For natural anti aging and learning how to live longer healthier lives we would do well to follow the examples set by the people who live on the island of Okinawa in Japan.
Here it is normal for people to live to well over 100 years old. Not only do they live longer they also lead energetic and active lives with the lowest death rates from the top 3 killers in our western world namely cancer, heart disease and strokes.
The women of Okinawa also hachi-papa have the highest life expectancy in the world.
Why Do Okinawa’s Live Longer?
Researchers have studied the people of Okinawa since 1976 and they have found:
Okinawa’s do live longer but they also age more successfully than we do. By the time they become centenarians they are leaner, more energetic and have lower rates of chronic age-related illnesses like heart disease and cancer.
The studies also showed that genetics seem to play a large part in their longevity. For instance, off-spring of long-living Okinawa’s are more likely to live longer, healthier lives. But, it has been proved, if these off-spring move to a different environment which causes lifestyle changes to their eating habits or activities then they lose their extended lifespan. These studies suggest that there are other issues to consider.
Traditional Okinawa Diet Promotes Natural Anti Aging
It is their cultural practice to only eat until they are 80% full; this tradition is called Hara Hachi Bu.
Okinawa’s eat a diet high in vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes (soy foods) and fish. They also eat limited amounts of lean meat.
Healthy eating obviously plays an enormous role in the aging process and natural anti aging because it drastically reduces the amount of free radical damage inflicted on their bodies. Our bodies’ metabolism automatically produces free radicals when it creates energy from food and free radicals speed up aging by damaging our cell molecules.
By training themselves to stop eating when they are only 80% full the Okinawa’s are practicing calorie restriction to minimize free radical damage but there is also another factor in the equation.
Medical research has shown that it can take up to 20 minutes for our brain to pick up the signal from our stomach that it is full, so by only eating until they feel 80% full they are allowing for the time delay and 20 minutes after they have stopped eating they do indeed feel full and satiated. This helps to prevent them from over-eating and guards against obesity.
Add this to the fact that they also consume a plant-based anti-oxidant rich diet and it’s not surprising that there are so many Okinawa people living to a ripe old age.
Health Statistics For Natural Anti Aging
The people of Okinawa enjoy a long and healthy life and statistics show:
• Heart Disease rates are 80% lower
• Stroke rates lower than in the US
• Cholesterol levels are typically under 180
• Homocystein levels are low
• Blood pressure at goal levels
• Rates of cancer are 50-80% lower
• Hip fractures are 40% lower than in the US
• Dementia is rare
The reasons behind these low levels of age-related illnesses are thought to be a healthy diet and high levels of physical activity.
So how can we benefit from these lessons for natural anti aging so that we can live longer too?
Firstly we must change the type of food we eat. It seems plant-based foods, whole grains, legumes (soy foods) and fish hold the key to living a long and healthy life.
Secondly, staying energetic and active will keep us fit and supple so that we can enjoy our extended years.
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