A new study finds a Japanese food like fish, rice, seaweed, and sake could add years to your life. Not only does following Japan’s food guidelines result in a 15% lower total mortality rate, but it also lowers one’s risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or stroke. The food encompasses “grains, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, soy products, dairy products, confectioneries, and alcoholic beverages”.
Researchers surveyed 79,544 people aged 45 to 75 in Japan—where the average life expectancy is 87 for women and 80 for men—about their health and food habits when the study began, then again five and 10 years later. They then compared eating habits to Japan’s dietary guidelines and gave each participant a score based on how closely his or her diet synced with them. Those who received high scores—meaning they generally adhered to the guidelines—were more likely to be women, drink green tea, and eat more calories.
They were also 15% less likely to die from all causes and 22% less likely to die from stroke. Researchers say a diet low in fat and high in fish and soybean products is beneficial, the participants who ate a lot of fruit and veggies, supplemented by fish and meats, profited the most.