Long life expectancy can be attributed to healthy eating, research suggests. As a general rule, a healthy, balanced diet should consist of at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. It is also highly recommended to get enough exercise and the recommended amount is at least 150 minutes per week. When it comes to the particular food one should eat, what are five of the best?
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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) a certain country has more people living to the average age of 87 than anywhere else in the world.
These statistics come down greatly to the food they consume which is remarkably different from a Western diet.
Increasing evidence suggests the key to longevity lies in swapping out Western diets for Eastern equivalents.
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The high life expectancy enjoyed in Japan is largely down to the nation’s healthy diet.
A 2016 study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that Japanese adults who followed the recommended amount regarding food intake had lower rates of mortality than those who didn’t.
The population of the island nation has the lowest mortality rates in the world.
In fact, Japanese people are more likely to reach 100 years old than anyone else in the world.
What to eat on the Japanese diet?
The diet itself is high in certain carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits as well as fish and meat.
Such foods make for a diet low in saturated fats, processed foods and high in carbohydrates gained form both rice and vegetables.
Foods one should adopt include steamed rice, noodles, tofu, fish, natto, seaweed and fresh cooked fruits and vegetables low in added sugars and fats.
The diet may also contain a modest amount of eggs, dairy or meat. Many Japanese also follow a healthy exercise regime which boosts life expectancy too.
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What have experts said?
Dr Craig Wilcox said: “The Japanese have a low risk of arteriosclerosis and stomach cancer, a very low risk of hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer.
“They eat three servings of fish a week, on average, with plenty of whole grains, vegetables and soy products too, more tofu and more kombu seaweed than anyone else in the world, as well as squid and octopus, which are rich in taurine – that could lower cholesterol and blood pressure.”
The Japanese diet contains a balanced consumption of energy, grains, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, soy products and dairy products and this combination contributes to longevity by decreasing the risk of death, predominantly from cardiovascular disease.
For those in Japan, exercise is extremely important and many ensure they get the recommended amount time spent doing physical activity.
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