When you are thinking about your health and wellness, it makes sense to consider what other cultures are doing,. And the best place to start is, of course, with those who tend to live longer than we do. As most people know, Japan is consistently at the top of the charts for life expectancy, so the big question for today is: why? Let’s take a look at the Japanese diet and lifestyle, and reveal what it can teach you about living a longer, healthier life for many years to come.
Embrace the sea
Most people know that the Japanese are big on fish – it’s a huge part of their diet, and as a nation, they are always in the top six or seven fish consumers – per capita – in the world. Eating fish gives you a whole bunch of health benefits, from reducing the risk of heart disease to lower levels of cancer and inflammation. It even makes you feel good! However, it’s not just fish that the Japanese consume from the sea. They eat a lot of seaweed, which, according to nutritionists, is packed full of protein., potassium, and iodine – which is perfect for thyroid regulation. So, if you want to live, on average, for a couple of years longer, start eating more fish – and seaweed.
Cut down on meat
The Japanese tend to stock up on vegetables and fish rather than unhealthy red meats. Sure, they still use meat in their cooking, but in a slightly different way to us. Take the Kamikoto dish as the perfect example – a small amount of meat is cooked amongst a lot of vegetables and is only used to flavor the dish. In this country, the Kamikoto would, most likely, be packed to the brim with meat and have a few veggies mixed in. This attitude towards meat is something we can all learn from. Too much red meat can cause astonishingly high levels of cholesterol, which could increase the risk of heart disease – the biggest killer in the United States.
Green tea has a vast array of benefits, and it’s one of the healthiest things you can drink in the world. The Japanese drink tons of it every year and enjoy all these health advantages as a result. Drinking green tea helps you reduce your chances of developing cancer, improves your cognitive function, and makes it more likely you will last longer on this earth than you would from drinking soda instead.
Love of singing
Karaoke is a Japanese invention, so it should be no surprise that the nation loves singing – some would say it’s a national obsession. And believe it or not, researchers think that it could be amongst the many reasons why the Japanese live for so long. Singing helps you improve your cardiovascular health, boosts your nervous system, and releases ‘happy’ chemicals in your brain that help prevents many mental health conditions as you get older.
As you can see, there is plenty to learn from our Japanese cousins if we want to be a healthier nation. Perhaps you could introduce some of these healthy habits into your lifestyle?