What do a Japanese from Okinawa Island, a Scandinavian and a resident of the Vilcabamba Valley in South America have in common? They all have exemplary lifestyles and a good diet. As a result, they are in Olympic form, are hardly overweight, and live longer than in the rest of the world. Their secret? Food “Let your food be your only medicine”, already advocated by Hippocrates more than 2000 years ago.
Now more than ever, we are aware that our food is one of the keys to our well-being, both physical and mental. But how many of us still believe that the word diet necessarily means restriction? In reality, the term “diet” simply defines how humans eat, whether fair or not. Here we have listed five proven diets that are among the best in the world today. What do they have in common? All are based on traditional and ancestral cooking habits. Their main virtue? Provide those who follow it with what is strictly necessary, both nutritionally and in terms of pleasure. Ultimately, those who practice them are healthy, lean, and live longer. What if a simple return to basics was all it took to eat better and healthier?
The Okinawa diet: a zen diet
Who has never heard of Okinawa. The Japanese island is known as “the land of happy immortals”, home to the largest proportion of centenarians in the world? But who says long life, says good health, good hygiene of life and therefore, little overweight. Thus, in general, the Japanese suffer much less from cancer and cardiovascular disease than Westerners. In addition, they have a good bone density (no or no osteoporosis).
Food in Okinawa: it consists mainly of fish, shellfish, seaweed, vegetables, spices, herbs, grains, and fruits. Meat is consumed twice there than in the rest of Japan, as well as legumes. The flagship products: tofu, rapeseed oil, soybeans, tea (green, flavored with jasmine, or barley tea ), red beans (azuki), black mushrooms (shitake), and goya (a kind of bitter cucumber). And green vegetables. n healthy and balanced, based on ancestral culinary habits. The Cretan diet: the ascent of the Mediterranean
Olive oil, tomato, feta, honey yogurt… Everyone has a vague idea of what the Cretan diet is, one of the most famous “long life” diets. It is based on the best principles of the Mediterranean diet. Many studies show that the Cretan diet, even when adapted to French eating habits, reduces heart attack recurrences, and prevents heart disease and cancer.
Food in Crete:
it is a diet rich in foods of cereal origin, olive oil, fish, fruits, and vegetables, but low in meat, eggs, potatoes, and sweets. Wheat, flax, sesame, barley, olive, pork, goat, and lamb are made into bread, oils, cheeses, kebabs, and stewed dishes. Fish have a privileged place on the menu as well as wild herbs.
olive oil, sheep’s or goat’s milk, hummus (chickpea puree), vine leaves stuffed with rice, bread (in the form of poppy-flavored cereal cakes, cumin, olives …).
The Nordic Diet: Eat Like a Viking
The Icelanders, but also the other Scandinavians (Danes, Swedes, Norwegians, and Finns). Are on the way to taking the lead in populations whose diet allows them to live the longest and in good health. Quality of food, sensitivity to the seasons and organic, resistance to foreign trends (and too fast food in particular). The Nordics have it all!
Food in the Nordic countries:
it consists mainly of fish (fatty and lean), whole grains (barley, rye, oats), potatoes, game, berries, cabbage, roots (carrot, parsnip…), dairy products, and fresh herbs.
The flagship products:
salmon and herring, fish oil, black bread, blueberries (cranberries, cranberries, blackcurrants, etc.), lean beef, rapeseed oil, and fermented foods (such as sauerkraut).
The Ecuadorian diet: from the valley to the centenarians
The inhabitants of the Vilcabamba valley in Ecuador form, as in Okinawa. A kind of exception and many scientists have sought to unravel their secret. Anxious to preserve their discretion, its inhabitants have even taken the habit of erasing the dates of death inscribed on the tombstones of their hundred-year-old parents. Also famous in South America as the “sacred valley” or “heaven of the eternal youth ”. This valley has 11% of people in their sixties (compared to 4% in the rest of the country).
Food in Vilcabamba:
it is rich in fresh vegetables (peas, avocados, tomatoes, carrots, peppers), pulses (beans, beans), potatoes, cassava or cereals (rice, quinoa, corn), and in fruits (exotic fruits, bananas, plums, chestnuts…). Many types of meat are eaten but sparingly (chicken, pork, turkey, wild boar, monkey, snake …).
The flagship products:
yuca (cassava with yellow and red tubers used to make tapioca), Cuy (guinea pig served grilled or smoked), parrilladas (grilled meats), empanadas (donuts), dried fish, and chocolate (especially in the form of cocoa drinks).
The Caucasian diet: mountain people, old and happy
The fascination with this region of the world dates back to the end of the 19th century. Many travelers (writers, botanists, archaeologists, etc.) went there for vacation or spa treatment on the shores of the Black Sea. All have testified to the beauty of Circassian women. Abkhazia, located between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, was at the time given as the land of centenarians.
it consists of a lot of vegetables (onions, dandelions, red beans, spinach, cabbage …), herbs and spices, fruits, nuts (in sauces and oils), yogurts, honey, cured cheese or even corn flour bread, stuffed with cheese. Meat remains a luxury reserved for holiday meals. Fish are absent, except in people who live near a lake.
The flagship products:
lobio (dish composed of red beans and walnuts), cheese (made from curdled then fermented milk), wine, tea, beechnuts (oily beech fruit), churned butter ( made from lamb fat), liquid yogurts, and sok (a local fruit juice).