Why Japanese Diets Might Be The Healthiest In The World (+7 Easy Recipes)

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Matcha tea

Traditional Japanese Dining Tips

Like many healthy cultures around the world, including Ayurvedic and Chinese, the custom of dining in Japan comes with some traditions that have their fair share of health benefits…

Eat With Your Eyes

If you’ve ever been to a Japanese restaurant, you probably would have marveled at the attractive presentation of the food, served in small portions and on little dishes and plates. This lower-calorie way of eating with perfect portion control enables you to enjoy your food before you even start to eat it. Without even realizing it, you will automatically slow down your eating and enjoy the experience, giving yourself time to realize when you are full.

Japanese food

Love Your Vegetables

Vegetables should be exciting – not a necessary afterthought as has become the norm in the Western world over the decades. Traditional Japanese cuisine celebrates vegetables and turns them into rainbow-colored masterpieces in every meal. Red and green peppers, beans, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, spinach, bamboo shoots, onions, beets, turnips, radishes, shiitake mushrooms, sweet potato and seaweed are just some of the staple veggies enjoyed by Japanese diners. Vegetables appear in breakfast, lunch and dinner meals, in everything from soups and broths to salads, stir-fries and steamed sides.

Japanese vegetables

Quality, Not Quantity

Fish is an extremely central part of a traditional Japanese diet, but meals aren’t dominated by meat or fish – they are a small part of the overall meal. With that in mind, it is easier to afford good quality, fresh and healthy fish, because you don’t have to buy pounds of the stuff. Some Japanese favorites include salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel – all of which are packed full of omega-3 fatty acids. Because Japanese diets are so rich in fish, they are very low in red meat, which is something many Americans get too much of.

fish

Enjoy The Soy

Although soy products have had their fair share of negative publicity in recent times, they can be extremely beneficial when eaten in moderation – especially if you’re not eating red meat. Natural soy products like tofu and edamame beans are full of protein, but without the saturated fat you’d find in red meat.

soy

Recipes

Try these simple and delicious traditional and modern Japanese recipes at home…

Homemade Sushi – We’ll start with this one because, let’s face it, it’s probably what you’ve scrolled down the page for! Every sushi lover wants to master the art of creating the perfect roll that won’t fall to pieces when you pick it up with your chopsticks (or fingers)! This excellently explained step-by-step guide will get you over the line after a bit of practice, and you will be sure to impress your guests at future dinner parties.

Making sushi

Spicy Tofu Sushi Bowl – If you can’t be bothered fiddling around with homemade sushi or want to change it up a bit, try this sushi bowl instead. It has (pretty much) all the same nutritious ingredients, without all the rolling. This sushi bowl features cauliflower rice, which is a great option for people cutting back on carbs. It also has some Japanese favorites, including seaweed and pickled ginger.

Miso Soup For Beginners – One of the most well-known and traditional of Japanese recipes is miso soup – often served as a starter in Japanese restaurants. Miso is a paste made from fermented soy beans and this soup is a broth made from that paste, along with some other ingredients, including tofu, seaweed, noodles and shiitake mushrooms.

miso soup

Okinawan Stir Fry With Bitter Melon, Sweet Potatoes And Turmeric Poached Eggs – We had to include a couple of Okinawan recipes in our list, and this one includes their famous purple sweet potato! Packed with nutrient-rich ingredients, including turmeric and bitter melon, as well as protein-rich eggs and tofu, this quick, easy stir fry is a great one to add to your list when bitter melon is in season.

Sweet Potato Soup With Curry Portabellas – This creamy gluten-free soup is yet another quick and easy creation that is packed with flavorful, wholesome ingredients. This one also features the purple Okinawan sweet potato to make for a beautiful colored dish!

Matcha Latte – We’ve already gone over the powerful health benefits of matcha powder. This latte recipe is delicious and creamy, and makes the perfect morning alternative to coffee if you’re trying to cut back on caffeine. The warming and energy-boosting drink is full of antioxidants and will start your day on a positive note!

matcha latte

Matcha Green Tea Smoothie With Peaches – Sticking with the matcha tea (because it is so good!), this fruity smoothie offers a different take on the green powder, and it’s a great option for summer when a warming latte might not seem so appealing. Not only does it have tasty matcha and peaches, but it also features spinach, banana and pistachios for the ultimate healthy booster.

P.S. Take a look at the 5 veggies that boost female metabolism and burn off lower belly fat.



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