Seven Healthy Japanese Foods for Longevity
Okinawa is a Japanese prefecture comprising more than 150 islands in the East China Sea, and residents there enjoy the longest life expectancy in the world. The largest proportion of people over 100 live on these islands. Men here expect to live up to 90 years, and women, up to 84. Diet plays a major role in their longevity. Okinawan centenarians derive their food sources from both the earth and the ocean. Here’s what they eat everyday.
Bitter melons are called “goya” in Okinawa and they’re often found in vegetable dishes. “The fruit has an ‘anti-diabetic’ property where they actually assist in lowering blood glucose levels.
Tofu is to Okinawans what bread is to the French and potatoes are to Eastern Europeans. It’s a daily habit among Okinawans. Tofu can help reduce cholesterol. It’s also an excellent source of plant-based protein.
Sweet potato is called the ‘imo’ and unlike the regular potato, does not increase blood glucose levels; the leaves are also consumed. The potato contains an antioxidant called sporamin, which has been shown to have anti-aging properties.
Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice used in both teas and as a spice. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to decrease inflammation and delay dementia.
Okinawans enjoy brown rice as it contains fiber. When soaked in water, it germinates with sprout and releases powerful enzymes that break down sugar and protein, making it more flavorful. It can be used as a base for the other seven ingredients.
Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most flavorful varieties of mushrooms. They contain over 100 compounds that have been shown to have immune system protecting properties. They are combined with soups and stir-fries.
Seaweed is rich in carotenoids, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and iodine.