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Okinawa is referred to as the island of immortals due to their unusually high number of people living past 100 years. Taking a leaf out of these islanders’ book on habits to help boost longevity which include these three beneficial habits for helping to increase your longevity.
Okinawa’s diet is rich in fibre carbohydrates including sweet potatoes.
Older people who ate fibre-rich diets were 80 percent more likely to live longer and stay healthier than those who didn’t, according to a recent study in the Journals of Gerontology.
Fibre is a carbohydrate found in plant foods including beans, fruit, grains, nuts, and vegetables.
Studies have found that those who consume an average of 29 grams of fibre per day had a decrease in cancer, heart disease and diabetes risk with an improvement in cognitive and cardiovascular function.
Refined carbs vs fibre-rich carbs
Scientists and health experts agree that not all carbs are made equal.
The healthiest sources of carbohydrates include those which are unprocessed or minimally processed such as fibre-rich whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans which all promote good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, and a host of important phytonutrients.
Poor quality diets with lots of refined carbs and processed meats were both linked to shorter lifespans, suggesting again that vegetables, whole grains, nuts and healthy fats are some of the best foods to eat to live a longer life.
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Okinawa’s longevity is also found in their love of fermented foods which promotes gut health.
Having good bacteria helps a person to live a longer and healthier life, according to a study published in the American Society for Microbiology’s peer-reviewed journal mSphere.
Chinese and Canadian researchers teamed up for one of the largest studies on the microbiome in humans.
Looking at the gut bacteria of over 1,000 people of all ages and health conditions, they found a link between the health of the individual and the bacteria in their intestines.
“The main conclusion is that if you are ridiculously healthy and 90 years old, your gut microbiota is not that different from a healthy 30-year-old in the same population,” Dr Greg Gloor, principal investigator on the study.
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the impact of fermented foods on cognitive function was further investigated.
The fermented plant-based foods, such as fermented vegetables, and fruits, play a significant role in human nourishment, providing vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and other essential nutrients, noted the study.
It continued: “Fermentation of plant-based foods is a general way to preserve and expand the nutritional and sensory features of food.
“Several scientific reports suggested that the fermented plant foods improved the cognitive function with in vitro and in vivo models.”
Okinawa’s love of exercise is another key factor in their impressive longevity.
The islanders get a lot of exercise which helps to improve heart health and lowers stress.
Stress hormones can put an extra burden on the heart with exercising helping to both relax and ease stress.
Exercise works like beta-blocker medication to help slow the heart rate down and lower blood further reducing the risk of heart disease and boosting longevity.
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