Live Longer Gloriously
Sally Beare reveals a few startling pieces of information on how to live longer gloriously in her book The Live-Longer Diet.
In her book Sally describes five different communities from various areas of the world, living close to nature.
In this series I will be pinpointing Sally’s remarkable findings in those five locations where the local people are living active purposeful lives, bursting with health.
First up are the centenarians and super-centenarians of Okinawa. These are the indigenous people of the Ryukyu Islands in Japan.
These are not disgruntled, grumbling, stiff, ‘One Foot In The Grave’, ‘Victors’ but sprightly, supple, independent, capable enthusiasts who rarely suffer illness and mix happily with their neighbours, feeling no stresses.
They have 97-year-old karate teachers! Farmers and fishermen work well into their 80s. There is plenty of dancing, gardening and walking. The elderly among their inhabitants are revered in the community and their wise stories are passed on. Okinawans keep busy into their nineties or hundreds—gardening, socialising, working in the fields, and maintaining cottage industries making handicrafts. Having a great sense of purpose in life is thought to maintain vigour and promote longevity.
Living longer is not a case of suffering our last years with degenerative diseases but having a high quality of life—feeling fresh, energetic and healthy with a positive mental attitude. And much of this is down to our lifestyle choices. For example, we have freedom of choice to eat fresh local foods or processed substitutes full of preservatives, and can thus create happy digestive systems for ourselves.
In Okinawa the locals eat fresh, locally grown and caught foods. They are extremely active, not only partaking in martial arts, but tilling the very land and soil that produces their nourishment. These indigenous people eat nutrient rich, low calorie diets including seven vegetables per day. This plant-based diet, supported by fish and soya protein and seaweed, ensures them the nutrients needed for their soft skin, shining hair, slim build and great agility. Their locally grown 460 varieties of herbs are used for medicinal and culinary purposes. Turmeric—which helps to boost the immune system, aids digestion and reduces inflammation—is used in their soups and fish dishes. Ginger, which can aid digestion and has anti-viral properties, adds flavour to many local dishes.
They believe that food and medicine come from the same source.
Their example tells us to eat a balanced diet low in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats, rich in natural fibre which enables us to avoid hunger.
Sally explains that Biotech companies spend fortunes searching for lucrative ‘cures’ for illnesses and ageing but the answers lie in antioxidant rich foods, which prevent free radical damage—simple foods such as prunes, blueberries and kale. Sally suggests eating a range of colours: red and yellow fruit and vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, squash, apricots, red peppers, papaya and berries. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, watercress, broccoli and various salad leaves are equally important.
The Okinawans are the largest population of centenarians in the world and their lifestyle teaches us that living close to the earth, eating a plant-based diet and keeping stress to a minimum are key factors. Sharing life with others and giving more than one receives seems to promote a feeling of gratefulness and satisfaction.
Okinawans eat plenty of sweet potatoes and Sally gives the following as standard recipes.
Grilled Fish with Vegetables
Bake sweet potato in oven on 200C for about 30-40 minutes. Remove from skin and mash, grill some fish with a little lemon juice and olive oil for about 5 minutes each side, steam some green veg and serve altogether.
Yummy Yam Soup
Peel about 1 lb of yams, chop, cover in water—cook for about 20 minutes. In a separate pan sauté an onion, some garlic and ½lb carrots and add the cooked yams (chopped). Return all to the stock and cook until soft, then liquidise. Sprinkle a little dried seaweed on each portion for extra flavouring and colour.
The Live-longer Diet by Sally Beare