Japanese diet – live to be 100 years old
Live 100 with the Japanese way of life
Forget Mediterranean food and embrace the diet of the Land of the Rising Sun. Experts say it could help us live to be 100 years old. For years, scientists and nutritionists have been telling us that the Mediterranean diet is the healthiest diet on earth, rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil and seafood. However, most of the long-lived are not in the Mediterranean countries, but in Japan. The average life expectancy of the Japanese today is 82.5 years. Misao Okawa, a 116-year-old Japanese woman, is believed to be the oldest living person.
Japanese live the longest and suffer least from heart disease and cancer. In Japan, the obesity rate is only 3.5%. But what special factors in the Japanese lifestyle enable them to live long and happy lives? Here are some peculiarities of the . Japanese finish their meal with green tea rather than dessert. It is customary to eat sweets with coffee at lunchtime. The Japanese diet is low in fat but high in fruits and sea vegetables, including seaweed. Researchers at Newcastle University recently discovered that alginate, a component of seaweed, prevents the body from absorbing fat. In Japan, people don’t eat until they burst, but get up to 80 fullness. This is the common practice of hara hachi bu – eating until you are 80 percent full. The thing is, the brain needs time to make sure it’s full, and when we’re eating it doesn’t have time to make it. However, if you eat slowly or less than usual, the brain receives the signal that you are full and no extra calories are burned.
Finally, sushi, the favorite dish of the Japanese, is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart and brain health. The Japanese eat 100g of fish every day. A resident of Japan has a much higher probability than any other person on earth of living to 100 years. More and more studies are attributing this to certain aspects of the Japanese diet. Here are the top 5 Japanese eating habits that can help us live as long as possible.
1. Good fat
Japanese children already learn at school how to deal with the national recommendations for a . The school’s menu is rich in vegetables and almost free of refined sugar. You rarely see juice or lemonade on the tables. From an early age, the Japanese learn to eat consciously and live with this knowledge into old age. Variety is the basis of the daily menu. Instead of a large main course, there are several small portions, usually at least three, which are served in addition to soup or rice. This provides an excellent combination of nutrients. The main difference between the Japanese food system and ours is that there is much less red meat, milk and milk products, but more fish and seafood. Also, Japanese people mainly cook their food by steaming or eating it raw. This means that far fewer nutrients are lost when the food is processed than when it is fried. As a result, the Japanese eat far fewer saturated fats, but plenty of healthy polyunsaturated fats. However, eating saturated fat in the diet has long been associated with an increased risk of many serious diseases.
2. Isoflavones – the soybean’s secret superpower
Soybeans and non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, kale and cucumber are also typical of the Japanese diet. And these are the only recognized sources of isoflavones, which are said to have anti-cancer properties and cardiovascular benefits. Researchers believe that high soy consumption is responsible for the low mortality rate from breast and prostate cancer in Japan. But that’s not all: Soybeans are also an important source of plant-based protein, which is said to help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. There’s good news, too: a Harvard study shows that cutting out starchy vegetables helps you maintain a lean physique. Because when you eat potatoes, corn or peas, your body stops burning fat because it is busy digesting the vegetables. So it is better to focus on soybeans, asparagus, mushrooms and zucchini.
3. “Hara Hachi bu” against inflammatory stress in the gut
Microorganisms in the gut can have a positive impact on the aging process, while poor gut health causes inflammatory reactions throughout the body that can trigger strokes, dementia and heart disease. This is where the Japanese attitude towards food comes into play. Because the secret to longevity is not just what you eat, but how you eat it. The term “eating in moderation” has been popular in Japan for centuries and sounds like “hara hachi bu” in Japanese. The term means that you stop eating when you are full. The not entirely correct formula 80%, which is actively exploited by the media, is derived from this nutritional philosophy. According to this formula, you can eat until your stomach is 80% full. Scientists, on the other hand, tend towards a lower figure of 70%. If you consistently stick to this value, you will consume 25% fewer calories per day – just like the Japanese do in everyday life. There are two important consequences of “eating in moderation”: First, it reduces because the more you eat, the greater the inflammatory burden on the gut from overloading it with too many portions. Second, reducing calorie intake activates sirtuins, which slow various causes of aging. This means that when you learn to listen to your inner instincts and eat your fill with less food, you’ll live healthier and hopefully longer.
4. Matcha – the power of plant-based antioxidants
, white tea, green tea… they all have something in common – the Japanese love to drink them. And all of these teas are a treasure trove of antioxidants, too. Green tea is made from the same leaves as black tea. The difference is that with green tea, the leaves are only slightly steamed after drying, which preserves its medicinal properties. Green tea has been considered a medicinal plant for more than 5,000 years and was drunk as an elixir for eternal youth and longevity as early as the ninth century. Today we know that its health-promoting effect is due to “phytochemicals” such as catechins, polyphenols, tannins and EGCG. Together they have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Try matcha. It is a “ground tea” made from grated green tea leaves. Because your body is getting the whole leaf, so to speak, and not just the hot infusion, you get even more nutrients right away. Matcha tastes like freshly cut green grass with a creamy hint – and connoisseurs adore this drink.
5. Less Salt
Japan is world famous for its love of salty food. Even the fruits are salted! And think of the classic soy sauce, which contains 13% salt. But the Japanese government has launched a major nutrition campaign raising awareness of salt’s harmful effects on the heart and kidneys. Because the sodium contained in table salt increases your blood pressure, even if you eat healthily. The daily amount of salt for a healthy person is 6 grams or a teaspoon of salt. Eating more salt increases . How can you reduce the amount of salt in your diet? Limit your consumption of cooked and frozen foods, cheese, and deli meats. One hundred grams of salami contains half the amount of salt that you eat every day. The less salt you eat, the less water is retained in your body. The shape of your body will benefit.