The Anti-Aging Secrets of Nagano Locals

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

The Japanese are known for two things: bleeding technology and incredibly healthy lifestyle. But a special place in Japan is proving just how beneficial a healthy diet is to the human body. The picturesque province of Nagano, Japan is home to some of the healthiest people on earth. On average, local women live up to be 87 while men live up to 80 years old. Even more incredible, the locals used to favor salty, unhealthy foods in the past and it was only until recently that scientists are able to pinpoint the reason why Nagano locals live longer and look younger than average — a low sodium diet.

The Connection Between Longevity and Salt

A study points to excessive sodium intake as the leading cause of strokes. During this era, Nagano had the most numbers of strokes per capita. This was attributed to the locals’ love for highly salted, picked vegetables called furuzuke. The local government developed a campaign to raise awareness about the harmful effects of a high-salt diet in the town. From there, the cases of strokes in the area lessened over time. Eventually, Nagano became known as one of the healthiest places in the country.

These days, the usual Nagano fare consists mainly of fresh vegetables, lean protein, and local fruits in season. These types of foods are healthy by themselves but are made even healthier because the dishes are prepared with very little salt. Rather than noshing on furuzuke, the town started eating more of its healthier dishes like the traditional soup, dashi.

Dashi is made from stock and miso, a paste made from fermented soybean. As the locals started shifting their high-salt diet to a healthier, low-sodium one, health conditions began to improve significantly. Today, Nagano has the highest vegetable consumption rate in Japan. The town also provides the country a wide range of fruits, flowers, vegetables, and mushrooms.

Harmful Effects of Salt

Triggers Water Retention and Accelerates Aging

Too much salt in the diet not only leads to kidney problems, it could also cause fluid retention. This leads to bloating and puffiness.

Causes Acne and Severe Breakouts

Salt has the ability to draw out water from the organs which could lead to dehydration. Too much sodium could cause the skin to dry out; this could progress to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Worse, dehydrated skin could cause excessive production of oil in the face which could lead to acne or severe breakouts.

Increases the Risk of Heart Problems

A clinical research points to a diet high in salt in the increasing numbers of men suffering strokes, heart attacks, and cerebral aneurysm.

Over the years, the town was able to create a successful campaign against too much salt in the local diet. The people and health officials of Nagano proved just how crucial the kind of food we consume to our overall health and appearance. Our diet helps preserve youth, improves vitality, and maintains longevity. Nagano is a fine example of you can turn yourself around for the better by simply making healthier food choices!