According to Dr. Wilcox, Principal Investor for the Okinawa Centenarian Study that started in 1975, "Among the entire population, which takes a sparing approach to food, there is 90 percent less coronary artery disease than in the wider world, a third less incidence of cancer, and breast cancer is virtually unheard of." HERE. In long-living Okinawan and Japanese, their dietary intake as surveyed in the 1970s was higher in both protein and dietary saturated fatty acids (see below abstract) compared to their shorter-lived peers at that time. When Okinawans move away (like to Brazil) heart disease risk factors appear (see last abstract). Diet is 80-90% of our health I believe because our bodies are designed to express what is dictated by our environment and food macro- micronutrients (foraging/hunting v. lounging; fecundity v. fasting). (These are the PPAR alpha gamma and delta receptors; their role is to 'sense nutrients' and to 'sense energy demand' in order to ultimately balance our energy needs). To me, the observations from blue zones and centenarian data always seem to reinforce that the physically active, low carb mod-high fat Paleo/TYP approach is the most optimal at this time, as it was for centenarians studied in the 1970s.
Okinawan culture not only embraces one of the most heart-healthy diets (high seafood, animal meat, milk, eggs, saturated fats, high minerals and low carb) but also a very physically active lifestyle. Additionally, like other long-living societies, they display a distinct community spirit and lifestyle that values every members' contributions including elders, daily prayer, frequent festivals honoring ancestral spirits, playing/dancing (Bali, Polynesian style) regularly, exercising/tai chi together, working diligently until the day they pass away, hot baths (sweat out toxins) daily, avid music listening, folkmusic singing, instrument playing (sanshin) and is tied around all generations of extended families yet promotes self-sufficiency and self-reliance. Traditional Okinawan livelihoods and common activities are still farming, fishing and gardening.
Internet? I am not sure if it would be embraced on this island... They are too busy LIVING. *ahaa*
Carbohydrate intake (less than mainland Japan, ALL GLUTEN-LESS): --sweet potato --rice --mochi (sticky rice dessert) --buckwheat noodles --raw goat milk (alkaline, more similar casein profile to human milk)
Here are some 'secret' foods from this ancient society: -- goya (twice the vitamin C as citrus) Okinawan version of Chinese bitter melon known to lower blood glucoses and inflammation; the above pictured dish goya chanpuru is a staple (goya, eggs, pork, lard, bonita shaved taurine/fish) --nigari (more Magnesium and Calcium than trad'l tofu) --sweet potatoes (anti-inflammatory, rich in carotenoids and hormone precursors) --fish fish fish seafood seafood seafood (taurine, iodine, omega-3s, carotenoids, krill oil, astaxanthin) --GOAT MEAT stewed and raw/sashimi which is considered a delicacy --GOAT MILK --LARD LARD LARD (anti-inflammatory, lowers sdLDL-particles and %-sdLDL, increases particle buoyancy like other saturated fatty acids like lauric acid) --BOAR PORK BOAR PORK BOAR PORK (pork belly, stews, stock, etc) --fermented fish sauce (source of vitamins B12, K2, MKs) Ishiru/squid, Ishiru/sardine, Shozzuru (pickled juices of mackerel-sardines-anchovies) -- red tofu (fermented source of vitamin K2 MKs) --seaweed (iodine, marine minerals and antioxidants like FUCOIDAN/ fucoxanthin )
The present paper examines the relationship of nutritional status to further life expectancy and health status in the Japanese elderly based on 3 epidemiological studies.
1. Nutrient intakes in 94 Japanese centenarians investigated between 1972 and 1973 showed a higher proportion of ANIMAL PROTEIN to total proteins than in contemporary average Japanese.
2. High intakes of MILK and FATS and OILS had favorable effects on 10-year (1976-1986) survivorship in 422 urban residents aged 69-71. The survivors revealed a longitudinal INCREASE in intakes of ANIMAL foods such as EGGS, MILK, FISH and MEAT over the 10 years.
3. Nutrient intakes were compared, based on 24-hour dietary records, between a sample from OKINAWA Prefecture where life expectancies at birth and 65 were the LONGEST in Japan, and a sample from Akita Prefecture where the life expectancies were much shorter.
CONCLUSIONS: Intakes of Ca, Fe, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and the proportion of energy from PROTEINS and FATS were SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER in the former than in the latter. Intakes of CARBOHYDRATES and NaCl were LOWER.
1. Japanese immigrants from Okinawa living in Brazil have a higher mortality from cardiovascular diseases and have their mean life expectancy shortened compared with their counterparts living in Japan.
2. A cross-sectional study comparing Okinawans living in Okinawa (OO) and Okinawan immigrants living in Brazil (OB) was designed to characterize the dietary factors that could interfere with the profile of cardiovascular risk factors and with this reduction on the life expectancy when Okinawans emigrate to Brazil.
3. In total, 234 OO and 160 OB (aged 45-59 years) were recruited to the present study to undergo medical and dietary history, blood pressure measurement, electrocardiograph (ECG), blood tests and 24 h food/urine collection.
4. In the present study, OO subjects presented with 37% less obesity and 50% less systemic hypertension than OB. The OB subjects used threefold more antihypertensive medication than OO. Meat intake was 34% higher in OB than OO, whereas fish intake was sevenfold higher in OO than OB. Serum potassium levels were 10% higher in OO than OB. Urinary TAURINE (an index of seafood intake) was 43% HIGHER in OO than OB. Urinary isoflavones (an index of the intake of soy products) were significantly lower in OB than in OO. Of (OMEGA-3 PUFAs) acid (20:5) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6) were two- and threefold HIGHER in OO than OB, respectively.
5. The rate of ischaemic ECG changes in OO subjects was only 50% of that of OB subjects.
6. There were no differences in the smoking rate between OO and OB subjects.
7. The results of the present study suggest that coronary risk factors and cardiovascular health are not only regulated by genetic factors, but that the impact of LIFESTYLE (MAINLY DIET) can be large enough to modulate the EXPRESSIONOF GENES.
The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii's Culinary Heritage