Secrets to a Long Life – Why Japanese Life Expectancy Is So Long
Japanese people have the longest average life expectancy in the entire world. They also hold the title of being one of the healthiest in the world. Is it all because of their genes? Hmm... not quite. Japanese are said to have a very healthy diet, which contributes a lot to how healthy they are. Here are some of them!
Eat A Lot Of Fish
Japan is in the top six of countries with the most seafood consumption, and they consume over 10 percent of the world’s fish. Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which is very important for brain and heart health. Studies show that consuming fish can help lower heart disease by 36 percent. That is the reason why scientists recommend eating two servings of fatty fish like tuna or salmon each week. But make sure to not fry it because it may actually lose its nutrients, instead try grilling it.
Don’t Forget Your Seaweed!
Besides fish, Japanese also eat a lot of seaweed, in fact, Japanese cuisine uses over 20 kinds of seaweed. It is used in a variety of foods including miso soup, sushi, rice bowls, and many more. Seaweed has around 2 to 9 grams of protein per cup and it also contains iodine. Our body doesn’t produce iodine, that’s why we need to consume food that contains it. It can help our body produce hormones healthy for the thyroid.
Drink Green Tea
Not only drinking it daily, in Japan there are even rituals for tea. But they don’t drink just any tea, Japanese drink green tea. Green tea in Japanese is 緑茶 Ryokucha, but is shortened into お茶 ocha which means tea. That is why when you request for tea or ocha in Japan, they will automatically give you green tea. Green tea is very good for our body, in fact it has a lot of benefits like reducing risks for heart disease and healthy teeth. It can also lower cholesterol concentrations in the blood.
Stopping Eating Before Full
Japanese have a habit of stopping eating before they feel full. はらはちぶんめ hara hachi bun me means eat until you are eight-tenths full. This diet started in Japan a long time ago. We can achieve this by eating slower. Our stomach is usually late in receiving the signal that we are full, which takes around 20 minutes. This is why if we eat slower, we will realize that we actually don’t need to eat as much food as we thought, and so we can maintain a healthier weight.
Hang Out in Nature
Like most people, the Japanese have very active lifestyles and partake in healthy activities. One way they keep their physical and mental health in good condition is by spending a good amount of time in nature such as mountain hiking, forest strolling, swimming at the beach, bathing in hot springs, or camping. Luckily, throughout the country, there are abundant and dense forests with loads of fun nature activities people of all ages partake in even in the biggest cities. A relaxing hiking spot in Tokyo called Mt. Takao is only one hour away by train.