Almost all Japanese women have perfectly shaped body and they look young, so have you ever asked: why?
It is interesting to mention that Japan has the world’s highest percentage of people who live longer than 100 years.
According to some experts, Japanese food is based upon the principle of health and longevity. Namely, in Japan, food is not exclusively eaten for taste, but Japanese people actually believe in extracting health benefits from their dishes.
Below you can read the top 10 reasons why Japanese women are so slim and don’t look old.
1.Drinking Green Tea
One of the favorite drinks of Japanese people is green tea.
Powdered green tea as called the matcha is made from the leaves with highest quality, which are dried and milled into a fine powder. After that, the green tea powder is mixed with hot water. This type of green tea is used in Japanese cultural activity as a part of the tea ceremony that includes the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha.
The green tea is incredibly beneficial natural potion and it is one the healthiest teas in the world. This delicious tea is high in antioxidants that helps the organism to fight against free radicals and delays the aging process. In addition to that, green tea aids weight loss. Regular consummation of green tea reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.
According to a study conducted in 2006 which was published in JAMA, adults in Japan who consume higher amounts of green tea have substantially lower risk of death caused by cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, this study also showed that Japanese people who drank more than 5 cups of green tea per a day haves 26 % lower mortality rates.
2. Consuming Fermented Foods
Fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and kimchi are part of daily nutrition of Japanese people.
Scientists explain that fermented foods are produced through a process of lacto fermentation. During this process, natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch contained in the food and creates lactic acid. The process of fermentation preserves all of the natural nutrients contained in food and creates beneficial enzymes, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids as well as various strains of probiotics.
It is important to mention that the fermentation process promotes friendly intestinal bacteria and in same time breaks down food to a more digestible form, so this type of food aids digestion, which eventually helps the weight loss. Additionally, the fermentation helps expel harmful toxins and heavy metals from cell tissue.
According to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, scientists came to discovery that there is link between fermented dairy products and the growth of beneficial intestinal microbes. Experts highlighted the importance of findings that non-dairy fermented foods and herbs are incredibly beneficial for the intestinal microbiota, and the reason for that may be an influence on longer-term gut-brain communication.
3. Popularity of Seafood
Japanese people choose to eat seafood rather than red meat. It is important to highlight that red meat is associated with numerous health problems, including obesity, high cholesterol levels in the blood as well as inflammatory diseases.
One of the most common choices for meal in Japan is rice or noodles in combination with different types of seafood. Taking under consideration the fact that Japan is surrounded by sea, fish and shellfish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel and shrimp are very popular in Japanese cuisine.
Probably all of you are familiar with the fact that fish is great for your overall health due to the high-quality proteins, various essential nutrients as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Namely, fish is beneficial for your brain, heart and organs, especially the omega-3 fatty acids which are efficient in reducing body fat, particularly abdominal fat. In addition to that, seafood substantially reduces inflammation in the organism and it is beneficial for the nervous system. Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that efficiently prevent various skin issues, including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, acne vulgaris, non-melanoma skin cancer and melanoma.
You can prepare the fish in many different ways: raw, poached, baked, steamed, grilled or fried.
4. Eating Smaller Portions
Part of Japan’s culture is serving small portions. When it comes to weight loss, smaller portions will make you eat less and thus you will lose the extra weight.
Another secret of eating less food is serving the portions on smaller plates as on this way they look larger. This will prevent unintentional overeating and high calorie intake.
According to some scientists, smaller portions are more important than the type of food you eat.
It is interesting to mention that some of the basic foundations of Japanese home-cooked food presentation are:
Do not completely fill up the plateDo not serve a big portion of any productFresh is best option
The food should be always garnished and each product on the menu should be arranged properly in order to showcase its natural beauty.
5.Walking is a Ritual
Walking is great exercise for your overall health, including for maintaining your weight in the recommended weight range. In Japan, both men and women walk every day.
Walking helps the weight loss, but in same time is beneficial for the cardiovascular health, boosts energy and mood and in same time relieves stress.
In cities in Japan, the population is heavily concentrated and most people use train and subways for transport. This means that they need to walk or to use bicycle to the station and back. In addition to that, pupils walk a good part of the way to their school instead of being dropped off by their parents.
Besides walking, many people ride bicycles and cycling is great form of exercise.
6.Eating on the Go is a Big No-No
In Japan, meal time is sacred period when people energize their body and they don’t eat their lunches “on the go”. Even though it is acceptable, in Japan is considered impolite to eat while you are walking. That is the reason why people in Japan rarely eat on the street or while riding a public transport.
It is interesting to mention that while you are eating in Japan, you don’t do anything else and that means no TV and no work.
Essential part of Japanese food eating are the cleanliness and presentation of food.
Japanese people eat slowly and on this way they give their digestive system enough time to process the food and signal the brain that it is full.
Did you know that chopsticks actually are hindering the amount and speed at which people eat their meals?
Namely, if you eat slowly, your stomach will have a time to tell you ‘enough’, unlike the speedy binge eating of Americans. When you are eating fast, by the time your stomach signals your brain that it is full, it is already too late and the final result is overeating.
7.Healthy Cooking Methods
Japanese cuisine is combination of healthy ingredients and healthy cooking methods. Namely, Japanese people prefer to eat the food raw, or use simmered and grilled techniques and on this way they avoid use of excess oil.
In addition to that, these cooking techniques aid in preserving the taste and all of the beneficial nutrients that the ingredients contain.
In Japan, deep frying food is quite rare. Additionally, when fried food is served, such as tempura, on the plate there are only a few pieces in combination with other dishes. On this way the overall balance of the meal is healthy and aids the weight loss.
8.Practicing Martial Arts
In Japan, different types of martial arts are popular and both men and women practice some of these sports or skills.
Some of the Japanese martial arts styles are karate, judo, aikido, etc, and these techniques play a key role in improving the fitness level as well as the overall health of Japanese women.
It is important to mention that most of the martial arts substantially improve the cardiovascular fitness and endurance, and in same time help build muscle strength and improve muscle flexibility. In addition to that, these arts speed up the weight loss process and slow down the aging process.
According to a pilot study conducted in 2013, published in Clinical Medical Insights: Women’s Health, the martial art exercises significantly improve body composition, favor bone turnover biomarkers and substantially reduce inflammation in overweight or obese premenopausal women.
9.Hot Spring Baths
A hot spring baths are very common practice in Japan which were proved to prolong life. In the local language, a hot spring are called ‘onsen’.
Japan is a volcanically active country and there are thousands of volcanoes throughout all of the major islands of Japan.
There are many scientific studies which have proved that hot springs possess healing powers and are extremely beneficial for the overall health. The reason for that is the specific temperature of the water along with the mineral content like magnesium, calcium, silica and niacin.
While you are relaxing in a bath in some hot spring, your skin is soaked in these minerals and in same time your hydrostatic pressure rises. This improves the blood circulation and oxygen flow throughout the entire body. Improved blood and oxygen circulation are important for your overall health: the work of your heart as well as other vital organs and tissues.
Hot springs aid in reduction of chronic stress and improve the sleep, which is important for the health of your skin.
One of the main reasons why Japanese women look young and stay slim is taking a hot spring bath at least twice a month.
10. Healthy Desserts
Last, but certainly not least, desserts are not an integral part of Japanese cuisine. Japanese women stay slim as they quite rare.
In Japan, people prefer eating some fresh fruit after the main meal rather than sugar-laden desserts. Studies showed that excessive consummation of sugar is one of the main culprits for obesity in the United States.
In addition to that, Japanese sweets contain small amounts of caramel, refined flours and all those fattening ingredients which often are added in the sweets sold in the U.S. In Japan, the sweets are made from healthy ingredients, including sweet potatoes, buckwheat flour and fresh fruits.
When some Western-style sweet desserts are served, Japanese people serve considerably smaller portions.