Read on to know about the health benefits of the Okinawa diet.
Okinawa is an island situated in Japan and is one of the five regions of the world known to reside people with exceptionally long and healthy lives, also known as the blue zone. Many people credit the diet consumed in this region for the longevity of its population and are intrigued by the criteria on which their food habits were built.
Okinawa diet is all about the traditional eating pattern of people living on Okinawa Island. The traditional diet of these people is very low in fat and calories but high in carbohydrates. They also consume plenty of vegetables and soy products along with a small amount of rice, noodles, fish, and pork. People in this region also treat food as medicine and include health benefiting spices and herbs in their meals to make the food flavorful.
So, the Okinawa way of eating is consuming food mindfully and engaging in some sort of physical activity daily.
Foods to eat
Consume plenty of whole antioxidant rich and nutrient dense foods.
Consume plenty of sweet potatoes followed by fiber-rich vegetables and legumes.
About 60% of Okinawa diet comprises of vegetables such as sweet potato, kelp, seaweed, daikon radish, bamboo shoots, cabbage, bitter melon, Chinese okra, carrots, green papaya, and pumpkin.
32% comprise of grains such as wheat, millet, noodles, and rice.
5% of the diet comprises of soy food such as mezzo, tofu, edamame, and natto.
2% of seafood and meat particularly white fish, some cuts of pork, and organ meat.
Only 1% of this diet comprises of beverages such as alcohol, dashi (broth), and tea. However, jasmine tea and turmeric are the most liberally consumed beverage and spice respectively.
Foods to avoid
As Okinawa is relatively isolated, a wide variety of food prevalent in the western world was not accessible to their population.
Okinawa diet restricts the consumption of meats such as poultry, beef, eggs, and processed meat products.
Avoid consuming dairy Avoid all legumes, except for soybean.
Processed foods such as refined grains and sugar, snacks, breakfast cereals, and anything processed such as cooking oil Most of the fruits and high-calorie foods such as nuts, and seeds.