Tag Archives: eating for longevity

Okinawan Sweet Potato Boosts Your Anti-Aging Defenses

Okinawan Sweet Potato Boosts Your Anti-Aging DefensesIn the village of Ogimi, famous for its high ratio of Centenarians, as much as three times higher than most Western Nations, Michael and I found the richly colored deep purple Okinawan sweet potato to be a staple of their daily diet. This vibrant potato, rich in flavor and packed with nutritional benefits has long been thought to be one of the reasons the Okinawans are among the world’s longest-living people and suffer far less from common diseases associated with the aging process, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

The Okinawan sweet potato, not related to the potato, is actually part of the morning-glory family, a vine coveted for its beautiful deep purple flower. Native to the Americas, the “Okinawan” sweet potato was brought to Japan sometime between 1492 and 1605 and after World War II, became a staple of the native survivors left on the island of Okinawa because it was such a hardy crop.

Not only high in vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese, they are also a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron and have been shown to improve blood sugar regulation and insulin production. More recent studies have discovered significant antibacterial and anti fungal properties, yet another indicator of why the Okinawan Centenarians maintain remarkably vibrant health.

The primary nutritional benefit, and the one for which Okinawan sweet potatoes are especially prized, is their high antioxidant levels. Antioxidants help to guard against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Anthocyanin, the antioxidant responsible for the brilliant purple color of the flesh, is the same anthocyanin pigment that gives blueberries, red grapes and red cabbage their color. The Okinawan sweet potato actually has 150 percent more antioxidants than blueberries.

These little purple powerhouses are also a rich source of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone.) This is a precursor hormone – a substance that remains latent until it converts into a hormone that the body needs. DHEA can become estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone, all essential for your body’s anti-aging defenses to work. As we age, the body’s level of precursor hormones like DHEA drop dramatically in Western cultures, but drop at a much slower rate among the long-lived Okinawans, a phenomenon attributed by many to their diet rich with Okinawan sweet potatoes.

Enjoy these potatoes baked, roasted, boiled, steamed, sautéed, scalloped (with almond milk), or mashed with coconut water and sea salt. They are also great mashed with a little applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg and grated orange zest. They make a great substitute in a sweet potato pie, or any other recipes you would normally use yams or bright orange sweet potatoes. So begin today adding the Okinawan Sweet Potato to your diet … and remember, “By birthright, we are all entitled to live A Longer Healthy Life!”

Diane Haworth and Michael Varbaek, Longevity Researchers www.ALongerHealthyLife.com


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Superfood Ingredients

Your body is a remarkable machine. Put the right fuels into it, whole, local, fresh, unprocessed, chemical-free foods found right in your grocery store, and it will run like it should. Give it optimal nutrition, and it can protect itself and help prevent illness. We have researched the global food market and nature’s gardens to discover which foods provide the healthiest benefits – the foods that are shared across tables in the world’s key Longevity Hot Spots.

Here is a list of many of the foods we will use in the recipes to come.

Acai berries Ginger
Apples Goji berries
Apricots Green tea
Avocados Mushrooms
Blueberries Red Wine and Resveratrol
Beans Soy
Brassica vegetables Spinach
Buckwheat Sprouted Foods
Chocolate (cacao) Sweet Potatoes
Chlorella and Spirulina Tomato Paste and Tomatoes
Cinnamon Turmeric
Flax Yogurt

Diane Haworth and Michael Varbaek
Longevity Researchers
(619) 743-4263
Email Us

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Animals Know How to Live A Longer Healthy Life

Minneola Tangerine for a longer healthy lifeWe happened across this engaging story and thought we’d share. It’s about how animals recently led farmers to discover a new variety of oranges.

More specifically, it’s about how a troop of baboons led one farmer to discover a promising new cultivar of Minneola tangerines, those deep-orange, knobby-ended, delicious tangerines available for just a couple of months each year.

Here’s the story: An annual mystery baffled South African fruit farmer Alwyn van der Merwe. In June, when his oranges began ripening, a troop of baboons would descend from the mountains around his farm in the Western Cape and target one particular tree among thousands. The animals would feast until the tree was stripped of all its oranges.

Eventually the farmer decided to inspect that tree and discovered that it was a different variety from the others. Its fruit was sweeter and ripened three weeks earlier. “We couldn’t believe it. The one tree was different from the thousands of others, and the baboons knew it,” he told the Christian Science Monitor.

Laboratory testing confirmed it was a new variety of Minneola orange. Van der Merwe grafted shoots from the tree onto standard stocks, and they are now regularly cultivated and grown.

Because the new cultivar ripens earlier, it will extend the farmer’s growing season.

“It hasn’t got a name, and they said we could choose it—maybe we should call it the ‘baboon Minneola,’ ” he says in the CSM’s story.

Fascinating! Remember, the longevity matrix suggests one to three servings of fresh fruit every day. (Buy organic whenever practical, and buy fresh-frozen fruit when fresh fruit is limited or looking peaked.)

Tangerines are one delicious way to get a good dose of vitamin C, fiber, and the phytochemical benefits fruits offer. Check for Minneolas and other varieties of tangerines in your local store.

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