Posted on Mar 02, 2020, 10 p.m.
Okinawa, Japan has one of the greatest concentrations of centenarian women in the world, while they may not be sorceresses with spells and potions to offer immediate immortality, if you take the time to listen to them they can offer some useful tips for life and longevity.
Okinawa’s main staple is sweet potatoes which are very high in fiber, potassium, antioxidants, and vitamin C. They also enjoy bitter melon which is rich in vitamins A, B6, and C. Soy products are common here, with tofu and soy milk being consumed daily. Okinawan people over all eat a lot of fruit, vegetables and are primarily plant based, but also consume fish and seaweed which is plentiful around the island are a rich source of Omega-3s.
Aside from fish Okinawa people don’t eat a lot of meat, and they do not eat a lot of refined carbohydrates or sugar. Almost every meal consists entirely of whole fruits/veggies along with tubers and legumes. In addition they eat much smaller portions and take in fewer calories on average than other populations, eating only until they are almost full.
Most Okinawa people follow the 80/20 rule which is eating until they are 80% full and then stopping. The reasoning to this being that it takes time for the body to digest food and most often we have actually consumed enough but the eyes are bigger than the stomach. Most people here also eat socially at a table with friends and family, eating together has been shown to help relieve stress.
Residents here virtually never stop exercising, they continue to maintain farms and gardens for their entire lives, and walk almost exclusively everywhere they go. Walking is a simple and great exercise that is actually good for those with bad knees and joints, basically you should never stop being physically active if you want to live to be a longevity warrior.
The Okinawa people are happy, hearty, loyal, reliable, and hardworking in addition to being largely independent which has fostered a sense of resilience that is rarely seen in other cultures. They remain physically active while living off of the land, and grow their own foods which they continue to do right up to the end. Their diet is whole foods, primarily plant based and largely free of refined carbs. They eat smaller portions, eating more slowly to take the time to enjoy what is on their plate and appreciate the work that went into it while savoring every last bite without overindulging.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.