Okinawa Centenarians


Centenarians from Okinawa

Do you know that?

- 15% of people aged over 107 years are residents of Okinawa, Japan

- The average life expectancy is 82 years

- In a population of nearly 1.3 million people, 560 are more than 107 years old

Numerous studies have shown that in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, live as many centenarians and supercentenarians - people over 107 years old. What's more - it's not just adults but also people with very high health indicators. One of the keys to the longevity of the Okinawans is their diet. It is scientifically proven that the menu of the people of Okinawa is an example of healthy eating.

Their diet is rich in carbohydrates, which come mostly from sweet potatoes. Residents of Okinawa focus mainly on vegetables and cereals and they eat mostly whole grains. Consequently, it is only logical that their diet is relatively low in protein and fat. They do not eat eggs and dairy products, but from time to time they eat meat - mainly fish. Water and green tea are the main beverages consumed.

To be more clear, the diet is divided into 4 groups depending on the feed amount of calories:

Super Light - 0.0-0.8 calories per gram - Fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, cutwater, grains, low-fat tofu, soy milk, broth base soups.

Lightweight - 0.8-1.5 calories per gram - Sweet potatoes, grains and legumes, low-fat yogurt, white fish, shrimp

Moderate - 1.5-3 calories per gram - Bread and other bakery products, soy cheese, hummus, soy ice cream, lean meat

Heavy - 3-9 calories per gram - Nuts, dark chocolate, oil, cheese, oat biscuits

According to this classification, super light food can be eaten in unlimited quantity, light food – with due measure, moderate - in small quantities and heavy - less frequently.

And if the diet is only one reason for good health of Okinawans , the other three factors are not less important - moderation, movement , peace. Moderation means one should never overeat. It’s better to finish with a meal when you are 80% full. The movement comes from physical activities and constant walking, but for people whose occupations do not suggest that it is advisable to exercise. Given the busy life filled with stress, an important role also plays the quiet for which everyone should take care on his own - through retreats, relaxation, yoga, meditation or other relief activities.

Author:  Danislava Delcheva

January 2018

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