Following the Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top that consists of grains, vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat may help one live longer. The study published in the British Medical Journal states that this Japanese dietary guideline lowers the risk of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease, especially stroke.

The Japanese government developed this dietary guideline in 2005 to inform the people about healthy eating practices. This guide recommends five servings of grain-based dishes, including rice, bread and noodles daily.

These are followed by five servings of vegetables, three servings of fish and meat, then two servings of milk or milk products and two servings of fruits. Physical activity and drinking more water and tea ranks on top of the Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top.

Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top. Photo from Tumblr

Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top. Photo from Tumblr

The researchers, led by Kayo Kurotani at the National Centre for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo, inquired about the food consumption and lifestyle practices of 36,624 Japanese men and 42,920 Japanese women, all of whom are between the ages of 45 and 75 years. These were healthy respondents without cancer, stroke, chronic liver disease or heart disease.

On their follow-up 15 years later, the researchers found that better adherence to the Japanese diet experienced a total of 15 percent lower mortality rate. The team says that this has been mostly to cerebrovascular disease risk reduction that makes people live longer.

“Our findings suggest that balanced consumption of energy, grains, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, soy products, dairy products, confectionaries, and alcoholic beverages can contribute to longevity by decreasing the risk of death, predominantly from cardiovascular disease, in the Japanese population,” the team asserts.

This may explain why Japan has always ranked among the healthiest nations. 2014’s statistics revealed that the average life expectancy of a Japanese citizen is 83.7 years.

Deaths from cancer, cerebrovascular disease and cardiovascular disease are also among the lowest in the world. In 2012 alone, only 182.4 men out of 100,000 Japanese people died from cancer, and only 92.2 women out of 100,000 died from the same condition.

Out of 100,000, only 74.2 men and 39.7 women died from heart disease. Cerebrovascular diseases caused 49.5 deaths for men and 26.9 deaths for women.