The Okinawa Diet – An Amazing Anti Aging Diet
The Okinawa diet has been studied by researchers to understand why it is that the people of Okinawa generally live long and healthy lives, remaining active to the end. Anti aging diet researchers have found that the island of Okinawa has the lowest levels of modern diseases and the longest lifespans in the world. The Okinawans have 34 centenarians per 100,000 people and live full active lives to the end of their days. Diseases such as cancer, stroke and heart disease are rare among the older people who stick to the traditional Okinawa Diet. In this video below, National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner talks about the longevity secrets of the Okinawans.
The Anti Aging Diet Of Okinawa
The Okinawa Diet is a typical plant based diet rich in antioxidants, and low in calories. Their diet is based mainly on vegetables and whole grains, supplemented with fish and rice. Although they eat only about 1500 calories a day, the Okinawans eat a high volume of food. Being high in fibre, they do not feel hungry. Another secret to their longevity is that they do not eat more than they need. They have a saying “Hara Hachi Bu” or “Eat until you’re 80% full”. They say this before every meal!
Staples of A Longevity Diet
Fresh Vegetables. The Okinawans spend a lot of time growing their own vegetables and herbs including healthy spices such as ginger and turmeric. Staples are sweet potato, onions, marrows, cabbage and other leafy greens. Seaweed which is rich in antioxidants and minerals is used to flavour food. Fish is preferred to meat which is kep to a minimum, and oily fish such as salmon and tuna are eaten two to three times a week. These fish are packed with Omega 3s. Soy protein also features in the Okinawa diet, as well as whole grains comprising mainly of rice and noodles. Green tea is drunk several times a day.
The Okinawa Way
The Okinawans live by a strong ethic called ikigai which means to have something that makes life worth living. For the Okinawans, this means having close ties with family and friends. So together with eating a nutrient rich low calorie primarily plant based diet, not overeating, or over cooking their food, and restricting the amount of meat and refined carbohydrates they consume, the Okinawans live long and healthy lives. This is the secret to the Okinawa diet, and we can benefit from it too!