Which is more important for longevity, Ikigai, or diet? According to the book Hyakujusha No Kenko No Himitsu Ga Wakatta, Centenarians’ Secret to Health, Ikigai is the most important factor of longevity, but Dr. Shoji Kondo, the author of Nihon No Chojumura Tanmeimura, Long-lived Villages and Short-lived Villages in Japan, thinks diet is the paramount factor of longevity. The authors of Centenarians’ Secret to Health have interviewed over 60 centenarians around the world, and Dr. Shoji Kondo spent 36 years visiting over 990 small villages and towns in Japan. Both views are based on thorough research.
What I think of this is that both are equally crucial, and I can’t really say one affects our long life more than the other. If I had to choose between the two, I would agree with Dr. Kondo; diet is more important. Well, I think diet is more vital for health, and Ikigai is more relevant for longevity.
I think what we feed ourselves directly affects our gut microbiota and determines our physical condition. In order for us to stay healthy, we do need to pay attention to our diet; there is no alternative for that. If you are busy and don’t have time to do everything, change your diet. That is the first thing you need to do. And yet, diet alone doesn’t influence our wellbeing; our mentality, exercises, and overall lifestyle create our condition. Mentality, exercises, and lifestyle support our diet: With their help, you add wings to a tiger.
That is why we introduce those 4 elements in the Ikigai Diet.
If you are talking about longevity, I think Ikigai plays a bigger role. To continue being active in our 80s and 90s, we need more than just being in a good physical condition; we need a life purpose to keep us going. We need something to look forward to every day. It isn’t surprising to hear that many centenarians the authors of Centenarians’ Secret to Health interviewed, had Ikigai.
That is why the Ikigai Diet stresses Ikigai, hence it is the Ikigai Diet.
Anyway, diet, exercises, lifestyle, and mentality, including Ikigai, are all critical in our wellness, and we can not dismiss any of them. I would work on all areas, no matter how busy you are. Well, what are you busy for? That is the question you need to ask yourself first.
The Ikigai Diet: The Secret Japanese Diet to Health and Longevity