Okinawa-Diet and Longevity
The matter of longevity is heavily connected to religion especially during the ancient times. For instance, the bible talks about Methuselah who passed on at the age of 969. However, in Japan, Okinawa which is a region with the highest number of centenarians exhibits the longest lifespan among its elders. This is actually the reason why it is referred to as the “longevity island.” It is the land of happy immortals where calorie control is seen as a cultural habit among its population. This cultural habit is described as Hara Hachi bu in the local dialect and it encourages the Okinawans to eat until they are 80% full. They have a diet that has high antioxidants, calcium which naturally exists in their food and water as well as certain plant compounds with antioxidant effects. The culture adores fresh homegrown fruits and vegetables. They typically eat fruits raw and fresh from the garden. Fruits such as sweet potato, papaya, banana, watermelon, pineapple, mushroom, goya, and gobo are their staple foods (Marco 2006 p.174).
This dietary practice of the Okinawans was once considered to be poor farmer’s food by the upper class that preferred to eat rice. However, it has now been confirmed to be the most nutritious by the Center for Science in the Public interest. The sweet potato, for instance, is rich in vitamin A, E, C as well as vitamin B. The Satsuma which is the most common sweet potato in Okinawa has low glycemic index score hence leading to low effects in the sugar levels in the blood. They eat different species of fish such as salmon, tuna and caught fish. This has the advantage of low fats with high protein as well as the fatty acids which maintain the heart and aid in the functioning of the nervous system as well as the brain. The Okinawa’s moderately use alcohol while at the same time avoiding smoking and this is the reason why they have clean arteries with low cholesterol when compared to the developed nations. And most importantly, they have maintained moai through the community networks. Moreover, they express great satisfaction levels with their lives with the elderly people exercising both physically and mentally
So if you want to know the secret for long life you must checkout this book, OKINAWA DIET: THE LONGEVITY SECRET By Marco Carestia