The average lifespan in Japan is 84.2 years, with over 2 million residents clocking 90 in 2017 alone. In comparison, the average lifespan in the US is 78.69 years. This means Japanese citizens are likely to live 6+ years more than their American counterparts.
The question is, how are the Japanese living longer than the rest of the world? What are they eating or doing that we're not?
Truth is apart from genetics, the Japanese have a wide array of healthy lifestyle habits and plants. But one that particularly stands out is their consumption of the Ashitaba plant.
Often called the "Tomorrow Leaf", Ashitaba plants are thought to help improve the user's health so they can live as long as humanly possible.
If you're hearing about this plant for the first time, don't worry. You're not alone. To catch you up to speed here's some basic information about the plant.
Ashitaba Plants FAQs
What is Ashitaba?
This plant originates from Hachijo Island in Japan and has been in use since the middle ages for the treatment of certain health conditions. It tastes like parsley or celery and can help frequent consumers live longer. The plant has a lot of healing properties, which is why the Japanese love it.
Which Ashitaba Plant Source is Best?
The best place to get this from is Hachijo Island. It grows in huge abundance there, is largely untainted and is very nutrient-dense. It's being exported to other countries now though. So, you should find the Ashitaba tea, leaves, and seeds outside of Asia.
Can it Help With Health Conditions?
There's a reason it's called the "longevity plant". It's known for its many healing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative properties. (Please see the health benefits section below for more information).
How Much Nutrient Does it Have?
The plant is rich in potassium, manganese, fiber, Niacin, vitamins B2, E and K, beta-carotene, pantothenic acid, and copper. With a superior nutrient profile that supersedes known like asparagus and kale, this might just be the "superfood that rules them all".
What is Ashitaba Chalcones?
This is the bright sticky yellow sap that oozes out when you break the plant's stem. It's important because it's a nutrient powerhouse that's rich in flavonoids, and highly in demand by drug makers. This plays a key role in slowing down the aging process.
Health Benefits of Ashitaba Plants
Whether you're drinking Ashitaba tea or eating Ashitaba leaves, the benefits are many. This is why it's highly coveted. Some of these include:
Excellent Antibacterial Agent
Bacterial infections are pretty common these days. Doctors often recommend the use of antibiotics to combat them. Unfortunately, the prescription of antibiotics for just about any condition has resulted in resistant strains that are called "superbugs".
If you want to avoid living with antibiotic-resistant superbugs, you might want to try Ashitaba plants. They contain potent compounds that serve as antibacterial agents against potent bacteria, including the one responsible for tuberculosis.
Has Cardioprotective Properties
The plant is capable of lowering blood pressure, reducing bad cholesterol levels and preventing cardiovascular disease. It's also known to strengthen red blood cells and improving circulation.
It also helps reduce instances of stroke by preventing fibrin clots within the body. Since strokes are usually caused by clots that block arteries and veins in the body, preventing this lowers the risk.
Aids Fat Loss
People looking to lose weight, particularly around the mid-section will find Ashitaba particularly effective at it. An 8-week study revealed significant weight loss, particularly belly fat, among participants.
This is because of the plant's effectiveness at melting off visceral fat -the fat that's stored around the abdomen and belly. It does this by helping the body release hormones that breakdown fat faster and reduces the rate of glucose production.
Has Anti-Cancer Properties
The Ashitaba plant contains a known compound that causes cell death in cancer cells. This compound is called Xanthoangelol. The study which was carried out on neuroblastoma cells, saw the cells dying off after exposure to the compound.
This makes it a potential anti-cancer compound that may be capable of curing cancer in the near future. The plant's roots are also known for inhibiting tumors and metastases in certain types of cancer.
Coumarin, which is another compound found in the plant, is effective as a preventative and curative measure against certain cancer types too.
Has Hepatoprotective Properties
This means that it helps protect your liver from the harmful effects of certain drugs like acetaminophen and alcohol consumption.
So, this might be great for people who do a lot of drinking and take drugs like Tylenol for headaches and body aches. However, the best way to prevent liver toxicity is to minimize their consumption in the first place.
Because the plant is rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, it's been found to be very effective at helping people recover faster. Those, combined with carotenoids and flavonoids, makes it a superb healing agent.
Can Prolong Your Life
Ashitaba leaves and stems have antiaging properties. It does this by slowing down the degeneration of certain aging-related cells in the body.
A compound in the plant known as DMC clears out "cellular garbage" that accelerates aging and causes disease.
This process of cleaning out the cells will leave you feeling younger, aging slower, and living without diseases for as long as possible.
Is the Ashitaba Plant the Next "Miracle Plant"?
Maybe. Only time will tell though. The one thing that's clear is that people who eat Ashitaba plants daily, tend to enjoy better health, and don't age as fast as their contemporaries.
How much Ashitaba you take daily depends on your needs. The good news is you can never run out, thanks to its ability to regrow all plucked leaves within a couple of days.
If you'd like to know more about this plant, check out this blog post at the Kenko Green Blog