What regions where a significant percentage of the population live beyond 100 years have in common? As it turns out, a little. In September 2009, Dan Buettner gave a TED talk in Saint Paul, Minnesota, focused on finding the answer to that question. His presentation explored the habits of people living in ‘blue zones’, areas of the world with the highest number of centenarians (people aged 100 years or older).
Winners from around the world were Okinawa, Japan, and Sardinia, an island off the coast of Italy. In the United States, area Loma Linda was winning, California.
Japanese island of Okinawa has the highest rate of longevity in the world. Its inhabitants live life free of disability longest of any other region. In his speech, Mr. Buettner explored various aspects of Okinawa way of life, including a plant-based diet and a cultural strategy to avoid overeating. The golden rule following is based on a philosophy of Confucius, which is to stop eating when the stomach is full 80 percent.
According to Dr. Craig Willcox, author of The Okinawa Program, “Okinawans have a low risk of arteriosclerosis and stomach cancer, a very low hormone-dependent cancers, such as cancer risk breast and prostate cancer.
They eat three servings of fish per week, on average … lots of whole grains, vegetables and fermented soy products as well, along with kombu seaweed more than anyone in the world, as well as squid and octopus , which are rich in taurine – that could lower cholesterol and blood pressure “
Wait – it is said – was not found soybeans have some extremely negative consequences health? The difference between many Americans consume soy and soy consumed in Okinawa is that in Okinawa, soy is eaten fermented, such as in the form of fermented soy cheese.
Dr. Mercola explains, “soy – even organically grown soybeans. – Naturally contain ‘anti-nutrients such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, trypsin inhibitors, goitrogens and phytoestrogens Traditional fermentation destroys these anti-nutrients, allowing your body to enjoy the nutritional benefits of soy. ”
Dr. Willcox also points to certain indigenous to Okinawa that provide significant gifts to the nutrition of your meals vegetables. These include Goya, bitter cucumbers that have been linked to reduced levels of blood sugar, and purple sweet potatoes, which are rich in lycopene, carotenoid and antioxidant flavonoids and vitamin E. The Okinawans also regularly enjoy turmeric, which has been associated with significant anti and inflammatory immune stimulating properties .
In Okinawa, people tend to go through life in a close-knit social circle. We also firmly believe in a sense of purpose or reason to get up in the morning, as a driver all his life. Much of the mental and physical health of Okinawans health could be attributed to these philosophies, perhaps as much as to your diet.
The lifestyle of the Sardinians has many similarities with that of the Okinawans. Which typically consume one based on accented with grass-fed cheeses, and remain active throughout the day as part of their normal activities plants diet. Also placed great respect for their elderly population.
in Loma Linda, California, the Seventh-day Adventist community has the largest number of centenarians in the United States. The members of this community eat plants, mainly greens, legumes and seeds. They also have closely knit social circles, and stay active, participating in nature walks.
Residents of the Greek island of Ikaria also have an unusually long life. Their diet is mainly based on fresh vegetables, olive oil and herbs tea antioxidants filled. As the island is largely rural, which also get some exercise throughout the day, and go through life with many of the same people who have known since birth. Starting to notice a pattern?
Cultures that enjoy longer, healthier lives, usually eat diets mainly of plant origin, spending time in nature, make physical activity as part of their daily lives, and have deep social connections. They also often have a strong sense of purpose tissue in their thinking, and in many cases regularly enjoy ‘downtime’ to rest from the hustle of his life.
How long you want to live?
During his talk, Dan Buettner reference to a study 1996 Danish twins, published in Human Genetics. This study found that only ten percent of longevity is based on genetics, and the other ninety percent dependent on other factors, to a large extent environmental and life style based.
This illustrates that while unexpected things happen, choosing to live in a way that harmonizes with nature, and is rich in meaningful connections, you really can dramatically increase your chances of living a healthy life to a very advanced age.
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