The Okinawan Recipe for a Long and Healthy Life

Japan boasts the greatest proportion of centenarians in the world, and the largest proportion of them live in the Okinawan Islands. One particular village called Ogimi is home to a dozen people over the age of 100.

Experts have scrutinized the Okinawan lifestyle and concluded that, aside from the obvious health benefits of living close to the sea, the local diet has a lot to recommend it.

Researchers discovered that on average, Okinawans consume three portions of fresh fish per week, along with daily portions of wholegrains, vegetables, soy sauce, tofu and konbu seaweed. Rich in anti-oxidant flavonoids, the archipelago’s delicious purple sweet potato is also an important staple, while bitter cucumber (goya) promotes low blood sugar.

Another finding was that long-lived Okinawans tend to follow the much repeated adage ‘hara hachi bu´– ‘eat until you’re eight tenths full’. Obesity is rare, and with working days much shorter than the rest of the country, stress levels are very low too.

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