Monday, 12 August 2013

Secrets of Long Life in Okinawa & Yuzurihara


Senior Secrets of the Okinawan Masters of Longevity!
While you might witness senior moments from seniors this does not happen with the seniors of Okinawa. In fact we could learn a thing or two from these powerhouses. The combination of factors contributing to Okinawans' vitality and longevity are:
  • diet (dark green vegetables, tofu, fruit, low in fat, salt and sugar, etc. copious green tea)
  • active social life and support from peer group and the community - they are not living isolated lives but have a strong social network to rely on.
  • various factors (eg. psychological - an optimistic attitude and a happy, positive outlook is good for mental health which will in turn permeate every fabric of their lives).
  • medical care (preventative focus - it does not medicate unnecessarily) - Okinawans are hardly sick - alzheimers, arthritis, diabetes, etc. so-called age-diseases are not heard of here.
  • physical activity - many work and farm into their nineties and are active in sports and leisure activities which require movement eg. dancing.
  • acceptance, respect, cooperation from the rest of society - no loss of respect, not viewed as 'useless' or cast off as society's dregs!
  • productive, purposeful life eg. tree-climbing 90-year old knows she is important to the farm's production and bottom-line; many of the residents still work and contribute to their families and communities.

Then there was Yuzurihara & Hyaluronic Acid

Yuzurihara, Village of Wrinkle-Free, Long Life Seniors Reveals Its Secrets:

"Late in the year 2000 ABC News Prime Time Live sent reporter Connie Chung to a small village about two hours outside of Tokyo. That report drew widespread interest. e report emanated from Yuzurihara, known as “the village of long life.” Of 990 villages and towns surveyed by the world health organization in Japan, there were ten times more people living beyond the age of 85 in Yuzurihara than anywhere in North America.

But longevity alone was not what attracted ABC News to Yuzurihara. These aged villagers had smooth skin, flexible joints, thick hair and few needed reading glasses. Many older residents of Yuzurihara were still farming their fields into their 80s. these people defied their calendar age. Dr. Toyosuke Komori, the town doctor who wrote five books about Yuzurihara in the 1970s and 80s, noted there had never been a case of skin cancer in the village. He attributed the youthful aging of these people to a low-iron, sticky vegetable-based diet." **

Again note the lack of processed foods, in the case of Yuzurihara the additional health benefits enjoyed by the residents, such as wrinkle-free, smooth skin, no arthritis, good eyesight, etc. can be attributed to a hyaluronic acid-rich diet, based on local potatoes and other starchy vegetables which have replaced the traditional Japanese staple of white, processed rice.

Profile of a Yuzurihara Lunch Menu - Glimpse the Art of Crafting Longevity:
  • large variety - 9 different types, mostly vegetables or vegetable-based
  • whole grains - millet rice, buckwheat noodles, 
  • miso - fermented soybeans (good for immune system)
  • tofu - not made from processed soya beans
  • daikon radish - widely used as a condiment in all of Japan (aka chinese radish, looks like carrots but white and bigger, with a pungent taste when eaten raw, the leaves are also very nutritious and delicious)
  • fish - from local streams, source of omega-3s
  • no red meat - there's no meat shops in the village
  • lack of processed food - freshly prepared or fermented foods instead
  • high bean, legume component - tofu, adzuki (red beans), miso, etc. 
  • high ratio of vegetables to animal protein - protein supplemented by tofu & other legumes as secondary, vegetable proteins
  • abundance of starchy vegetables - carbs, not a demon so long as not processed or stripped off its natural nutrients (nil obesity in the village!) 
  • no dairy products, yet they have strong bones (nb. their high exposure to sunlight and therefore vitamin D, yet no incidence of skin cancer!) 
  • unadulterated, natural, locally-grown foods served fresh (or fermented)

Daikon farming - hanging out to dry - japan:
Farming daikon: hanging daikon radish out to dry.

The villagers' diets provide phytoestrogens. These are a fraction (1000th) of the strength found in natural oestrogen - note the correlation between oestrogen and hyaluronic acid (HA) production (if you cannot obtain HA from your food there are supplements on the market that work just as well for ingestion or for external beauty application). Most of their iron needs are provided by plants in the form of vegetables. 

The iron provided from plants are absorbed 'as when needed' by the body which is not the case with animal protein iron. There is no red meat in their diet. There are no meat markets in Yuzurihara.

From source to table food is provided with care and respect and wittingly or unwittingly, optimises the Yuzurihara Population's Amazing Health better than the diet of the norm in Japan, which already has a good track record for better health than many other countries.  

We are in awe of these elders because they are truly Masters of Their Universe!
Pounding cooked soya beans to make miso.
**Source: Yuzurihara 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...