves.

      Monks usually indulge in a glass of red wine, which is made locally
      from mountain grapes, with their dinner but on fast days - Mondays,
      Wednesdays and Fridays - they abstain from wine, olive oil and dairy
      products altogether.

      Many of the monastic communities on Mount Athos eat twice a day, and
      have bread and tea for breakfast and a supper of lentils, salad and
      fruit, except during the rigorous fasting periods of the Orthodox
      Church, when some will eat only at midday.

      The average day begins with an hour of prayers before dawn and meal
      times are conducted in silence while one of the monks usually reads a
      passage from the Bible. The monks normally have to eat at great speed
      because once the reading is over the meal is officially completed.

      The rest of the day is spent doing chores such as cleaning, tending
      to crops and cooking followed by evening prayers.

      Copyright, respective author or news agency
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