Japan is known to have more than 80,000 residents aged over 100 years. What is Japan’s secret for having such a large number of centenarian (people aged 100 years or more)?
In 2020 the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare made a survey and they reported that the number of centenarians in Japan exceeded 80,050. 88.2 percent of them are female residents.
Why do Japanese people live longer? Japan is known as a country that has a very high average life expectancy. The number of centenarian in Japan is influenced by a number of factors, ranging from diet to avoiding stress.
Japanese food and longevity
The first influential factor is about food. In fact many people worldwide believe that the Japanese diet is one of the major factors contributing to the longevity of Japanese people. It is true that Japanese people eat meals with variety of dishes that fulfill all kinds of daily nutrition. While their main food is considered to be rice, they eat fish, vegetables, beans, and seaweeds as well as meat.
Their typical menu may quite look simple, however, it is rich in carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins and relatively low in calories and fats. Fish, for example, contains vitamins and protein which help nourish the human body. In addition, they eat food made of beans. For example tofu is a low cholesterol food with protein while it is rich in protein and calcium.
Compared with other countries in the world, the Japanese consume much less fried foods and other fast foods. Most Japanese food is cooked by boiling, steaming, and grilling with very little oil, therefore, the cholesterol level can be minimal in the bodies of Japanese people.
In addition, Japan is also known to serve green tea as a food companion. This green tea is known to function as an antioxidant.
Good human relationships
The second secret is that Japanese people remain active in old age. Unlike the life principles of most people who want to retire immediately when they are in their mid or late 60s, many Japanese people want to keep working even when they are in their 70s and 80s.
Even when they are retired, the Japanese still take part in community activities that keep them connected to the people around them. Residents in Okinawa, for example, live a healthy, stress-free life by connecting, caring and encouraging each other in the local communities. They believe that good human relationships will help prevent them from stress, which is the major source of all kinds of diseases.
Genetics for longevity
Long life expectancy in Japan is also largely influenced by genetics. Based on research from the Okinawa Centenarian Study, people who live more than 100 years have a reduced genetic risk for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. This means that the elderly in Japan pass on healthy genes to the next generations so that they can also live long.
These are just some of the well-known factors that make Japanese people live long. Tips such as regulating the foods, avoiding stress, and always being active can be good in terms of keeping our bodies healthy and young.
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