A couple of months ago I wrote about the Greek Island of Ikaria where people live much longer, healthier lives than average. I distilled the reasons for this into 10 easy rules plus 10 harder rules. Here I’m doing the same for the Japanese island of Okinawa.
Okinawa is one of a group of islands called the Ryukyu Islands. The indigenous population are 8 times less likely to die from coronary heart disease, 7 times less likely to die from prostate cancer, 6.5 times less likely to die from breast cancer, and 2.5 times less likely to die from colon cancer than an average American of the same age. Life expectancy on the island is some 5 years longer than in Europe and America and perhaps more importantly people tend to stay healthy right up to the end.
As before, I’ve analysed the data and found 10 easy rules to follow:
1. Wake up at sunrise.
2. Eat mostly carbs (85% of total calories).
3. Eat plenty of sweet potatoes and brown rice.
4. Eat a serving of fish every other day.
5. Practice hara hachi bu (translates as “don’t stuff your face, you greedy pig.”)
6. Drink lots of water and green tea.
7. Adopt a positive attitude to life. Enjoy simple pleasures.
8. Enjoy an outdoor kind of life.
9. Grow vegetables and herbs in your garden.
10. Have plenty of sex. Don’t stop just because you’ve reached 100.
And also 10 harder rules:
1. Drink alcohol in moderation only.
2. Don’t smoke.
3. Hardly ever eat meat.
4. Don’t eat eggs or dairy products.
5. Eats lots of green vegetables.
6. Then eat some more vegetables and some fruit.
7. Then eat some more green vegetables and some seaweed.
8. Exercise every day, e.g. dance, soft martial arts, walking and gardening.
9. Keep working. Don’t stop just because you’ve reached 100.
10. Throw away all your furniture and sit on the floor.
Remember, you have to follow the harder rules as well as the easy ones. Otherwise, something terrible might happen. You might even die.