Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world. Is it because of their worthy genes or is it because of a more proficient health care? Or is it about their diet, lifestyle or benefits of drinking Green Tea ? Such other hundreds of queries might crop up in your mind.
Studies have revealed that nature has favored them with extraordinary genes that help them to live longer and shield them from diseases. However in WWII, the world had acknowledged the ill effects of nuclear bombs that Japan had faced. They had the lowest life expectancy then. This has made clear that genes are not the only factor for their long life.
Currently, Japan spends just 8.5% of their GDP for health care which is half of the USA spending. Still today men live for 79 years and women over 86 years. So does it mean that they have superior medical facilities? The answer is something else. It is what even we can do to increase our own life expectancy or longevity.
What is Longevity?
“Longevity basically means long life. However, when speaking about health and nutrition, it also entails fine health, a strong immune system, a body free of disorders, illness and disease. All of these elements together would provide one with a long and healthy life filled with energy, cognition, overall clarity and a genuine sense of well-being.”
Basically to live a healthy life, prioritize a healthy diet. This is the secret of the Japanese too. However, due to the introduction of western culture and lifestyle, junk foods have made a remarkable presence in our diets. In addition, trans-fats, food chemicals, artificial ingredients and lack of exercise have increased the rate of obesity and physically unfit people in the world.
“We know that Americans and others who eat a Western-style diet have a lot of health problems—and weight problems. The vast majority of people are overweight these days. Clearly, we are not eating that well if we continue to see steady increases in heart disease, type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity.”
Why the Japanese live longer?
Hygiene and health are their highest priority. “The Japanese diet is the iPod of food,” says Naomi Moriyama. Their diet encompasses a high level of vegetable and pulses. Further, a high consumption of taurine (fish) and fucoidans (a seaweed) also helps the Japanese to live longer. Along with their humble food they consume green tea daily. The Japanese tend to ‘eat with their eyes more’, which results in eating less. In addition, they are pedestrians.
“A National Cohort study monitored 40,000 participants between the ages of 40 to 79. The Study confirmed that these participants were free of heart disease, cancer and stroke which proved to be the most important benefits of consuming highest amount of green tea, daily. Monitoring and data was collected for 11 years. The Asian population has been shown to have a longer life expectancy than their non green tea drinking neighbors.”
Contribution of Green tea in Longevity
The diverse benefits of Green Tea come from its valuable constituent polyphenols, which is a great antioxidant. It traps free radicals – the main culprit in ageing and chronic diseases.
“The continuous ingestion of [green tea extract] reduces body fat, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure in females and males without changing their lifestyles. We found that increased beta-oxidation (fat burning) in the liver by Catechins was associated with the reduction of intra-abdominal body fat, [which] is known to secrete factors causing various chronic diseases. Therefore, its reduction will reduce the risk of lifestyle-related chronic diseases.”
The Catechin Epigallocatechin gallate, often referred as EGCG, is known for lipid-lowering effects and promoting excellent health. It is also known to prevent dreadful diseases like cancer. EGCG also helps to break down immoral fats in the digestive system as well as giving exultant guts.