How Longest-Living Among Us Do It

Okinawa, Japan

World's longest-lived women are here. Moai(s) are small social networks wherein members commit for life to support each other. We know that isolation kills and it's an increasing problem in this country. They eat a plant-based diet favoring goya and tofu, and very little fish.

Lessons Learned from Okinawa:

Embrace of Ikigai - Purpose-imbued lives gives them clear role of responsibility and feelings of being needed well into their 100s.

Rely on a Plant-Based Diet - Stir fried vegetables, sweet potatoes and tofu are high in nutrients, low in calories. Goya lowers the blood sugar.

Gardening - A source of daily physical activity with a wide range of motion and helps reduce stress.

Soy - A diet rich in soy (miso and tofu) contains flavonoids that protect the heart and guard against breast cancer. Fermented soy is both nutritional and good for the intestines.

Maintain a moai - The tradition of forming a moai provides secure social networks. The network lends financial and emotional support in times of need and gives all members stress-shedding security of knowing there is always someone there for them.

Sunshine - Vitamin D produced by the body when exposed to sunlight promotes stronger bones and healthier bodies. Okinawans have the optimal level.

Stay active - Active walkers and gardeners. Sparse furnishings with meals taken sitting on tatami mats. Even the oldest get up and down everyday which builds lower body strength and balance.

Medicinal Garden - Mugwort, Ginger and Turmeric are all staples of an Okinawan Garden and are consumed everyday.

Attitude - Learn to shed difficult early years and remain likeable to young people.

Ikaria, Greece

In antiquity, Ikaria was known as a health destination, largely for its radioactive hot springs, which were believed to relieve pain and to cure joint problems and skin ailments. But for much of the ensuing two millennia, civilization passed over this wind-beaten, harbor-less island. To elude marauding pirates, Ikarians moved their villages inland, high up on the rocky slopes. Their isolation led to a unique lifestyle.

Over centuries with no outside influences, island natives developed a distinctive outlook on life, including relentless optimism and a propensity for partying, both of which reduce stress. Ikarians go to bed well after midnight, sleep late, and take daily naps. Based on our interviews, we have reason to believe that most Ikarians over 90 are sexually active. Ikarian villages are ghost towns during the afternoon siesta, and science shows that a regular 30-minute nap decreases the risk of heart attack.

Lessons Learned from Ikaria:

Take a Nap - Taking a nap 5x a week for ½ hour reduces risk of cardiovascular disease by 25%.

Honey - Ikarian Honey possesses compounds that kill cancer cells and have powerful probiotics.

Tea in Ikaria - Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease - teas are diuretics which lower blood pressure. Teas are Sage, Rosemary, Olive leaf.