The longevity of the Japanese - Know their secrets for a long life

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Currently, the Japanese have achieved the first place when it comes to longevity in the world. The factors that contribute to this longevity would be the introduction of universal insurance coverage. Health , the high prevalence of regular health controls in the workplace and the community, and the ubiquitous availability of medical resources. However, recently there have been many problems in Japanese public health that jeopardize the sustainability of Japanese longevity. First, health expenditures are likely to increase dramatically as society ages. Currently, there are approximately three workers for each retiree in Japan; however, the number is expected to be reduced by half by 2050. Consequently, the increase in financial demand would endanger the universal health insurance system. Second, lifestyle diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, ischemic heart disease and prostate cancer, are becoming increasingly common even in younger generations because of the westernized preference of subsistence allowance to the traditional and less opportunities for physical exercise. Finally, there is still a persistent longevity gap between men and women.

8 secrets of the longevity of the Japanese

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It is no secret that people in the land of the rising sun tend to live longer than almost everyone else. For years, Westerners have been watching the Japanese and scratching their heads, witnessing how Japan rose from having one of the lowest life expectancies after the Second World War, to surpassing the lists worldwide.

How do they do it? Although there are no definitive answers, years of scientific research and anecdotal evidence have revealed some answers and advice for the rest of us.

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1 The Japanese eat a lot of vegetables

Traditionally, Japanese people eat a lot of rice, vegetables and fish, generally in that order, and Japan's infatuation with soy and fermented seaweed means that there is no shortage of beneficial vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Unfortunately, from the 19th century onwards, there has been an increase in unhealthy Western habits: breaded meats and more recently, white bread, refined sugars and copious amounts of sweets.

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2 They cook their food differently

Despite tempura, tonkatsu and croquettes, Japanese food involves a large amount of steam, roasting, roasting, frying, simmering and fermenting. They also have the habit of making at least one bowl of soup and generally prepare small plates. It helps when they combine their intake of vegetables and fish with a lot of fiber from beans, rice and, often, beans and rice.

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3 They drink a lot of tea

While coffee is not necessarily bad, in Japan there is a great culture of tea consumption, and good quality Japanese tea contains many more antioxidants than coffee. This is especially true for Japan's tea-time specialty: matcha, which is a fine (and often expensive) powder tea made from young leaves grown specifically to increase their chlorophyll and antioxidant content by depriving them of light solar.

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4 Your food is fresh

The truth is that your food is fresh. And in season. Being a relatively small archipelago with a large amount of arable land, there is not much need for food to travel very far before it gets into people's mouths, and that can be said of Japanese vegetables as much as can be said of your fish and grain. In Japanese markets, the food is not dated per day, it is dated for half an hour according to Naomi Moriyama, who wrote a book entitled: Japanese women do not grow old or become fat.

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5 They have smaller plates

Portion control is a traditional part of Japanese cuisine. The label is an important part of Japanese life, and part of that is the careful use of chopsticks, the practice of eating a small dish or a bowl of rice, and taking food lightly, serving each bite in its Small dish, never filling up is a good idea. If you think about it, we are very used to large portions.

In Okinawa, locals attribute part of their longevity to the saying: hara hachi bu, which means "eat until you're 80% full".

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6 They walk, they spend time standing and they bend over more

Part of the daily life of the Japanese is the daily journey: get up, go to the station, wait for the train, stop on the train, walk from the next station to work and continue with life. Public transport is widely used in Japan. People get on bicycles and get on trains: a car is considered a luxury. Many employees, like those at Canon, work on their feet.

Even going to the bathroom is different in Japan. While there are many Western-style toilets available, Japanese old-school toilets involve squatting, which is healthier for the intestines.

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7 They have morning exercise - they listen to it on the radio.

Called rajio taiso, Japan has, literally, exercise routines that you can listen to on the radio and are done in massive groups every morning. Most Japanese participate, and there are several degrees of difficulty for different people.

The benefits are obvious: a higher level of athleticism, alertness and energy, together with greater flexibility and concentration in the workplace and at school.

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8 They have universal health care

Since the 1960s, Japan has had a mandatory health care system that consumes only 8% of GDP (less than half of what the United States pays for its current system) while keeping people very healthy. The average Japanese person visits their doctor more than a dozen times a year for medical exams.

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