Much has been said about the importance of including fresh fish in diet and dieticians have endorsed the role of fish in ensuring brain functioning and cardiovascular health for ages. A new study has revealed that fish in diet plays a role in thwarting the effects of ageing, especially in women. Fresh sea fish and green tea consumption are two reasons why Japanese women tend to live longer than their European counterparts and they also stay healthier in old ages. Women in Japan have an average life expectancy of 86.4 years. This discovery holds importance for countries where fish continues to be a major part of diet, including India.
The data which has been published by the Office for National Statistics reveals Japanese women enjoy a longer lifespan, but British women can enjoy the same benefits by changing their diet. If European women include fish in their meals, there is no reason for them not to live longer. Traditional Japanese diet has majority of low calorie foods and they are served in controlled portions. ‘Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat: Secrets of My Mother's Tokyo Kitchen’ written by Naomi Moriyama reveals Japanese people eat fewer calories than people in European nations.
Speaking on the subject, a leading gerontologist named Crag Wilcox said another reason for Japanese people having longer lifespan is that their diet comprises of foods that fight ailments. He elaborated, “They eat three servings of fish a week, on average. Plenty of whole grains, vegetables and soy products too, more tofu and more konbu seaweed than anyone else in the world, as well as squid and octopus, which are rich in taurine – that could lower cholesterol and blood pressure.”
He spent several years investigating long lifespan in Japan’s Okinawa region. This region has 161 coral islands located in East China Sea. Apart from living longer, these people also suffer less from cardiac ailments, he added. However, the benefits of eating fish seem to be applicable more in women than men in Japan. Researchers think that could be due to addiction to alcohol.
While including fish in diet can hold the key to longevity, doctors also warn about one potential side effect, mercury present in some sea fish variants. Certain fish variants contain mercury levels that are deemed risky for consumption by humans. Mackerel and swordfish are two such examples that should be avoided, say dieticians. Having fish twice or thrice a week should suffice for most people.