What is Okinawa Diet and İts Benefits?

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Okinawa Diet is referred to as the name of the capital of an island, Okinawa. İt is the largest of the Ryukyu Islands which is located on the coast of Japan between East China and Philippine Seas.
Okinawa is included in the blue zones. Blue zones are the five regions of the world. People of Okinawa live long and healthy as compared to the people living in other places.
Okinawans enjoyed their life by different genetic, environmental, and lifestyle. The most important thing in their lifestyle is their diet plan.

Overview

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The people living on the Japanese Island follow this Okinawa diet. This diet is literally a traditional eating pattern.

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Okinawa Diet

Okinawa diet contains low calories and fat. But it includes high carbohydrates. İn this diet, the plate is always full of colorful vegetables and soy products with a small number of noodles, rice, and fish.

Portion To Take:

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Now, Okinawa’s diet has modernized. Macronutrient contents are shown given below:

The original Okinawa diet contains 85% carbs, 9% protein, and 6% fats including 2% saturated fat. While the modern diet contains 58% carbs, 15% protein, and 28% fats including 7% saturated fats.

Okinawans eat food as medicines. They said that a diet full of herbs has many benefits on health such as turmeric. They use to do exercises on daily basis.

ALSO READ: What Is Food Combining? Facts And Details

This Okinawan diet is also very useful in the process of weight loss. This diet is full of nutrients.
Here are some foods which we can eat and can not eat in the Okinawa diet.

Foods to eat

This diet should be full of whole nutrients, and high anti-oxidant foods.
Nutrients are essential for the proper functions of the body and antioxidants protect the body against cellular damage.

İt includes rice but less than Japanese. Sweet potato, legumes, and fiber-rich vegetables are their favorite ones to target the calories.

  • Vegetables are included 58–60% which are sweet potato, seaweed, bamboo shoots, daikon radish, bitter melon, cabbage, carrots, Chinese okra, pumpkin, and green papaya.
  • Grains are included 33% which are millet, wheat, rice, and noodles.
    Soy foods are included 5% which are tofu, miso, and edamame.
  • Meat and seafood at a ratio of 1–2% which are: mostly white fish, seafood, and occasional pork.
  • Other at a ratio of 1% such as alcohol, tea, spices, and dashi.
  • Jasmine tea is consumed as much as they want on this diet, and antioxidant-rich spices like turmeric are avoided by them.
    This traditional diet is different from the western diet. There are varieties of food that are not available on the island.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Foods that we have to avoid during the Okinawa diet includes meats of beef, poultry, processed meat, etc.
  • Animal products, such as eggs, dairy, cheese, milk, etc.
  • Processed food like refined sugars, grains, breakfast items, etc.
  • Legumes like soybeans.
  • Other fruits like most foods, nuts, and seeds.

Okinawa diet allows you flexibility as it depends on the calories.

Health benefits of the Okinawa diet:

There are many benefits of the Okinawa diet which are as follow:

  1. Long life:

    Because of the healthy diet, the most effective benefit of the Okinawa diet is the long life of people. İt is said that people of this island have a longer life as compared to others.

    Antioxidants included in this diet de-accelerate the aging process as it protects the cell from radical damage and reduces the inflammation.

  2. Reduced risk of chronic diseases

    Okinawa diet also helps to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

    Sweet potatoes are full of fibers and other nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and vitamins, etc. İt has a low glycemic index (Gİ) to reduce the rise in blood sugar. İt is full of carotenoids as it has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits to prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Drawbacks:

As it has many benefits, it also has some drawbacks.

  1. Fairly restrictive

    It doesn’t allow many healthy foods as well which is difficult to follow. İt has a low amount of fruits, nuts, and seeds.

  2. High sodium

    It can be high in sodium which is not good for patients with blood pressure. But there are many benefits to it as well.

Conclusion:

Okinawa diet is basically the lifestyle of Okinawa island in Japan. İt allows nutrients, high fiber vegetables, and lean protein sources. İt discourages saturated fats, sugar, and processed food. It increases life durability but can be harmful to blood pressure patients as it includes a high amount of sodium.

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