Okinawa Diet, The Japanese Secret To Longevity

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Are you familiar with the Okinawan Diet? The Okinawan people have been reported to live a long life due to their unique diet. Multiple studies have reported Okinawa as the place with the largest proportion of centenarians. Okinawan people have a reputation as the place with an exceptional longevity.


On average, the life expectancy for men and women are 84 and 90 years old  respectively. The Okinawan population has low rate of life-threatening illness like cardiovascular diseases, breast and prostate cancer. Not to forget, dementia.


Amazing right? Now the question is, what is the secret to their longevity? According to an interview with a centenarian, Gozei Shinzato, her secret to longevity was the “five compounds”. These “five compounds” are believed to reduce the risk of getting diseases like cancer, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal problems and developing gallstones. Wow!


Around the year 1940, more than 60 percent of their calories were dominated by the Okinawan sweet potato, called as imo. The imo initially came to Okinawa from the America about 400 years ago. The potatoes turned out to be very suitable with the Okinawan soil. Imo can be found either in purple or yellow in colour. Fun fact! It is known to be one of the healthiest foods existing due to having high vitamin C, fibre, flavonoids, slow-burning carbohydrates and carotenoids.

The traditional Okinawan diet consisted of roughly 80 percent carbohydrates. They only eat fish three times every week and seven servings of vegetables with up to two serving of grains per day. Only 2 to 3 percent represented dairy and meat intake. Even if they consume pork, they would stew them for days, skimming off the fat.


Here goes the list of top foods that are commonly known for their exceptional benefits!

  1. Bitter melon

Also known as goya. Often served with other vegetables in stir-fried dish, famously known as goya champuru. Has been reported for its “effective anti-diabetic”, maintain a normal blood sugar regulation.

  1. Tofu

Tofu is very much liked by the Okinawans, pretty much like how the French love the bread! Tofu can be a way healthier option for the source of fat compared to meat. Tofu has significantly lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, reducing the risk of heart disease.

  1. Sweet potatoes

As previously mentioned, sweet potatoes are known as imo, the purple sweet potatoes. They have a sweet taste but do not increase the blood sugar level compared to the white sweet potato. Additionally, imo contains antioxidants like sporamin and potent anti-aging properties.

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric is commonly used as tea and spices. Some of the beneficial properties associated with turmeric are anticancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. Based on several studies, curcumin, the chemicals produced by turmeric, has been found to slow down the development of dementia.

  1. Brown rice

In the context of nutrition, brown rice is superior to white rice. Okinawan brown rice is said to be tastier than the common brown rice we know. It has a sweet taste and softer texture.

  1. Shitake mushrooms

Japanese shitake mushrooms are known for its smoky flavor. This mushroom adds flavor to miso soup and stir-fried cooking. Mushrooms have more than 100 different compounds with immune-protecting properties. They are best served by soaking or by cooking in a liquid like a soup or sauce, and most of their nutritional value remains.

  1. Seaweeds

In Okinawa, the most common seaweeds are known as kombu and wakame. Not only that seaweed provides the nutrient-rich boost to the diet, but it also has low calorie and makes us feel full. Seaweeds act as a taste enhancer for soups and stews. Additionally, they are rich in carotenoids, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and iodine.


So, what are we waiting for? Now that we’ve known the secret, let’s get started! yes, when it comes to diet, it is hard to stick with the plan. But, fret not! Let’s find others who would make the change together!




Original article from: Huffington Post

By Mirarhyme


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