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The Secret of Okinawa Diet
Why was the Okinawa Diet in everyone’s mouth, what makes this place so special? We found out for you that most of the 100 year old people worldwide live in Okinawa, a Japanese Island. What is their secret of getting so old and over all what brings them their mental and physical fitness?
People from Okinawa live a normal life, yes ok it is contemplative compared to somebody living in Tokyo or New York. If you look at why people have a better health than others you have to look at whole picture – not only their food habits.
Why do they live so long and are healthier their whole life?
The Okinawa Centenarian Study (OCS) began 1975 and is an ongoing population-based study of 100 year old and other elderly.
They are a lifelong lean and healthy, have less heart disease and cancer.
What leads to a pathway of a long life, come from different aspects, one is how old did your ancestors get – the genetic research showed, that centenarians tend to cluster in families. Furthermore they revealed, that centenerians have an antigen which is responsible for the lower risk of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases which is called the HLA (human leukocyte antigen).
Eat less Calories
Another theory is that the body while metabolizing food into energy can produce free radicals which damage the molecules in the DNA. This will accumulate the whole life and in the end will break the whole system, like a car for example.
What causes the free radicals and how do they work
After a hearty meal, maybe some roast pork and too much beer and fries, after that a wonderful dessert and then you needed some schnapps because it was all bit too much…maybe some cigarettes in addition – this is the best way to produce free radicals.
Free radicals are small molecules that contained unpaired electrons on their way they are looking for other electrons to pair with. This way it can pull the neighboring electron off and it will become another free radical.
But not only the above mentioned holiday menu can cause free radicals you will encounter them everywhere you go like smog, ozone, UV rays and stress. As I mentioned smoking is a big cause of free radicals.
Vitamins can help reduce free radicals
The most important vitamins that can help you reducing the free radicals are the vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene.
600 – 900 grams of fruits and vegetables can prevent you from cancer, heart disease and other disease of civilisation.
The nutrition of Okinawan contain 20 % less calories compared to the mainland Japanese. The normal diet of a Japanese contains large quantities of rice but not so with the Okinawan, they mainly eat sweet potato which is indigenous on the Japanese Isle. Important to their diet is the vegetables, which consists of about 30% mainly of green and yellow vegetables.
The protein sources come from a small portion of fish and a higher quantity of soy and other legumes.
The amount of sugar in their diet is very low compared to the rest of Japan, they eat less polyunsaturated fats, less chicken and meat, less eggs and dairy products.
Surprisingly they are among the highest consumer of pork in their country but it is only eaten during monthly festivals.
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Facts of the Okinawan Cuisine
• mainly Vegetables in different colors
• soy and legumes
• little portions of fish
• small amount of rice
• almost no poultry and meat
• little to no eggs and dairy
• almost no wheat, barley and other grains
• less of other potatoes
• less sugar
• less fats
Hara Hachibu – Stop eating before you’re full
Besides their healthy diet, they are active, practice Tai Chi every day and work on the field. Retirement is something they don’t know.
Take a nap after lunch if you can, studies showed that a lack of sleep results in having a low leptin level (hormone of saturation).
Maybe it’s not everybody’s aim to reach 100 years, but we can influence our health to a certain part no matter how old we should get so why not take bit of Japanese Lifestyle into our Life?
Hungry for Japanese now? Try out our [mks_button size=”large” title=”Recipes” style=”squared” url=”http://wiselyorganic.com/recipes/Japanese” target=”_blank” bg_color=”#7ad134″ txt_color=”#FFFFFF” icon=”fa-angle-double-right” icon_type=”fa”]
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