There are several types of diet plans such as Keto diet, Low carbs diet, GM diet, DASH diet, Mediterranean diet, and many more.

All these diets have their inherent merit and demerit along with tremendous health benefits.

Similarly, there is an Ikigai diet, which is well known in Japan and it has several health benefits along with increasing longevity.

Ikigai meaning

  • Ikigai (pronounced “Eye-Ka-Guy”) which means “Japanese secret to a long and happy life”.
  • Although there is no proper English translation for Ikigai, it embodies the idea of happiness in living.
  • In Japanese culture, everyone has an Ikigai.
  • Fundamentally, Ikigai is the reason why you should get up in the morning.
  • The word, Ikigai originated long back during the Heian period (794-1185).
  • Akihiro Hasegawa in his research paper in 2001 wrote the word “gai” comes from the word “kai” (“Shell” in Japanese).
  • Gai is the key to discovering the purpose, or value in life.

What is Ikigai Diet?

  • The Ikigai diet is the secret of the Japanese diet to promote health and longevity.
  • Ikigai Diet is eaten by the Japanese for centuries which is a plant-based diet rich in dietary fibre.
  • They have a habit of ‘eating the rainbow.’ It includes red peppers, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, and eggplant which offer great color and variety. In vegetables, they include potatoes, legumes, beans, and soy products such as tofu.
  • Grains are the foundation of their diet and take fish an average of thrice a week.

How to Find Your Ikigai

For discovering the Ikigai, one must first find out what most passionate about and then try to find the way through which you can express that passion.

What you find at the intersection of the following four lists will be your Ikigai.

  • What you love-Passion & mission
  • What you are good at- Profession and passion
  • What the world needs-Mission & vacations
  • What you can be paid for- Profession and Vacation

Rules of Ikigai

All of us agree that Japan is one of the healthiest countries in the world.

Here I am going to mention some secret rules of Ikigai.

These rules are based on the popular book, “Ikigai-The Japanese secret to a long and happy life” by H Garcia & F Miralles.

  • Stay active; don’t retire- The Japanese people are quite active even during their old age. They keep doing what they love for as long as they can do it and as long as their health allows. Japanese believe in, active mind, a youthful body.
  • Take it slow- Hurry is inversely proportional to life. When we leave urgency behind, time will give a new meaning to life.
  • Don’t fill your stomach (Hara Hachi Bu)– They follow the 80% rule which means while eating once these people notice that their stomach is 80% full they stop eating.  This is one of the reasons why the Japanese look slim and fit as compared to the rest of the world.
  • Surround yourself with good friends-It is said that friends are the best medicine. So one should have good friends for chats, fun and more to remain happy.
  • Get in shape for your next birthday- Take care of your body for a daily activity with proper exercise. If you will not care, it will be spoiled similarly as when water is kept on flowing it remain fresh but when to become stagnant it got spoiled.
  • Smile- A cheerful face not only make one happy but also favor in making friends. Stress is the major accused of killing longevity, so be mindful about reducing stress.
  • Reconnect with nature- Everyone is part of nature, so we should always well connected with nature to recharge yourself.
  • Give thanks- One should thank to their ancestors; to nature, which gives us air to breathe and food to eat; to friends and family, to everything that vivifies your days and makes you feel lucky to be alive. This kind of gratitude brings joy and laughter into life which ultimately increases longevity.
  • Live in the present moment- Stop regretting the past incidence and do not fear about the future. Present is your reality.
  • Follow your Ikigai- Follow your passion and unique talent which you have. It will give real pleasure.


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides a general information only. It is in no way a substitute for trained medical practitioner opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. We do not claim any obligation for this information.

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