Secrets of longevity exposed in Japan.
Okinawa – the secrets of longevity – The Hippocratic Post
Residents of the Japanese island of Okinawa have long enjoyed one of the longest life expectancies in the world. As well as having the highest population of centenarians, Okinawa also boasts low disability rates.
This has been largely attributed to the Okinawa diet which is nutrient and calorie-rich. Although it includes a relatively small amount of fish – less than half a serving per day – the daily diet consists of large amounts of various types of seaweed which are rich in minerals, dietary fibre and essential fatty acids.
Bitter gourd is one of the secrets to Okinawa longevity because it contains high levels of health-promoting phyto-nutrients.
Also known as momordica charantia, bitter melon, or bitter squash, or balsam pear, or karela in India, bitter gourd is an important part of Okinawa diet. In the UK, the raw fruit is available in specialty food stores but extracts and powdered formulations are most frequently used, although teas made from the stems and leaves are also consumed.
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Diet is the key for a long life. Seven healthy foods you will find surprising.
7 healthy foods Japanese centenarians eat each day for longevity
Healthy Japanese foods make it easy to create a vibrant plate that resembles a nutritional masterpiece. The residents of Okinawa, a Japanese prefecture comprising more than 150 islands in the East China Sea, enjoy the longest life expectancy in the world, according to Blue Zones. On the islands, with a population said to include the largest proportion of people over 100, women and men can expect to live 84 and 90 years, respectively.
It’s no secret that diet plays a major role in longevity. The healthy Japanese foods centenarians in Okinawa reach for each day include a variety of riches from the ocean and the earth.
In Okinawa, bitter melons are called “goya” and they’re often found in vegetable dishes. “Bitter melons have an ‘anti-diabetic’ property where they actually assist in lowering blood glucose levels,” says registered dietitian Melissa Rifkin, RD.
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The island of Okinawa in Japan, just north of Taiwan, has long been a hot spot for the secrets to longevity. It is unrivaled for its health, spirituality, and connection to mind and body. In fact, Okinawa has some of the highest number of centenarians (those who live past 100) in the world, at about 50 per 100,000 compared to 5-10 per 100,000 in the USA. These aren’t your average old folks, either. Here in the West, we associate old age with misery, joint pain, dementia, and nursing homes, but in Okinawa, the centenarians are happy and surprisingly independent.
Diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism, cancer, diabetes and heart disease are virtually unheard of, at least, not until you’re 90! Interestingly enough, when an Okinawan is removed from his or her society and rituals and adopts an American or Western lifestyle, their age limits begin to parallel those of the citizens of the United States. What exactly is their secret? Although genes do play a role, it seems lifestyle is the biggest contributor. In 2000, the Okinawa Centenarian Study published some fascinating facts on longevity:
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