Japan's Oldest People Unveil Secrets to Longevity

Sufyan Maan, M.Eng

Okinawa is one of the world’s Blue Zone, which has one of the highest life expectancies. Only a few regions on Earth are known as “Blue Zones.” It refers to locations where the chronic illness rate is meager and people live longer than elsewhere in the world.

Here are the five Blue Zone regions in the world where people live the longest.

  1. Okinawa, Japan
  2. Ikaria, Greece
  3. Ogliastra Region, Sardinia
  4. Loma Linda, California
  5. Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

People of Okinawa live longer than those on the mainland. A good diet is the most important factor in living a long life. We all know that eating a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for living a productive and healthy life. Let’s explore the secrets of long life.

The secret of Hara Bachi bu (Japanese term)

Before each meal, Okinawans say this phrase — Hara Bachi bu. It reminds people to eat until they are 80% full rather than overeating. By the way, overeating is one of the bad habits which can damage your brain.

Eat a healthy plant-based diet

Okinawa people eat a plant-based diet. They do eat fruits, but a significant portion comes from vegetables and legumes. On average, they consume 1kg of vegetables, legumes, and fruits per day.

You won’t be able to live a productive, healthy, or long life unless you discover your Ikagai.

What is an Ikigai?

Ikigai is a Japanese word that means a sense of purpose.

This is what you live for, the passion and the purpose of your life. Have you found your Ikagai? It is the joy found in living, whether it is your job, volunteer work, your family or your friends. It is what you are trying to achieve from this life that you were given.

Ikigai is important for having a healthy lifestyle. For example, in Dr. Bradley Wilcox’s book Okinawa Way (amazon affiliate link), a 102-year-old man whose Ikagai was to look after his bulls.

At the age of 100, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. You can find your Ikagai; all you have to do now is find a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Stay mentally occupied

In Okinawa, they don’t believe in retiring or, to put it another way, sitting idle. It is up to the individual to decide what they enjoy doing. I think that as long as you are having fun, you can do anything for the rest of your life.

Strong family support system

In Okinawa, people have a strong support family system. They have deep ties to their families. They enjoy social events regardless of gender.

Hurry sickness

Are you familiar with the expression “hurry sickness”? Always in a rush to meet short or long-term goals. People in Okinawa have built a close relationship with time, preferring to appreciate it rather than be in a rush all of the time.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of hurry sickness, I suggest doing yoga, meditation, and hiking. In the end, everything will be OK. Relax and take joy in life.

If you have the opportunity, take a long walk in nature, introspect, and visit a peaceful location. Consider taking up gardening as a hobby.

The bottom line

Unfortunately, fast food restaurants can be found almost anywhere, and Western societies, particularly the younger generation, have difficulty finding fresh veggies. They’re constantly in a hurry to want food delivery as soon as possible without even moving their seats.

The Okinawa diet is not popular among the younger generation. You must cultivate these habits if you wish to live a long, healthy, and happy life. The young generation is far away from the Okinawa diet. You must cultivate these habits if you wish to live a long, healthy, and happy life.

In a nutshell, the Okinawa people benefit from the following factors in order to live longer.

  • They have a strong support system: families, friends, and social gatherings
  • They enjoy plant-based foods: legumes, vegetables, and fruits
  • They live an active lifestyle and keep their mind occupied to stay mentally strong.

Thank you for reading!

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