The longevity and health of the Japanese is a global phenomenon. Especially on the island of Okinawa, the intense presence of the elderly over 100 years old focuses attention on this island and its diet.
For a healthy and long life, although their cuisine is very different from our country, it can be an option to give preference to similar foods by looking at the content of the foods that the Japanese eat and drink.
Japanese dietitian and nutritionist Asako Miyashita listed 5 foods commonly consumed by the Japanese for those wondering the secret to longevity…
THEY THINK FOOD AS PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS
“I grew up in Japan, where I was taught from an early age to think of food as medicine. My grandmother is 92 years old and owes her longevity to eating the right foods,” writes Japanese dietitian and nutritionist Asako Miyashita for CNBC.
Miyashita’s article mentions that there are 90,526 people aged 100 years and older in Japan, highlighting that this figure is more than 5 times higher than 20 years ago, according to the 2022 report from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
Okinawa, a small Japanese island, has been on the agenda in recent years as the region with the highest population density over 100 years old in the world.
As a nutritionist who practices the traditional Japanese diet, Miyashita explained the 5 foods she often consumes with her family and their characteristics as follows:
The sweet potato vegetable, a variety that has nothing to do with ordinary potatoes, has been newly recognized in our country. But with all its benefits, it has become a new favorite of moms because it has a taste that kids love.
“Okinawa’s purple sweet potatoes (imo, as the Japanese call them) are consumed in Japan as snacks and desserts. The red-purple colored vegetables rich in antioxidants have anti-aging properties. Studies show that these vegetables reduce the risk of heart disease. help reduce vascular disease,” said Miyashita. says.
“I always add some protein to my daily meals, especially fatty fish like salmon and tuna. The omega-3 fats in fish help lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides, and relieve inflammation,” says Miyashita, who teaches traditional Japanese diet follows. say.
Radishes and similar root vegetables occupy an important place in Japanese cuisine. In Japanese films, TV series and cartoons you see a Japanese who comes to his home immediately chopping radishes and vegetables for cooking. Here daikon radish is one of them.
Daikon radish is known to help prevent colds and strengthen the immune system. One daikon radish, consumed as a natural shield against viruses and microbes, contains 124% of the daily requirement of vitamin C.
Carrots, turnips, beets and parsnips are also healthy root vegetables.
Another unusual part of the Japanese dietary diet is seaweed. Seaweeds are known to contain minerals such as iron, calcium, folic acid and magnesium, and their fiber content helps against the risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
FERMENTED MISO SOUP
Fermented foods occupy an important place in the dietary habits of the Japanese. Miso soup is one of them.
The Japanese favorite miso soup is made with “miso”, a paste made from fermented soybeans and grains.
Yeast, probiotics and beneficial bacteria not only help improve intestinal flora and regulate digestion, but also strengthen our immune system.