National Geographic identified five zones on the planet where people live to be 100 at rates ten times greater than UK citizens. Okinawa, Japan is one of these zones and Okinawans are the longest-lived people in the world, with an average life expectancy of over 80 years.
Well Balanced Diet
The people of Okinawa have many things working in their favour. Eating a very well-balanced, high-nutrient, low-calorie diet, being physically active on a regular basis; keeping busy within their communities; and, practicing meditation.
When it comes to food the Okinawans have a saying, “Ishoku-dogen,” which means, “food and medicine from the same source.” Okinawans eat many foods, which they believe are responsible for promoting their longevity and well-being. One of these foods is seaweed.
Seaweed is one of the most mineral dense foods we can eat. It has 10-20 times the minerals of land plants and contains all of the minerals and trace elements found in the ocean, which are also present in our blood.
It is rich in calcium and iodine, and it’s a great source of folic acid, magnesium, iron, and protein. Seaweed contains phytonutrients like lignans (help protect against cancer and relieve menopausal symptoms) and fucans (help prevent inflammation in the body). Many Japanese believe regular consumption of seaweed (especially kelp varieties) promotes thick, shiny hair and soft, supple skin.
How to eat Seaweed
So, how do we go about eating seaweed? Well, if you lived by the sea you could gather your own seaweeds, but this can be dangerous and you have to know what you are looking for and knowledge of the water quality.
It is best to use a local company such as Ebb Tides Seaweeds based in Devon who sustainably harvest seaweeds and are regularly testing there seaweeds. But there seaweeds come from some of the cleanest waters in the UK anyway.
If you are new to seaweeds Ebb Tides award winning seaweed blends come in easy to use shakers where you simply shake the dried flaked seaweeds onto your food like a seasoning. You don’t even have to add salt as natural salts are formed within the seaweeds themselves.
You can shake their seaweeds into soups, pastas, salads, pizzas, chips almost anything. The thing with seaweeds is not only are they super healthy for us, they taste great and are super versatile. Ebb Tides have plenty of recipes and ideas on how to use seaweeds on their website if you are looking for inspiration.
So good health and long life for you and don’t forget Ishoku – dogen.