Eat like an Okinawan and live until you’re 100
People from the islands of Okinawa in Japan consistently live healthy lives to the age of 100 and beyond. Okinawans are considered to have one of the longest life spans in the world, much of which is attributed to their diet of sweet potatoes, fermented soy, bitter melon, shiitake mushrooms, burdock, jasmine tea, seaweed, and an array of herbs and spices like fennel and turmeric.
So if you’re wondering what you can do with a whole-food, plant-based diet, here are seven scientifically-based reasons to give it a go – it could help you live a longer, healthier life!
1. Low in added sugar
A whole-food, plant-based diet won’t have any added processed sugar.
2. Low in fat
The traditional diet in Okinawa that has led to a society of healthiness and longevity has only 6 per cent total fat and 2 per cent saturated fat.
3. High in potassium
Much of our diet is high in sodium and low in potassium and magnesium. The Okinawan plant-based diet is naturally rich in potassium and magnesium and naturally low in sodium.
4. Nutrient dense
The whole-food, plant-based diets are naturally rich in plant omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C, E, A and phytochemicals that protect from damage and inflammation.
5. High in unprocessed carbohydrates and fibre
Up to 85 per cent of the Okinawan diet is derived from unprocessed carbohydrates. Their diet is also naturally high in plant-based fibre, which is associated with lower total mortality.
6. Low in diabetes, heart disease and mortality
It’s not just the islands of Okinawa where a whole-food, plant-based diet has contributed to longevity. In Loma Linda, California, the residents live an average 10 years more than the rest of California. The dietary patterns of these two places are associated with lower rates of diabetes, cancers, heart disease and overall mortality.
7. Low in pollutants
The higher the plant content of diet, the lower the exposure to persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals that are concentrated in fats of animals.
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