The amazing number of adults living to be 100 or older inspired researchers to learn the secrets of the residents in Okinawa, Japan. The Okinawa Centenarian Study began in 1975. Over the years, scientists had the opportunity to study more than 900 seniors and discovered some of the lifestyle habits that kept them from developing chronic diseases and allowed them to defy aging. El Dorado County, CA, home care experts discuss 5 of these key healthy habits.
Japanese seniors remain active throughout their lives. They continue performing daily chores, which often include gardening, farming, building, and housework. Because this part of the world is one of the poorest regions in the world, there are few automobiles or other signs of technology. Residents walk where they need to go, physically carry burdens, and engage in other forms of exercise. They maintain mental clarity by having healthy social lives and staying updated on current events.
The diet Okinawans follow is predominantly plant-based. Seniors eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which includes non-genetically altered soy products. They do not use salt, infrequently indulge in sweets, and refrain from regular alcohol use. Okinawan elders also do not typically smoke.
3. Weight Management
The centenarians in Okinawa do not overeat. Their lifestyle involves a practice known as “hara hachi bu,” which roughly translates as eating until 80 percent full. The maximum amount of calories they consume in a day is 1,800. When combined with physical activity, this modest diet enables the elderly to remain trim.
4. Brain Health
Along with the daily activities that help Japanese seniors enjoy mental clarity, researchers found their diets contain high amounts of vitamin E. This nutrient acts as an antioxidant, which interferes with the effects of free radicals that contribute to aging and disease. As a result, these seniors rarely develop symptoms of dementia.
5. Social Value
The Japanese culture expresses a high level of respect for their elders. Centenarians are valued as individuals by family, friends, and the overall communities in which they live.
For more tips that can help your aging loved one live a longer, happier, and healthier life, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s, stroke, dementia, and Parkinson’s care. El Dorado County seniors can benefit from our proprietary Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of social and mental stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. For more information, please call one of our experienced Care Managers at (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 today to schedule a free in-home consultation.