It is human nature to think about how to lengthen the life span and how to maintain good health. We have come up with all sorts of things like vitamin-dense supplements and a range of diets that supposedly promise longevity. But what if the actual answer to a long and healthy life was simple? What if there was an example of a society that naturally lived longer and healthier than people in other parts of the world?
The answer is: Yes, there are such societies! They are also known as the blue zones. One of the Blue Zones is the island group of Okinawa in Japan. Their Okinawan diet appears to have the answers to the secret of life. More about this later. People in Okinawa who live a traditional lifestyle enjoy a long and healthy life.
However, many people in Okinawa appear to have stepped away from the traditional lifestyle. Our sense is that – especially the younger generations – have been exposed to more modern influences, technology and fast food, and that has come at the cost of the traditional lifestyles that their ancestors lived
What is the Okinawa lifestyle that makes people live longer?
1 The Okinawan diet
We already briefly mentioned the Okinawan diet. So what makes this way of eating so unique? The way Okinawans eat is very different from how many people in the rest of the world eat. Okinawans who live a long life tend to not eat meat or fish, or they only consume it in very small quantities. The same goes for other animal-based products like milk and cheese.
Naturally, Okinawans tend to eat lots of fruits, vegetables and grains. Sweet potatoes are filled with nutrients and there are many varieties grown in Okinawa. Several people have noted that sweet potatoes perhaps carry a big impact in Okinawans’ exceptional health.
2 Active lifestyles
Many people in Okinawa work on their own land. Most grow sweet potatoes! They work long hours in the outdoors. All this appears to contribute to people maintaining an active lifestyle until a ripe old age.
3 Simple lifestyles
People in Okinawa who live a traditional lifestyle tend to opt for simplicity. Spending time with family and do not have a lot of desire to get too involved with the latest technologies.