The answer to a life free from cancer may be to live like a monk. Research into one of the world’s most isolated monastic communities has revealed that only a tiny number of brothers have suffered from the disease in the past decade.

The austere existence of the monks of Mount Athos has been notorious in Greece for generations but, until recently, few beyond the peninsula’s monastic walls had considered mimicking their sombre lifestyle.

That may be about to change. Father Epifanios Miloptaminos is sharing his recipes in, “Cooking on Mount Athos” (so far available only in Greek).

“Monks at Mount Athos don’t eat meat,” says Epifanios. “The word butter is never mentioned in the book, and we don’t add flour to thicken sauces. We just let the ingredients boil down.”

Epifanios’ catalog of recipes is divided into seafood – with and without backbones, according to different fasting categories – or vegetables. No desserts at the Holy Mountain.

The main factor in their low uptake of cancers is their diet. The brothers alternate their meals, and ration olive oil, wine and dairy products on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Read the rest of this entry »