The New York Times ran a set of pieces on a very cool Japanese monk, 100-year-old Rinzai Zen master (one of the oldest in the world) Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi, who tells followers, “Excuse me for not dying.” – souljerky
… avoid alcohol, caffeine and tobacco … Scientists working for the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Japan’s Ministry of Health have been following oldsters like Toguchi since 1976 in the Okinawa Centenarian Study (OCS) and they’ve learned that he’s typical. Elderly Okinawans tend to get plenty of physical and mental exercise. Their diets, moreover, are exemplary: low in fat and salt, and high in fruits and vegetables packed with fiber and antioxidant substances that protect against cancer, heart disease and stroke. They consume more soy than any other population on earth: 60-120 g a day, compared to 30-50 g for the average Japanese, 10 for Chinese and virtually 0 g for the average American. Soy is rich in flavonoids—antioxidants strongly linked to low rates of cancer. This may be one of many reasons why the annual death rate from cancer in Okinawa is far below the U.S. rate.
But it’s not just what Okinawans eat; it’s how much. They practice a dietary philosophy known as hara hachi bu—literally, eight parts out of 10 full. Translation: they eat only to the point at which they are about 80% sated. That makes for a daily intake of no more than 1,800 calories, compared to the more than 2,500 that the average American man scarfs down. And as scientists have learned from lab animals, the simple act of calorie restriction can have significant effects on longevity. – time