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Health Benefits of the Okinawan Diet and Lifestyle

By Stepy Kamei

Many health experts around the world have long praised the Japanese -- and specifically, the people of Okinawa -- for their diet and lifestyle. Japanese people are known to have some of the longest life expectancy anywhere in the world. This is due to their healthy, active lifestyle, as well as the extremely nutritious meals they prepare and consume every day. 

Once you learn that almost two-thirds of all Okinawan residents are able to live and function independently even at age 97, it becomes easy to see why their way of life is considered the gold standard by many nutritionists and healthcare experts. You'll probably want to learn more about their diet and lifestyle. Therefore, you should keep on reading to discover exactly what the Okinawans are doing, and eating, that allows for their health and robust way of life.

Fresh, Whole Foods: The Okinawan Diet

The people of Japan, and specifically Okinawa, tend to have one crucial rule for their food: eat fresh. They often eat fresh whole foods that have been minimally processed. This means they're getting tons of vital nutrients, such as protein, iron, and vitamins, while avoiding unnecessary amounts of saturated fat and sugar. Fresh fish such as salmon and mackerel (with minimal seasoning), protein-packed foods such as edamame and tofu, and garnishes such as seaweed and sesame seeds, all contribute to an extremely healthy and clean diet. Consider learning more traditional Japanese recipes in order to benefit from this very healthy diet.

Okinawans also have an important saying: hara hachi bu. This roughly translates to: Stop eating when you are 80 percent full. Many Americans are victims of overeating, convinced they need to clear their (usually oversized) plates. When it comes to your health, you should keep in mind that it takes up to 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that it is full. Therefore, eat slowly and mindfully in order to avoid eating more than your body really needs.

An Active Lifestyle: The Okinawan Way 

Eating healthy is an incredibly important aspect of a person's well-being. However, staying active throughout all stages of life can be just as important. Many elderly Okinawans spend their days playing sports with their friends, going for walks in local parks, or tending to their gardens in the cooler hours of the day. The takeaway here is that staying physically active at all ages can make a big difference in the state of your well-being.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sandy Springs, Ga. 

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