Sardinian family's tip for a long life: minestrone

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The Melis siblings have reached a combined 828 years. Photo: Guinness Book of Records
10:20 CEST+02:00
It's been a year since Consolata Melis, who turns 106 on August 22nd, and her eight brothers and sisters made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the world's oldest siblings, with a combined aged of 818.

With all nine still being alive, the combined age has now reached 828, La Stampa reported.

A party to celebrate Consolata's 106th birthday is being planned in Perdasdefogu, a small town in the mountainous area of Ogliastra in Sardinia, where the family of 180 descendants make up a large part of the population. She will receive 100 red roses and 100 white cyclamen.

The other siblings are Maria, 98 years; Antonio 94 years; Concetta 93 years; Adolfo 90 years; Vitalio 87 years; Vitalia 82 years and 79-year-old Mafalda, called 'the little one'.

On making it into the record books last year, Consolata told the UK newspaper, The Guardian, the longevity was "all down to minestrone". 

Luca Deiana, a professor of clinical biochemistry at the university of Sassari in Sardinia, who has studied some 2500 centenarians on the island since 1996, was quoted by Corriere della Sera at the time as saying the longevity of local inhabitants was influenced by genetics along with environmental, nutritional and lifestyle habits.

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"On the one hand it is about genetics, about inherited longevity ... but there is also the bounty of the land and the local fruit, particularly pears and prunes." 

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