Okinawans & Protein

Before World War II, people from Okinawa (a Japanese Island) instead of saying “hello”, they would greet each other by asking; “are you getting enough imo”?

In the 1950s the average Okinawans were getting 70% of their total calories from the purple sweet potato they called “imo” (1). This was the staple food in their diet and the main protein source along with soy foods like tofu or miso soup. 

According to a 2007 study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science, protein provided only 7% of the calories in the Okinawan diet (2). They lived free of western chronic diseases (Heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, alzheimer’s etc..), and had active and vigorous lives at their 80s, 90s and 100s.

But, haven’t we always been told that animal protein is the perfect protein for human beings? and is it not plant protein incomplete? The answer to this questions next…

1-”The Blue Zones” – Dan Buettner
2- Willcox, Willcox, et al. 2007, 2009; Sho 2001. (“Proteinaholic” – Garth Davis M.D)

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