Read time: 5 minute read

The most interested part about it is how simple it is! Here are 8 things we can learn from them;

1/ None of the food is genetically altered or artificial

Nothing really needs to be said here. Organic, locally grown food contains more nutrients than processed food. Their food also tends to be higher in antioxidants and phytochemicals as it is grown on the equator, which means their fruits and vegetables require more protection from sun damage

2/  A truly holistic approach to medicine is used

The Okinawans’ modify their diets to suit their current health conditions. When unwell, they use a combination of shamanic methods and western principles, which means they focus on alleviating the symptoms and identifying the root cause of the illness from the start. They don’t bandaid illness with drugs, but they rather fix the problem.

3/ Foods are only eaten in the season that they naturally grow

This ensures variety in the diet and that foods are eaten whilst at their most nutritious. Eating the same foods every day, all year round, can create intolerances, inflammation, and also means you are eating foods with decreased quality

4/ The diet is high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains

Sorry to all the Paleo lovers, the Okinawans’ diet consists of 70% whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and 30% animal proteins. They eat up to 10 servings of vegetables per day, and are known for eating crazy amounts of sweet potato. Most of their animal products are fresh and locally sourced, with fish consumed them most. Grains are not excluded from the diet, but eaten in their purest form

5/ Vegetables are steamed and not eaten raw

Despite what all the Raw ‘foodies’ say, not all foods are best eaten raw. Some vegetables such as kale, spinach, mushrooms, and carrots are better eaten cooked as more nutrients are unlocked during the cooking process. They focus on eating every food in its most nutritious and beneficial state

6/ Green tea is consumed in high amounts

Green tea has many proven benefits from improving brain function, to burning fat, decreasing inflammation, protecting your brain, and killing off bacteria. It has even been suggested that it has cancer-fighting properties, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. They drink organic, locally green tea, not processed tea leaves that have been sprayed with green-tea flavouring (and yes, it is common practice for our teas to be sprayed and not actually containing any of the nutrients claimed on the packets)

7/ Exercise is crucial 

The Okinawans’ do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity exercise daily, and they most often do it in groups. Common activites are martial arts, tai chi, yoga and dance. All of these disciplines are primarily aimed at connecting the mind and body

8/ Community is important in keeping spirits high 

They have a tight-knit community, spending a lot of time together with board games, gardening and sports. Elders are respected and in charge of the community, ensuring that the wisdom is passed-down to the younger members of the community. Humans beings need connection to others in order to remain health, and this is a studied fact in psychology.

I think its really interesting as their lifestyle supports both emotional and physical health. You can’t have wellness if you don’t have a balance. I think we can all learn a lot from the Okinawa people!

Jen

 

 

 

 

 

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