Okinawan Longevity and Green Tea

Green tea in the traditional Okinawan lifestyle, not only provides essential antioxidants but also a healthy catalyst for socializing with family and friends.

While many Americans drink green tea to increase antioxidant intake, Okinawans typically incorporate it into a meal or into the ritual of receiving visitors. Without conscious effort, culture and habit give health. When you incorporate green tea into your day as an enjoyable routine, your health and well being can also be improved without trying.

In the Okinawan diet, green tea is not the only source of antioxidants. “The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner mentions that turmeric, mugwort, bitter melon and seasonal fresh vegetables are also commonly consumed and give an additional boost of antioxidants. The traditional diet is mostly vegetarian with frequent use of soy and occasional use of pork.

Book “The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner gives a glimpse of Okinawan centenarians lifestyle.

Okinawan secrets of longevity also extend to spiritual well-being and interdependence within the community. Family and friends are very important parts of the longevity equation. Friends have clear purpose and give much meaning to life. Friends and family enjoy each other’s company and the safety net developed by the social support network. Okinawans know that there is always someone to help in times of financial and emotional need. This sense of security is the backbone of well being.

During my visit to Okinawa I also encountered modern culture contradictory to this reputation for health. While Okinawans are famous for healthy foods, lifestyle and long life, most young Okinawans rarely practice the traditional diet and lifestyle. Due to the prevalence of American culture due to military presence in Okinawa, Okinawans now have the shortest life expectancy in all of Japan, due to fast foods.

This article is not a comparison between Okinawan and American culture to see which is healthier. Rather finding how you can bring a healthy lifestyle into your daily life, where it matters the most. Learn more.