When I travel I like to learn about what others eat. When I was in Japan I started to fully understand Japanese food and the benefits it brings. I might not understand at first but I’m always willing to try new foods and when I’m in a country I want discover authentic food. Have you ever thought about what you eat on a day-to-day basis and how it effects you? For me I’m always constantly reminded about the choices I make in food and how it effects me. And I’m constantly looking at world diets and understanding what makes them unhealthy or not.
I once watched a Oprah show and there was a special on cultures that the Japanese live the longest. The food that they eat had something to do with how long their population lived. And there was this one island in Japan that had one of the best Japanese diets. Is it really that simple? For people to be healthy, I do believe that what you eat is central and we could learn something from Japanese food.
Ever notice that you rarely see a Japanese person over weight? The reason the Japanese live so long is the food they eat and how they live their lives. The average Japanese male lives for 78 years and the average Japanese female lives 85 years thanks in part to Japanese food.
When Japanese people choose what to eat they choose food that will make them feel good inside and out. It’s not merely to eat something that will taste good but rather something that will be good for them and tasting good is just an added bonus. It’s a way different point of view than most Americans would have.
Japanese food consist of a lot of fish on a daily basis instead of red meat. Fish is high in protein and doesn’t have the high fat like red meat. Fish is easier for the stomach to digest and high in Omega 3 fatty acids. Side note: Not all fish in Japan is served raw. The Japanese actually like to grill, poach, bake and fry their fish.
Japanese love to eat soy and tofu. Soy products help reduce heart disease, high blood pressure, and an excellent source of protein. Fats, meats and dairy products increase cholesterol while soy products do the exact opposite! Something I feel that Americans should know about. Soy also provides adequate protein without the bad side effects. Soy sauce, tofu, and natto (soy beans mixed with raw egg served over rice) are some of the soy products consumed in Japan. Miso Soup is packed with isoflavones, shown to fight specific types of cancer, lower cholesterol and cure intestinal problems.
Japanese food also consist of wheat and buckwheat flour help the digestive process. Japanese people don’t consume starches like American do and wheat and buckwheat flour are much healthier than starches. They use the wheat and buckwheat flour to make noodles.
Ever heard of small portions!! Japanese meals are typically half the size of a western meal and usually don’t have preservatives like in American meals.
Japanese also love their tea and more specially love their Green Tea and Oolong tea. Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which can fight infection, slow aging and destroy free radicals in the body. Green tea is 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times than vitamin E at protecting cells in the body that can be damaged by illness or disease. Oolong tea is a great choice because it breaks up oil in the digestive system and has half the caffeine of coffee. Oh and both these teas are said to fight cancer!
Overall Japanese food is perhaps something you should look into if you feel that you want to live longer and eat better. The Japanese diet is light and lean and have tons of greens, fish, and cancer fighting tea! Travel to Japan and get a taste of one of the healthiest diet in the world. I was surprised of how great the Japanese diet actually is for you and how great it taste!
images by: shawnvoyage, hightiger