The residents of Okinawa have certainly been through their share of adversity including World War, earthquakes, and tsunami, but still many of the older residents have thrived well into their 90’s and beyond. They have managed to put their past behind them. To them, age is all in your head, and if you let adversity beat you, it will.
Eating fresh organic vegetables and herbs year-round. that they grow themselves is one factor to Okinawan longevity. They also grow an abundance of fruit, including citrus, pineapples, bananas, papayas, guavas, mangoes and passion fruit. Some meat is eaten on special occasions and comes from locally bred live stock. When they do eat meat, they never waste any part of it. An entire pig will be boiled or stewed and all of it consumed, including its face. Kobe beef is produced on one of the Okinawan islands and is world-renowned for melting in your mouth.
They also eat plenty of freshly-caught fish, tofu, and other traditionally fermented soy products. Mineral-rich salt is used sparingly. One type of salt that contains 18 minerals comes from the Okinawan island of Miyakojima is said to be ‘the best sea salt in the world’.” Tumeric, an anti-inflammatory spice, is often used to flavor dishes.
An Okinawan meal is usually low in calories and high in nutrients but is larger in volume than an average American meal. However, the Okinawans stop eating when they’re about 80% full.
Okinawans sip green tea most of the day that is filled with antioxidants and other herbal teas made from Mugwort and Hibiscus.
To learn more you can read the The Okinawan Diet Plan
Researchers have found that the Okinawans have lower levels of free radicals in their blood. This is because they consume fewer calories, consisting mostly of fruit, vegetables, and fiber, and stay physically active into old age. They also spend time in the sun (vitamin D) and eat plenty of seafood, (calcium) putting them at low risk for hormone-dependent cancers and hip fractures.
The women are not in need of estrogen replacement therapy and have fewer problems with menopause because of their high level of physical activity and consumption of fermented soy products.
Studies have also shown that Okinawans generally have healthy arteries, low cholesterol, and low homocysteine levels putting them at low risk for heart disease. Dementia is also less common. The moderate use of alcohol, not smoking, and having a positive attitude toward life which reduces stress contributes to Okinawan longevity.
What changes will you make in your diet to eat more like the people of Okinawa? Please leave a comment below.