The healthy diet followed by Japanese people is said to be the secret behind their high life expectancy. The people strongly believe in leading a healthy lifestyle which automatically results in a longer lifespan. The food is one of the core reasons, along with tea playing a significant role in the dietary routine.
Food: Rice, Sushi & Noodles
In Japan, almost everyone makes it a point to consume home cooked meals. These meals include fresh ingredients that are cooked in a manner to keep all the nutrients intact. It is interesting to note that maximum people prefer restaurants serving authentic Japanese food over foreign burgers, fried chicken or pizza places. The restaurants also ensure to serve traditional cuisines (which are very healthy) prepared with absolute perfection. Let’s look into some popular Japanese delicacies.
- Rice with Miso Soup: The day most commonly begins with steamed rice and miso soup. The ingredients of miso soup vary depending on mood, seasons and individual choices. Dried tuna, dried kelp, tofu, miso paste, wakame (seaweed), and, spring onion are most often simmered in a pot of water to make miso soup. Miso paste being fermented contains good bacteria that help to keep the gut strong & body healthy.
- Sushi: People frequently confuse Sushi with Sashimi. Both are two different Japanese cuisines. Sashimi is small pieces of raw fish. Sushi has many variants, with Nigiri-zushi and Maki-zushi being renowned globally. Maki-zushi is the sushi roll where a dark green leaf (nori seaweed) wraps some sticky rice with cucumber or tuna fish in the centre. For sides, sushi is usually served with soy sauce and pickled ginger. Sushi is a low calorie and nourishing food.
- Noodles: Japanese people enjoy 5 types of noodles known as- Soba, Udon, Somen, Ramen, & Yakisoba.
- Soba is made of buckwheat and is considered the healthiest noodle variety. It features an exclusive brown colour, strong flavour and thick texture.
- The dense chewy Udon is made of wheat flour. To enhance its bland flavour, it is served with vegetables, pork, fried toppings or in broths.
- Somen is tastes like Udon but is thinner and mostly served cold during the summer season.
- Ramen noodles are thin, made of wheat and always served hot in diverse broths.
- Yakisoba tastes like ramen and is served as fried noodles.
The Japanese are more acclaimed to having a wholesome meal. The chief dish is accompanied by a host of healthy sides including vegetable soup, fish, pickled veggies, raw/grilled seafood etc. Furthermore, their heavy tea drinking habit is also designed keeping in mind beneficial properties. The assorted tea leaves contain medicinal properties while the lukewarm water aids in the daily water intake!
Another advantageous habit adopted by the Japanese is that they use the exclusive & safe walking and cycling lanes for their daily commute to schools/offices. It helps them stay fit while saving gym hours. This explains why Japan has the lowest obesity rates in comparison to the world.
The Japanese diet and lifestyle choices are truly impressive!