Everyone knows that the Japanese have the highest life expectancy in the world, but few people know how they do it or why they live so long. One thing’s for sure – it isn’t genetics alone. By adopting healthy lifestyle habits, you can easily increase your chances of living to 100! Here are some of their top secrets to long life.
How do Japanese live a long life?
Japanese people are known as some of the longest-living on earth, so it’s natural that they would have one or two tricks up their sleeves when it comes to staying healthy. Traditional Japanese food, for example, is extremely low in cholesterol and calories.
It’s also very high in fiber and protein. Another health benefit can be found in a traditional Japanese practice called misogi, or cleansing through endurance exercises like swimming and running. Practicing misogi has been shown to lower blood pressure and boost your immune system.
Japanese drinking more water per day
In a study conducted by scientists at Rush University Medical Center, researchers found that the Japanese drink more water per day than Americans.
This is particularly interesting because Japan has a population that is one-fifth of that of America, yet they drink 16 times more water than we do.
What’s their secret? Perhaps there really isn’t any magic involved; maybe it’s just living an active lifestyle with proper nutrition and hydration.
These are all factors that contribute to healthy aging and longevity. So what can you learn from them? Here are some tips for getting your daily dose of H2O:
Japanese focus on healthy food
In a typical week, Japanese men and women eat almost an equal number of servings—seven for men, and eight for women. What’s more, nearly 70 percent of their daily calories come from what are considered healthy foods: vegetables, fish, and whole grains.
The rest comes from lean meats and dairy products. Contrary to popular belief in America (where burgers and fries are king), there isn’t a big focus on animal products like meat or eggs—at least not until later in life.
Meat dishes account for just 10 percent of Japanese calories per day during middle age, compared with 15 percent among Americans over 50. Nor do they fill up on pasta; it accounts for just 5 percent of their daily calories during middle age, compared with almost 15 percent among Americans over 50.
The Japanese focus on exercise
The Japanese tend to be fanatical about keeping active, even into their 80s and 90s. While other cultures in developed countries have aging populations where obesity rates soar among those over age 65, Japan has a relatively healthy population that remains vital well into old age.
The average life expectancy for Japanese women (85) exceeds that of American women (80), and Japanese men (80) outlive American men by more than five years.
Over 20 percent of all residents in Okinawa Prefecture, who are located near China and Korea, live to be over 100 years old—the highest concentration on Earth.
Japanese Cultivate Good Manners
Food etiquette and manners are an integral part of Japanese culture. You’ll notice that restaurant servers have impeccable manners, even though you might feel rushed.
This isn’t a coincidence. Oftentimes in Japan, it’s considered impolite to rush others when dining out together, even if you’re paying for them (which has been done since time immemorial). It’s also important to remember that Japanese people eat everything with chopsticks except soup, which they drink from a bowl with a spoon.
Don’t be surprised if your host offers you both! If they do, simply choose one or politely decline—it’s better not to mix and match utensils at all.
It’s also important not to leave chopsticks standing up in rice or pass food from chopsticks directly into someone else’s mouth—these actions are meant only for funerals and can be seen as bringing bad luck upon yourself or those around you.
Japanese Eat Meals at Regular Times
Japanese people have a habit of eating their meals at regular times every day. Once you’ve established your regular meals and snacks, you’ll always know what to eat next.
You’ll also find that having regular mealtimes makes you feel less hungry and more satiated in between meals, so it can help keep you from feeling tempted by unhealthy choices throughout your day.
If possible, avoid skipping breakfast; studies show that skipping breakfast might lead to weight gain and/or make it harder for you to lose weight in general.
If your schedule only allows for one or two large meals a day, consider adding some healthy snacks in between them (like an apple with peanut butter) just to keep yourself from getting too hungry and desperate.
The same goes for when you’re trying to lose weight: be sure to never skip meals. Keep up with your usual meal schedule as much as possible, but try not to let yourself get too hungry—and if you do get hungry, try snacking on something healthy instead of something unhealthy.
Snacking on junk food is typically easier than stopping what you’re doing and making a proper meal. So don’t give in to temptation!
Japanese Drink Green Tea
Japanese people drink green tea every day and they have high hopes that it will help them achieve their goal: living to one hundred.
And given that there’s a lot of research showing how healthy green tea can be, including a 2004 study from Harvard University that found men who drank four or more cups of green tea per day were half as likely to die from heart disease as those who didn’t drink any, you can see why.
To learn about how drinking tea in addition to an overall healthy diet might help you live longer, just keep reading!
Japanese Cook with Natural Ingredients
Japanese cuisine has a reputation for being healthy. While we’re not suggesting you skip out on trying some of Japan’s best dishes, it might be worthwhile sticking with Japanese ingredients when cooking at home.
By adding fresh herbs and vegetables—along with a few natural, unsaturated fats—to your diet, you can still reap all of Japan’s culinary benefits without resorting to deep-fried dishes. To learn more about what makes Japanese food so healthy and how you can incorporate it into your own diet at home, contact local businesses like !
Other healthy habits among the world’s oldest population
They eat plenty of fish, fruit and vegetables and have an active lifestyle. The typical Japanese man walks nearly 7,000 steps a day; his wife clocks in at more than 8,000 daily steps.
(By comparison, Americans average between 5,000 and 6,000 daily steps.) They rarely smoke or drink alcohol. They also don’t overeat: More than one-third say they eat until they are 80 percent full.
Interestingly enough – because it’s not about dieting or exercise – all these practices lead to weight loss for Japanese women who reach their 60s and 70s! Not only do they live longer with better health but they age gracefully.
Do Japanese eat less?
You probably know Japan has a low obesity rate. What you might not know is that Japanese people actually eat more than Americans do, they just eat healthier food.
In fact, research shows that Japanese people consume significantly more calories per day than Americans – 3036 calories compared to 2567 calories – yet they are more likely to avoid trans fats and maintain a healthy weight .
This means there’s something else going on here besides portion control. So what gives? How do Japanese people manage to stay so slim while eating so much? The answer may lie in their diet.
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