The people of Okinawa, an island and prefecture of Japan, enjoy particularly vibrant health. They have a history of slow aging with delayed and often non existent chronic diseases including dementia, cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease and stroke) and cancer.
So what components make up this health giving diet?
The Japanese consume about five times the amount of cruciferous vegetables as the average westerner.
Cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, kale, watercress, radishes, parsnips, and turnips.
This has long been a symbol of longevity in Japan due to their health-promoting properties. They are most known for invigorating the immune system and fighting against disease and illness. They also lower cholesterol and are a powerful antioxidant.
The Japanese diet abounds with fish, consumed at more than 154 pounds per person per year, almost one-half pound per day.
Fish that is rich in essential fatty acids is generally eaten daily, especially in the Okinawa region. Essential fats are known for a range of health benefits including reduced heart disease, lowered cholesterol, and improved brain function among them.
Kombu (from warm waters) and Nori (from cold waters) seaweeds are plentiful in Japan. These contain high amounts of iodine as well as minerals and micro elements which impart robust health as well as being flavoursome.
This is a good source of protein and is packed with nutrients necessary for good health. It has been shown to lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular function.
It also provides energy and is rich in antioxidant minerals.
Research has linked an increased consumption of this oriental infusion with a reduced risk of conditions such as cancer and heart disease. It is a powerful antioxidant.
Green tea has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer in both men and women. Research has found that individuals who consume green tea tend to have lower blood levels of cholesterol. Studies have also shown a decrease in blood pressure. Green tea consumption is linked with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
A varied diet
The typical Japanese will have about 100 varieties of food per week compared with just 30 in the average British diet and 45 in the average southern European diet.
High cholesterol foods such as red meat and cow's milk are almost non existent traditionally.
Low in Sugar
Sugar consumption is very low compared with the rest of the world, and the consumption is far lower in Okinawa compared to the rest of Japan.
The Japanese are said to eat until they are 80% full rather than stuffed to the max.
About the authorSheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.
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