The Art Of Not Dying: The Okinawan Way!

Time was just a concept under the Okinawan sky, and its Neverland-ish peculiarities. While unlike the fictional characters the Okinawans did not stop growing, they did master the method to do it at their own pace. Forgotten by the death reaper, the Okinawans once boasted of an above-average life expectancy, which is the reason why the island was once called 'the island of immortals'. While their average life-expectancy is no longer the highest, as the figures seemed to have deserted the idea of immorality, let us partake in their past glory, and try to find out about them, and their 'secret'.

At one point, there were 400 centenarians living in Okinawa Island, which would be 34 for 100,000 people statistically! It was almost like a second nature for the Okinawans to live a long life, and it was no surprise that heart disease, strokes, and even cancer were quite rare amongst them. While the exact reasons for their long life is still a mystery, one cannot simply undermine the importance of a healthy diet, as people have taken quite a keen interest for the Okinawan diet. The Okinawan diet constitutes 30% yellow and green vegetables, and smaller quantities of rice, unlike the rest of Japan. The delicious sweet potato, with the purple hue, is also a regular in Okinawan dining rooms, as is fish (small quantities, but you would have guessed that already). The Okinawans love their pork, and although the consumption is not on a regular basis, the annual rate is still higher than the other parts of Japan. Bitter melon, which is found to have anti-diabetic property, is used in their traditional 'goya champuru' (bitter melon stir fry). Some other dishes include 'fu champuru' (wheat glutten chanpuru), and 'tonkatsu' (breaded, fried pork cutlet). Apparently, as you can see, the Okinawan diet is extremely healthy. Also, their lifestyle and a sense of purpose which the people seem to hold in high regards, as well as not giving in to stress, may have pushed the Okinawans closer towards immortality.

But things have not been the same for Okinawa Island, as their life expectancy rate, especially for the men, seem to be dropping. It is no longer the highest in Japan, and many are of the opinion that the subsequent exposure to the Western way of life, may be a factor. While we cannot pinpoint the exact causes as to why Okinawa no longer enjoys their much sought after 'immortality', we do hope that they find their magic centuries.

Post Written by - Lopamudra

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