What The Okinawa People Do Differently to Live to 100

what the okinawa people do differently to live to 100

The Okinawa islands of Japan are known to be the place where the longest living people reside. What’s more, it’s where happiness is a permanent part of the average person’s life and each Okinawan truly enjoys each and every day.

There are 5 times as many centenarians, and people live at least 7 good years longer than the average American. There are much less heart diseases, almost no depression, and even cancer is a rare occasion.

So they must be doing some things differently than us. Let’s see what these are:

Longevity and Happiness Secrets from The People of Okinawa

1. They embrace an Ikigai.

Ikigai means a reason for living. And it’s something every individual has to define on his own after he studies his inner self.

Okinawans, especially the old ones, have found that early on, and can easily describe the why behind their daily life. They have a reason for getting up in the morning, which means they have a reason for being.

But most people from other cultures are confused. They follow a path that society has created for them, live by someone else’s standards, are doing many things all the time and don’t really pay attention to their deepest desires.

They rarely find out their purpose and passions in life. And even if they are close to them, they are afraid to admit them and to follow them. Because often this means not answering other people’s expectations, not finishing big current projects, not being ordinary.

But finding and embracing your ikigai is one of the first steps to a long, happy life. Without it, you’ll just wander through life, holding onto material things, memories from the past, other people, or else. You’ll jump from one goal to another, from one daily task to the next. And you’ll rarely know why you do all that. And, which is more important, it won’t feel like the right thing.

According to Psychology Today “Individuals who believe their lives are worth living live longer.”

And if you too want to make sure you make it till the end with a smile on your face, get clear about what you want in life and find meaning in your days. Know why you wake up in the morning and you’ll have the best motivation to do it.

2. Their diet is plant-based.

the okinawa diet is plant-based

The Okinawa diet is quite famous and is believed to be one of the main reasons for the longevity of the people there.

They live a long life, usually make it to 100+ years, and even die quickly and peacefully in their sleep.

So what do Okinawans eat exactly?

Here are the main elements of their diet:

  • 30% green and yellow vegetables;
  • fermented soy foods;
  • tofu (they eat it 8 times as much as Americans do);
  • small quantities of rice;
  • sweet potatoes;
  • goya;
  • a tiny amount of fish;
  • pork;
  • turmeric and jasmine tea;
  • squid.

Check out more about the cuisine here and the diet itself here.

A proper diet, however, determines up to %30 of our longevity. So it’s not all about that.

But if you get rid of the processed fats and junk food once and for all, and rely mainly on plants, the number of years you’ll live will be much more optimistic.

3. They never overeat and maintain their weight.

They don’t just eat simply, they also eat much less.

Their diet is vegetarian and seafood rich and filled with anti-oxidants. But that also means it’s low in fat and sugar and is calorie restricted.

All that slows the aging process, makes Okinawans healthier and happier and lets them enjoy life longer.

“Okinawan centenarians tend to stay lean throughout their lives by eating fewer calories than they burn off during the day. But retaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) is just one piece of the longevity puzzle; maintaining a stable weight is every bit as important.” (Fitness Magazine)

In his TED talk How to Live to Be 100+, Dan Buettner shares that the culture of Okinawa includes smaller plates, fewer calories per meal (due to the low-calorie-density foods they consume mostly like vegetables, plants and soups) and they even keep the rest of the food away while eating so that there are no temptations and unconscious overeating.

You can learn more about their eating habits in his video:

4. Everyone is in a moai.

They live a social life with the help of forming moais – groups of people who support and help each other, meet and communicate often, and contribute to financial funds.

All this is quite different from the so-called social gathering of the average person of today. It’s not about nightlife, or using social media, or going shopping or to a café.

The Okinawa community is all about honest communication, compassion, building better relationships, sharing ideas, connecting emotionally and reducing stress.

They even make their meals more social and thus enjoy them more.

5. They are more active.

People in Okinawa are generally fit.

The karate originated there and many people practice tai chi. Gardening is quite a common thing. Most people grow their own vegetables and that counts as daily exercise too.

Now you know the main reasons why Okinawans have the longest life expectancy than anywhere else on the planet.

What do you think? And which of these habits and changes can you bring to your life today?

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How Supplements Can Improve Your Overall Health

How Supplements Can Improve Your Overall Health

Dietary requirements, allergies, intolerances, illnesses and other factors can prevent us from getting optimum nutrients and vitamins from food alone. That’s why millions of people all over the world take supplements each day, whether they are recommended by a doctor to treat a deficiency, or just to ensure people get enough of what their diet lacks.

In this article, we’ll give a list of popular recommended supplements to top up your diet and ensure you’re getting the correct dosage of some important nutrients.

Most supplements can be taken harmlessly with no side effects, but you should always thoroughly check labels and get proper medical advice if you’re unsure. For instance, St John’s Wort is widely considered an herbal remedy for depression but can actually decrease the effectivity of contraceptive pills.

For insight into your personal needs, consult with a doctor or nutritionist. Especially if you have a condition that restricts your diet, or you simply want to check that a particular supplement won’t affect any medication you take.

Popular Supplements

Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria usually taken in tablet or powder form as supplements for a healthy digestion and immune system. It helps ‘good’ gut bacteria flourish, which in turn helps your immune system to kill bad bacteria that could make you sick.

Prebiotics

Prebiotics basically enable the full effect of probiotics to take hold – think of it like a fertilizer enabling garden plants to properly grow. Find the best prebiotic supplement by visiting chemists, health stores or online.

Multivitamins

Multivitamins are a great solution for busy people. Simply pop one tablet that contains a cocktail of essential vitamins and nutrients! Most multivitamins contain things necessary for everybody, like vitamins A, E, C, K; folic acid; calcium; phosphorous; magnesium; iron; iodine; and plenty more.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary to get through food sources or supplements each day because it can’t be stored in the human body. It’s an antioxidant which increases the volume of iron we can absorb from foods – therefore those with iron deficiency or anaemia should get lots of vitamin C too. It is easily found in fresh vegetables, citrus fruits or supplements, which you can buy cheaply in supermarkets.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium and phosphate for healthy bones. Supplements help to ensure you get enough daily vitamin D, but you can get it in your diet by eating lots of fatty fish, red meat and eggs. (Vegetarians and vegans therefore should invest in supplements.)

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 facilitates the proper functioning of the nervous system and is involved in the creation of blood cells. It’s vital that everyone gets enough B12.

Though it is usually found in meat and animal products like chicken, milk and eggs – this is another essential supplement for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Iron

Iron is especially vital for women and pregnant women. It is involved in the transportation of oxygen around the body in the blood, which is needed to create energy.

If you experience fatigue, you could be lacking iron or suffering from anaemia. Iron supplements are helpful to top up your blood iron, but you could also eat a diet full of spinach, broccoli, nuts, seeds, brown rice, dried fruit and red meat.

Zinc

Zinc is said to regulate immune function, have effects on memory and learning ability, and help wounds heal quickly. It’s possible to get too much zinc, so it is mostly included in multivitamins rather than a supplement on its own.

Calcium

Calcium is important for healthy bones. Since it is most prevalent in dairy products, vegans or just those who don’t eat much dairy should consider taking a supplement, or a multivitamin containing calcium.

Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil contains plenty of omega-3, vitamin A and vitamin D. It can help with skin diseases, like eczema and rashes, and can help reduce inflammation of the joints and arthritis.

Eating a diet full of fresh foods is essential for good overall health. Though if your diet restricts you from getting some of these necessary vitamins, supplements are a helpful and convenient way to replace them. Ask a doctor’s advice for help with balancing your diet, or you’re experiencing any symptoms associated with lack of vitamins.