What is the Okinawa Diet and could it help you live longer?

We were approached by food blogger Ligia Lugo to place this story on HipSilver. As you may know, this type of intentional eating has given longevity to our contemporaries in Asia. Linda's website is a straight forward approach to delicious view vegan recipes, a mixture of cultural cuisines, food reviews, and tips for the Silver Generation.  Okinawa diet originated at the largest Ryukyu Islands, located around the coast of Japan somewhere between the Philippines sea and East China. People living on Okinawa Island have an exceptionally long life and stay way healthier than the rest of the world. When deeply studied, it was found that the reason for the long life span of Okinawans is because of substantial genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Of which, diet plays a significant role. On further research, people explored how the Okinawa residents ate and what were their primary food habits.

Okinawa diet originated based on the eating patterns of the people living in this region. This diet is typically

  • Low in calories and fats but high in carbohydrates.
  • It emphasizes more on the consumption of vegetables and soy-based products.
  • A small amount of noodles, rice, pork, and fish are allowed to be consumed.

In this culture, food is eaten with the utmost respect, and it plays the dual role of medicine and meeting everyone's dietary needs. Many people in this culture also utilize this food as a traditional form of Chinese medicine. This means their diet includes plenty of herbs and spice usage, including turmeric and mugwort. The lifestyle of the Okinawan population also emphasizes eating mindfully and engaging in physical activity every day. This diet has also been found to promote weight loss while encouraging nutrient-dense food.

Jasmine tea and antioxidant-rich spices (such as turmeric) are liberally consumed in this diet. Apart from that, foods that must be included in the Okinawan diet are

  • Vegetables (nearly 60%). All kinds of vitamins and mineral-rich vegetables are included in this diet, such as orange and purple sweet potato, kelp, bitter melon, seaweed, bamboo shoots, carrots, cabbage, daikon radish, green papaya, pumpkin, and Chinese okra.
  • Grains (nearly 33%). Such as wheat, noodles, millet, and rice.
  • Soy-based foods (nearly 5%). Natto, tofu, edamame, and miso.