To know how to rejuvenate by eating well we’re going to review some military records of the most long-lived population in recent centuries because, as we will see, they had a diet that is worth repeating.

Many cultures and cities are attributed with the characteristics of great longevity but only one of these can be analyzed rigorously and I’m talking about the case of Okinawa which is a Japanese island.

The reason why many of these cities are not reliable is because there are no records to check the ages of their inhabitants but in the case of Okinawa there are certificates since 1890s. In addition, the United States military had control of Okinawa until 1972 so we also have their records.

Thanks to the military reports about Okinawa we can have real data about the habits of the Okinawans and that is why we can be more rigorous to analyze different habits such as their diet which is fundamental for health.

Rejuvenate by eating well

It was popularly believed that the population of Okinawa traditionally consumed fish or meat, but if you review the reports you can notice that it’s not true.

Moreover, when you analyze the diet of more than 2,000 Okinawans, you discover that their diet consisted of: 1% fish, less than 1% meat, less than 1% milk and eggs, and 96% plant-derived foods. From the plant-derived foods the 6% were processed foods while the rest 90% were natural unprocessed foods.

One of the foods they used the most was sweet potatoes which was not the only one but it was the most popular. They consumed mainly purple and orange sweet potatoes.

For the record, I’m not saying that you should only eat sweet potatoes for longevity. The highlight here is the percentage of their diet.

If more than 90% of the food you eat is derived from plants and without being highly processed then it is expected that your diet will provide high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components. So, when they analyzed the levels of oxidized fat in the Okinawans bodies they found that they had very low levels of free radical damage.

Another of the results analyzed is that Okinawans had 8 to 12 times fewer deaths from cardiovascular diseases when compared to the United States, 2 to 3 times fewer deaths from colon cancer, 7 times fewer deaths from prostate cancer, and almost 6 times fewer deaths from breast cancer.

The only population that lives even more than the population of Okinawa is the population of Adventist vegetarians in California, who have a 100% meat-free diet and possibly have the highest life expectancy of any other formally analyzed population.

The men and women of the vegetarian Adventist population live on average about 83 and 86 years respectively. Which in the case of women is similar to that of Okinawa’s but in the case of men it is greater.

Thanks to those simple life changes they get to live 10 to 14 years more than the rest of the world.

Now I have to give you the bad news and that is that Okinawa’s population has been changing their lifestyle gradually where they included fast food franchises among other structural changes in their society that have resulted in their saturated fat levels tripling.

They tripled their sodium levels in foods and have as much potassium deficiency as Americans. In only two generations, they went from being the healthiest society to being the least healthy. As a consequence of this, a great interest has been awakened to re-implement the food traditions in Okinawa.

In conclusion if you really want to rejuvenate by eating well then you must extend your life expectancy by changing your eating habits where your diet must be at least 90% of natural foods that are not processed and based on plants.

Usually when I say this many are traumatized because they believe that meat is the only food that exist on planet. Well, it turns out that there are thousands of thousands of natural foods varieties that you can consume. You just have to go to a local market (not a supermarket) and buy different foods even if you have never cooked them because in this way you force yourself to learn how to cook them so you can add them to your diet.

On YouTube there are several channels like [Avant-Garde Vegan] that are very good because they only use natural ingredients to make the dishes, they even make versions of meats, ribs, hamburgers and pizzas by using natural plant-based ingredients. Those taste so good that Gas Oakley (Avant-Garde Vegan) became really popular in England and almost everywhere in the world.

There are also Spanish nutritionists like [Carlos Rios] who constantly publishes recipes from his community of realfooders in his Instagram account. So, there’re no excuses to try them.

If you really want to look young and live for many years, then you need to make that change in your diet. If you have doubts then you can contact me through social media or if you don’t know how to start then check out this [nutritional guide].

Also, subscribe to my newsletter so you know the latest news on this topics just by [clicking here].

Finally, don’t forget to stay healthy and to subscribe.

See you in the next post. Tschüss!

Sources

  • What Do the Longest Living People Eat? | Michael Greger M.D. FACLM | 2018.01.11 | [Link]
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  • Comments on Dietary Restriction, Okinawa Diet and Longevity | Gerontology. 2012 Apr; 58(3): 221–223. | [Link]