I have blogged about The Okinawa Plan and continue to be amazed so many Okinawans live to the age of 100. Before 1940, over 60 % of the calories Okinawans consumed came from one food-the imo or Okinawan sweet potato. Three foods in their diet during those early days, included sweet potato, turmeric, and seaweed which together mimic calorie restriction. We would need to eat about 40% fewer calories for the positive affects of calorie restriction, which results in the body producing fewer free radicals and thus slowing the aging process.
Top longevity foods from Okinawa:
- Bitter mellon-known as goya
- Tofu-soy products in place of meat have been shown to lower cholesterol
- Sweet potatoes-imo is a supercharged purple sweet potato
- Garlic-a powerful natural medicine
- Tumeric-antioxident that is used as both a spice and a tea
- Brown rice-sweeter and softer than our brown rice
- Green tea-special green tea with jasmine flowers and a little turmeric
- Shitake mushrooms-smoky fungi flavors their miso soup and stir-fries
- Seaweeds-mineral rich and used in soups and stews and min
In the middle of last century, western influences changed food habits and sweet potato consumption is now less that 5% and rice and bread consumption has doubled. Okinawans are now eating milk, meat, eggs, and poultry and some types of cancer have also increased.
Taken from National Geographic’s “The Blue Zones-The Science of Living Longer”
I drink green tea everyday and Jasmine green tea is one of my favorites. Look at the above list and if these foods are not already a part of your regular diet, put a few of them on your grocery list. The pictured meal included some sweet potatoes and yams with a kale chopped salad and chicken.