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In the Japanese archipelago of Ryukku there is a large island of Okinawa, where a huge number of centenarians over 100 years old live. The average life expectancy for women on this island is 86 years, while men live on average up to 78 years of age. Deadly diseases like cancer, heart problems and so on are a rarity that occurs only in today’s youth who do not follow established traditions. Scientists have been trying to unravel the secret of the longevity of the inhabitants of the Japanese island for many years, so the health of many residents is regularly monitored. Over the years, it has been found that longevity is largely associated with the special diet of Okinawans. But healthy food is not the only secret to a long life.
Okinawa is the healthiest island in the world
Okinawa is located in the southern part of Japan and has an area of 1207 square meters.
At the entrance to the village of Ogimi, there is an inscription that hints that the locals are distinguished by good health and longevity:
At 70 you are still a child, at 80 you are a young man, and if at 90 your ancestors call you to join them, ask them to wait until you hit 100 … but even then you will think.
Centenarians are not only citizens of large Okinawa, but also 160 other islands of the archipelago. All these patches of land belonged to the Ryukku kingdom for a long time, but in 1879 they were annexed to Japan. After that, Okinawa and the nearby islands began to be considered outlying territories where big money was not found. But poverty has not become a big problem – in many ways, it is thanks to it that Okinawans live so long.
The healthiest diet in the world
The inhabitants of the poor islands always have to get food by their own labor: even in their old age they are engaged in agriculture, fishing and so on. It is believed that even 90-year-old farmers spend 11 hours a day on their lands, but even after that they are in no hurry to lie idle – many of them make long bike rides and engage in other vigorous activities. There are real legends among them. For example, martial artist Seikichi Uehara, at 96, defeated a 36-year-old boxer. It would not be superfluous to mention Nabi Kinjo, who, at 105 years old, tracked down a poisonous snake and killed it with an ordinary fly swatter.
One of the main ingredients of any Okinawan dish is the “sea grape” umibodo. This plant looks like a bunch of algae on which frog eggs have been laid. But this ingredient cannot be called tasteless and there is no caviar in it, but there are many useful substances. Okinawans also hold kombu seaweed in high esteem, which protects the skin from wrinkles.
Okinawans eat a lot of fish, but even more pork. With prolonged cooking, all possible parasites die in the meat and a lot of gelatin is released, which stimulates the production of gastric juice, which is very important for digestion and skin health.
Okinawans try not to consume dairy products. Only cane sugar is used in the dishes, and the residents of the island get antioxidants from goy squash – during heat treatment, it loses bitterness and retains its beneficial properties. Locals claim that it helps to cure everything from cancer to AIDS, but scientists would certainly argue with this.
Finally, the people of Okinawa eat imo potatoes. Everything is made from it, from pancakes to ice cream. This product is a source of huge amounts of carbohydrates and many times saved the Okinawans from starvation – if there is a flooding, the potatoes are too deep, so they are not destroyed by water.
Since the island is a popular tourist destination, modern food also makes its way there. Older people are afraid of fast food and soda, but young people love such products, for which they pay with their health. As mentioned, cancer and other dangerous diseases usually affect young people, and old people are not afraid of such diseases.
The healthiest way of thinking
But eating organic food and unaffordable fast food isn’t the only thing keeping Okinawans from aging. Life on a remote island is much slower and calmer than in big cities. All emerging problems are solved by Okinawans together – this phenomenon is called yuimaru, which translates as “kind-hearted and friendly joint effort.” Thanks to mutual assistance, residents remain calm and optimistic.
Also, most Okinawans have ikigai – this is what people get up every morning for. Each person has his own ikigai: for some it is fishing, others have chosen to take care of the younger generation, and so on. We can say that every inhabitant of the island has a meaning of life, which protects them from depression, stress and many other experiences.To Read Great Articles, Click Here Follow Us On Facebook Twitter Telegram