A prefecture is the highest of all the prefectures in Japan about both the average life span and the healthy life expectancy in both men and women.
Average life span: Men: 80.88 years old, Women: 87.18 years old
Healthy life expectancy: Men: 79.46 years old, Women: 80.04 years old
What kind of food are the people in the prefecture eating?
There are 3 factors considered to have a healthy and long life.
1. Reducing salt
High intake of salt can cause high blood pressure and can result in sudden death due to stroke.
The prefecture’s countermeasure is encouraging the people to increase vegetables when they eat soup (miso soup). Increasing vegetables reduces the amount of soup which contains salt and vegetables are rich in potassium which excretes salt from the body.
2. Preventing cancer by eating Mushrooms
Mushrooms have the effect to suppress cancer.
Enoki mushrooms, Nameko mushrooms and beech mushrooms are known to prevent cancer.
3. Eating Agar which is the king of dietary fiber
Agar which is vegetable gelatin is rich in dietary fiber. (Fig. 1)
The dietary fiber of agar is very good to absorb water. 1 gram of agar absorbs more than 100 ml of water. It is important for health to eat dietary fiber containing a lot of water.
Health Effects of Agar
(1) Prevention of Obesity
Agar jelly (Fig. 2) containing a lot of water makes you feel full, preventing over eating which leads to obesity.
(2) Improvement of Constipation
Agar jelly containing a lot of water increases the amount of stools and makes the stools softer, so it is effective to improve constipation.
(3) Prevention of Rapid Elevation of Blood Sugar
Elevation of sugar in the body ages the body. Sugar damages the blood vessel from the inside of the blood vessel, causing aging of the blood vessel. Sugar also attaches collagens in the skin and damages them, causing flaccid skin.
(4) Decrease of LDL Cholesterol
Continuous eating of agar jelly decreases LDL cholesterol which is the cause of hardening of the blood vessel.
How much agar should be eaten a day?
It is effective to eat 2 grams of dried agar stick (about one fourth of a stick) a day.