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12 Japanese Secrets: Why They Live Longer And Healthier – See What You Can Find!


Two Articles Here - 12 Tips!

Want To Live Longer? Borrow These 6 Healthy Habits From The Japanese

By Samantha Cassetty, RD from Today.Com August 2020

Japan has more centenarians than almost any other nation on earth. Take  these 6 secrets to a longer, healthier life.

Want to live to 100? Take a page from the Japanese. Japan has the highest number of people per capita over the age of 100 than anywhere else in the world. There may be some genetic differences at play, but there are also diet and lifestyle practices that lead to longer lifespans with fewer of the chronic illnesses — like heart disease and type 2 diabetes — that are common in the United States. You can improve your health by borrowing these six habits that are rooted in Japanese culture.

1. Eat Some Seaweed

The Japanese diet is filled with many nutritious plant foods, but seaweed is a standout. There are many different forms of this Japanese staple and while they vary in the amount of nutrients they supply, most marine plants are packed with minerals, such as iodine, copper and iron, along with antioxidants, protein, fiber and beneficial omega-3 fats (which are also found in fish).

Americans are most familiar with nori, which is the form of seaweed used to wrap sushi and that’s dried and sold in packaged snacks. You can eat seaweed snacks instead of crackers or chips or crumble them over popcorn or roasted veggies for a pop of flavor and a nutritional boost. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try a seaweed salad, which is usually made from wakame, a form of seaweed that’s also used in soups.

2. Stock Up On Seafood

One thing that makes the Japanese diet so healthy is its focus on seafood. Japan has among the world’s lowest levels of heart disease and middle-aged Japanese men, compared to their white American counterparts, have much less cholesterol build up in their arteries, which is attributed to their high seafood consumption.

The Japanese diet includes about three ounces of seafood a day, or about 68 pounds a year, whereas, on average, Americans eat about 16 pounds of seafood annually. Fish and shellfish are high in protein and low in saturated fat, and while the amount of omega-3s differs among the various types of seafood, all seafood supplies this important nutrient.

Eating seafood just twice a week is not only linked to better heart health, but also better brain and emotional health. Seafood cooks up quickly and most types can be baked, broiled or grilled for a fast and healthy main dish. It’s a good idea to buy sustainable options and to include different types of fish and shellfish on your menu.

3. Drink Green Tea

Green tea is arguably one of the healthiest beverages and drinking it is a daily habit in Japan. Green tea is rich in polyphenol antioxidants that reduce inflammation, protect cells from the type of damage that can promote chronic diseases, and that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, where the majority of your immune cells and mood-boosting neurochemicals are produced.

Unsweetened green tea is a perfect drink on its own, but you can also use steeped green tea as the liquid base in smoothies, oatmeal or even brown rice or quinoa.

4. Eat Until You're Almost Full

There’s a saying in Japan — hara hachi bu — which means to eat until you’re 80% full. With this mindset, you eat until you’re comfortable, but you still have room in your stomach. In essence, it’s a form of mindful eating and it makes it possible to eat enough to meet your body’s needs without overdoing it.

If you want to practice eating until you’re almost full, start by tuning in to your hunger and fullness signals. You might ask yourself, “How hungry am I?” at the start of a meal, which can help guide how much to serve yourself. Later in the meal, you might ask, “Am I enjoying this as much as when I started?” or “Am I hungry for a few more bites?” It’s a good idea to eat slowly, too, and to turn off your tech and limit any unnecessary distractions while you eat. These techniques can help you meet your body’s calorie needs better as well as get more enjoyment out of your meals.

5. Practice Some Forest Bathing

In Japan, the practice of shinrin-yoku, which translates to forest bathing or taking in the forest atmosphere, is a form of nature therapy. Rather than heading outdoors for a walk or run, this practice is more about mindfulness and tuning into the natural setting. When you’re in nature, you use all of your senses, for example, by feeling the wind or sun on your skin, seeing all the shades of green in the grass and trees and hearing the leaves bristle. When you use your senses to tune into nature, it enables your mind and body to relax, much like they do during meditation. In fact, one study on forest bathing found that when compared to being in a city setting, being in a forest setting was linked with lower blood pressure, lower concentrations of the stress hormone, cortisol and an increase in parasympathetic nervous system activity, which are all indicative of feeling more calm.

No forest nearby? No problem! Any natural setting will do. According to recent study, feelings of wellbeing and life satisfaction improved after spending just 20 minutes in a city park. Another study reported similar findings among people who spent two hours a week exercising or spending time outdoors. And whether that time was spent in one visit or several didn’t matter. So head outside — for short stints here and there or longer stints when time permits.

6. Maintain Strong Social Circles

Staying socially connected is built into Japanese culture, and it’s a reason why Japanese people enjoy better physical and emotional wellbeing into old age. In Japan, social integration may take place in several ways. For example, adults may live in multi-generational households and in villages, it’s not uncommon to work past retirement age. And perhaps one of the most protective types of social engagement comes in the form of a moai — a type of Okinawan social circle that provides not only lifelong friendship, but even financial assistance when needed, so everyone in the circle knows they aren’t alone and they can count on one another during good times and bad.

If you’re feeling isolated or lonely, seek out ways to connect with friends, family, and your community. Carve out time to talk on the phone or over Zoom — or make new friends by joining Twitter groups or other online communities of people with similar interests.

Secrets Of The World's Healthiest Children: 6 Longevity Lessons From Japan

By A. Pawlowski  from Today.Com 2016

If you had complete power to engineer a long, vigorous life, you might start by choosing to be born in Japan.

The country has the highest “healthy life expectancy” in the world, with Japanese boys and girls expected to live to 73 without any major illness or disability, according to a recent study published in The Lancet. Their overall life expectancy is in the 80s.

The U.S. doesn’t even make the top 10, with an American boy born in 2013 expected to enjoy good health until about age 65 and live 76 years, on average.

What is it about Japan that makes it such a center of wellness? It’s a question Naomi Moriyama and her husband William Doyle set out to investigate in their new book, “Secrets of the World's Healthiest Children: Why Japanese Children Have the Longest, Healthiest Lives — And How Yours Can Too.”

“The way Japanese people eat and move gives them a major longevity and health advantage,” Moriyama — who grew up in Japan and is now based in New York — told TODAY.

“Compared with other developed nations, Japanese people on average eat fewer calories per day, and in a healthier pattern: more fish, more vegetable products, less meat and dairy, smaller desserts and more reasonable portion sizes.”

Here are six lessons from Japan your family can adopt to boost your health:

1. Choose Foods With Fewer ‘Calories Per Bite’

A typical Japan-style meal is a small bowl of rice, a bowl of miso soup and three side dishes served in little plates or bowls: a modest-sized portion of fish, meat or tofu and two vegetable-based side dishes, Moriyama said.

She doesn’t suggest you start cooking authentic Japanese cuisine, but she encourages tweaks toward “Japan-style family eating patterns.”

Enjoy more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish, which are lower in calorie density. Consume fewer processed foods and items with excessive calories or added sugars.

2. Practice ‘Flexible Restraint’

Severe food restriction or “food demonization” are not part of the Japanese lifestyle. Children are encouraged to enjoy treats and snacks, but in the right amounts and frequency, Moriyama said. Food is served on smaller plates, with little super-sizing.

“We are strong believers in ‘flexible restraint’ when it comes to less healthy foods, which is a Japanese cultural pattern,” Moriyama said.

“Go ahead and enjoy pizza, ice cream, cookies or chips with your family from time to time — we certainly do. Just keep the portions smaller and less frequent inside your house.”

To avoid temptations, don’t keep huge bags of potato chips and vats of ice cream in the house.

3. Reach For Rice

The moist, fluffy rice that is still a staple of Japanese and other Asian cuisines is super-filling and displaces less filling choices like dry bread, Moriyama said.

“You often hear that white rice is a ‘high glycemic index, ‘spikes your blood sugar’ and leads to weight gain. But in fact, experts disagree over whether the glycemic index is of any value in evaluating foods for non-diabetic people,” she noted.

“Sushi, for example, is not a high glycemic food because the rice is mixed with other foods like fish, veggies and seaweed. And consuming such mixed meals and foods is the way Japanese people usually eat rice, so any negative ‘glycemic impact’ is minimized or eliminated.”

She and Doyle agree with most experts, who suggest brown rice is best because it has more nutrients.

4. Start Walking

The Japanese have physical activity built into their lives from a very early age. More than 98 percent of Japanese children walk or bike to school, according to the World Health Organization.

That means most Japanese kids are meeting the recommendations for children to get 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day just by walking to and from school, Moriyama said. It sets up a life-long habit of regular exercise.

If giving up the school bus is not realistic for your kids, find other ways to get moving.

“Here's the easiest tip of all: Switch off your electronic devices for an hour at night, go out and take a brisk power-walk together with your family, no excuses,” Moriyama advised.

“The health benefits for children… are tremendous.”

Shoot for an hour of physical activity most days of the week.

5. Be Your Child's Lifestyle Authority

One of the strongest themes to emerge from Moriyama’s research is that the foods chosen, sampled and enjoyed together at home are strong predictors of a child's healthy lifestyle later in life.

Japanese parents inspire their children from infancy to try to enjoy a wide variety of different healthy foods, including many different fruits and vegetables, she said. Kids often eat meals together with their family as a regular ritual.

Rather than being "authoritarian" parents, who forbid sugar or say things like, "Finish everything on your plate or there's no ice cream,” the Japanese strive to be "authoritative" parents, Moriyama said. They model healthy eating and don’t over-react when a child refuses a new food or doesn't finish everything on their plate.

Japanese kids are encouraged to try new foods from a very early age.

6. The Power Of Lunch

Japanese schools turn children into “healthy foodies” with the help of the country’s famous school lunch program, Moriyama said.

Starting in elementary school, kids are served a mid-day meal of very healthy dishes that are often made from locally grown foods and freshly prepared on site. If students don’t like the lunch, they’re out of luck. Unhealthy food options are simply not available.

“This way, believe me, they learn to like the healthy, delicious choices put in front of them,” Moriyama noted.

The kids help prepare and serve the lunch; and food education is part of the curriculum. Students visit local farms, and learn about nutrition, cooking, table manners, and social skills. It all puts children on a path of healthy lifetime habits, Moriyama said.

“The lesson for parents in the U.S. and elsewhere is: You usually can’t influence what your child gets for lunch at school, but you can be their guide and inspiration for breakfast and dinner,” she added.

This story was originally published in October 2015. Follow A. Pawlowski on Google+ and Twitter.

A WORD OF CAUTION HERE: Please make sure the Rice you buy is not GMO (genetically modified) and that it comes from a good area for growing Rice. It has been reported over the last year that mercury levels are pretty high where some Rice is grown.

Hope you enjoyed this post. If you don't have a forest close, the principle is still here - Enjoy Nature as much as you can, hey? It really cuts down on Stress. Some people are enjoying Walks and Nature during the Pandemic and feel lighter for doing so.

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