Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Average Okinawan Lives 110 years. Why Do They Live So Much Longer Than The Rest of Us?

The average life span of an Okinawan is now 110 years

Okinawa is the largest of the Ryukyu Islands located at the southern tip of Japan. While long considered a part of Japan and sharing a virtually identical language, except for the elders many of whom still speak their native tongue of Uchinaguchi.

Many of the Ryukyu Islanders have held resentment against Japan since their annexation in 1879. Okinawa is also the birth place of Karate. It is a long island with abundant natural beauty including steep hills covered with lush vegetation and, of course, surrounded by the sea which is the source of much of their food.

Okinawa is about 464 square miles, enjoys a temperate climate and is populated by approximately 1.4 million people who enjoy the longest life expectancy of any group of people on earth. The average life span of an Okinawan is now 110 years. So how does this happen, how is it that the Okinawans enjoy a significantly longer life span than any other population group one earth? Turns out the answer is as it always is and always will be, diet and exercise.

Recently reported in The Guardian:

"The Okinawans have a low risk of arteriosclerosis and stomach cancer, a very low risk of hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer," Dr Craig Willcox, who wrote a book on the Okinawa diet, said. "They eat three servings of fish a week, on average ... plenty of whole grains, vegetables and soy products too, more tofu and more konbu seaweed than anyone else in the world, as well as squid and octopus, which are rich in taurine - that could lower cholesterol and high blood pressure."

The foundation of the average Okinawan's diet is rice, noodles, beans and other whole grains along with an abundance of fresh vegetables. Next up the Okinawa food pyramid are flavonoid foods such as onions, apples, parsley, bananas, blueberries, celery, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, peaches and apples.

The Okinawan diet also includes an abundance of calcium rich foods such as raw milk, kale, sardines, yogurt, broccoli, watercress , some cheese and bok choy. They also enjoy plenty of food rich in Omega 3 fatty acids primarily from an abundance of fresh sea food. They do also eat some poultry and eggs but no fur bearing land based animals. And their diet does allow for daily tea and alcohol in moderation.

As for their exercise, there is, of course, their world renowned karate but far from every Okinawan practices that martial art. However the overwhelming majority of the good people of Okinawa do a considerable amount of walking. Yes, they have automobiles and motor cycles and there are buses and taxi cabs on Okinawa but on average your typical Okinawan walks far more than most of us living [for far fewer years] in the western world.

So there it is folks, the key to long, strong healthy life. Great diet and plenty of movement and you don't need to move to Okinawa to achieve these goals. The beauty is this is 100% achievable. You have the basic knowledge and if you want more there are many good books about the Okinawan Diet. All you need is a true commitment.

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