bowl of soup
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
February 13, 2024 ·  3 min read

World’s Oldest Family Eat The Same Everyday, and Experts Understand Why

Let’s explore the story of the world’s oldest family – the Melis family from Italy, who hold the record for longevity among siblings, with a combined age of 861 years back in 2012. Their secret? A simple, yet consistent, daily lunch routine.

The Melis siblings’ remarkable feat caught the attention of many, earning them a place in the Guinness World Records for the highest combined age among nine living siblings. The eldest among them reached the impressive age of 109. Their story gained further recognition when they were featured in a Netflix documentary series called “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones” in 2023.

Where exactly does one of the world’s oldest families come from?

world’s oldest family from Italy
Image Credit: Instagram

What are Blue Zones, you might ask? These are regions across the globe where people tend to live longer than the average lifespan. Sardinia in Italy, where the Melis family resides, is one such Blue Zone. The documentary, led by American author Dan Buettner, explored various aspects contributing to longevity, with a spotlight on the Melis family’s daily lunch routine.

So, what’s the world’s oldest family’s secret? It’s surprisingly simple: a plant-based meal featuring a three-bean minestrone soup served with sourdough bread and a small glass of red wine. This meal isn’t just about sustenance for the Melis family; it’s a cherished tradition they look forward to each day.

Buettner, who is well-versed in strategies for a healthy and long life, emphasized the nutritional value of the Melis family’s lunch. The three-bean minestrone soup is rich in essential nutrients and fiber. It typically includes garbanzo beans, pinto beans, and white beans, along with a variety of garden vegetables. This combination provides a diverse array of plant-based goodness that supports overall health.

“Every day of their life they had the same meal for their lunch. A sourdough bread, a three bean minestrone soup – a chunky minestrone with garden vegetables. It always had three beans; a garbanzo, a pinto and a white bean. And then they had a small glass of red wine. I’m talking a two to three ounce glass. Now this wasn’t because ‘my diet requires me to do it’. No, they loved it.” Explained Buettner.

Read More: World’s Oldest Woman Lived to 117 and Ate The Same Things Everyday

The significance of beans in the Melis soup cannot be overstated

Minestrone Soup with Noodles
Image Credit: fajri nugroho Pexels

Pinto beans and garbanzo beans are both nutrient powerhouses, packed with protein and fiber while containing zero cholesterol. White beans offer similar benefits, boasting a low-calorie count alongside a wealth of essential nutrients. This nutrient-dense soup not only keeps you feeling full but also supports vital bodily functions such as blood pressure regulation, cholesterol management, and gut health.

Samantha Cassetty, a registered dietitian from New York City, underscores the importance of incorporating beans into one’s diet for longevity. Research suggests that consuming half a cup to a cup of beans daily can contribute to a longer and healthier life. Furthermore, the variety of vegetables and legumes in the Melis family’s soup promotes gut diversity, which is crucial for optimal health and well-being.

“It’s also noteworthy that the soup uses three types of beans and multiple vegetables. Research suggests that eating 30 unique plant foods per week can improve your gut diversity, a marker of a healthy gut. Your gut regulates health functions, like blood pressure and cholesterol, inflammation, mood, weight and nutrient absorption, so you’ll be more likely to live a longer and healthier life if you have a healthy gut.” Explained Samantha.

Read More: Some People Claim That Day Old Rice is Dangerous, so Experts Have Weighed in


  1. “World’s oldest family have the eaten same meal for their entire life that expert swears by” Lad Bible. Tom Earnshaw. February 1, 2024.
  2. Instagram.