Voting results for
November 7, 2005
Tour a city market and learn about traditional food
46% with 228 votes
Watch a group of older women make thread for kimonos
10% with 49 votes
Make tofu with a local
44% with 216 votes
Read dispatches from Blue Zones, our team of longevity experts.
*The expedition runs on weekdays only. The team will not post new voting ballots and dispatches on weekends.
Dan Buettner, Expedition Leader: Here we are in Naha Central Market, where we have an appointment with Dr. Craig Wilcox, one of the world's top experts on the Okinawa diet. He's going to show us how to eat better to live longer. Let's go.
Dan: So Craig, does pork figure into this diet?
Craig: Well yes. The Okinawan diet is a plant-based diet, which is very healthy, but you still need a little protein. Okinawans used to get it once, maybe twice a month from pork.
Dan: All right, he wants a kiss.
Dan: What do you have to say about pickles?
Craig: Well, they are tasty, but they are very high in salt content so keep them to a minimum.
Dan: Here's a longevity gem, Spam! Is this any good for you?
Craig: Well, this represents the post-war American food culture coming into Okinawa. So, I'd avoid it.
Dan: How does fish figure into longevity? If I eat fish am I going to live longer?
Craig: Well, the American Heart Association recommends it for its Omega-3 fatty acids-heart healthy.
Craig: Tuna. This looks like the baseball batů bash your head in. This is actually fish, dried. Bonito tuna, loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids but hard as a rock. Try that Dan.
Dan: It's just a hollow sound.
Dan: This is the ugliest vegetable I've ever seen. It looks like a cucumber with warts. Why would you eat something like this?
Craig: Well, it's loaded with vitamin C and it also can lower your blood sugar levels and also it's been found in one study to be a fat burner.
Craig: Green leafy vegetables loaded with calcium, high in antioxidants. Sweet potato, the Okinawan staple, loaded with calcium, vitamin E, and beta carotene. Tumeric, nature's aspirin. Also help clean out your liver. Okinawan papaya aids digestion, helps with the production of mother's milk. Mugwart, traditional Okinawan medicine, relieves nausea and helps bring down your blood pressure too.
Dan: Here we are Craig, it all comes together at the lunch table.
Craig: OK, here we've got goya, super high in vitamin C, also helps to lower blood sugar levels in the body. Here we have tofu champon. Tofu has been shown to have cholesterol lowering effects as well as bone strengthening effects. Here we've got Okinawan greens, loaded with antioxidants. To go with that we've got a little miso soup made from soy been paste, very tasty with the benefits of soy. And here some Okinawan hot peppers, they can speed up your metabolism. You can just burn a little more fat that way. Compared to a hamburger we've got three to four times the volume, probably ten times the nutrients and maybe half the calories. So I'd say you are getting a much healthier meal, you're feeling fuller, and you are quite possibly living longer because of this.
Dan: Perfect, let's eat up!