It is common knowledge to note that Japan is probably the country with the healthiest lifestyle. If you notice, almost everyone is slim and fit. It would also help to note that their life expectancy is 83.7 years according to the World Health Organization, the best life expectancy of any country out there.
So what do you think are the reasons why the Japanese live a longer and healthier life than the rest of the world? It could be the genes, but that’s not the only reason there is. On this article, we are going to share with you ten of the best Japanese daily health tips that keep them fit and well.
Follow a Strict Seafood Diet
It is worth noting that the Japanese love to eat seafood, especially fish. It is evident in their staple cuisine – the sushi. As a matter of fact, Japan is one of the top three countries in the world in terms of the consumption of fish. Consuming fish could help lower the risk of having any heart ailment by 36 percent. The omega-3 fatty acids present in most fish could prevent inflammation.
There are other seafood meals that the Japanese consume aside from the fish. The Japanese consume over 20 species of seaweed. Seaweed is rich in potassium and iodine. It could also regulate hormonal levels.
Light Exercise Could Help You Lose Some Calories
People in Japan do not usually go to the gym for intense workouts as some nations do, but they are still proactive. Walking is one of the best light exercises being practiced by most Japanese. One of the reasons why many of the locals resort to walking is that the cost of cars is relatively high. Walking is cheap and accessible, plus it effectively burns calories and even reduces your stress levels. Other light exercises that could just do the trick would include stretching and yoga.
Add Soy in your Meals
The Japanese rely pretty much on soy, a plant-based protein. Soy has been integrated into their soy sauces like shiro and tamari. Several studies have shown that constant intake of soy could have an effect in terms of weight loss. This is due to the fact that soy protein could influence hormonal levels and metabolic rate, ultimately leading to weight loss. So the next time you try to eat, you could add a little bit of soy sauce. It could help you lose some calories.
Try to Apply Hara Hachi Bun Me
Hara Hachi Bun Me is a Confucian principle that tells people to eat up until they are 80 percent full. As of the recent years, only the people from Okinawa strictly practice such teaching and impose among themselves this habit of restricting their calorie intake. They consume about 1,850 kilo-calories each day.
Research shows that calorie restriction has a significant effect on prolonging life expectancy. This could be the reason why Okinawa has the highest proportion of centenarians in the world with approximately 50 per 100,000 people.
Don’t Forget Your Tea
Tea is one of the most common beverages in Japan. Not only is it culturally significant, but tea also has its health benefits. Green tea, in particular, is very popular throughout the country. Research shows that green tea is packed with nutrients and antioxidants that could help lose weight, improve brain function, and lower the risk of having cancer, among others. In general, drinking green tea on a regular basis could aid in the overall health management of a person.
Always Start With a Soup
Another health tip that you could do is to start every meal with a soup. Eating a low-calorie soup as an appetizer could reduce the total intake during the main course, promoting weight loss. But that does not stop there. To make it more effective, you could make the soup as your meal. It should be noted that eating soup is a good method to lose weight. This is due to the fact that it has a lower calorie content as compared to solid foods and it is filling.
Relax in an Onsen or Sento
Maintaining one’s health does not only involve eating the right kind of food or doing a set of exercises. It could also involve relaxing your state of mind and body. Japan is rich with sento or onsen (traditional public bathhouses and hot springs) where you could plunge your body in and relax. Research shows that bathing in areas like these could help treat skin order and rheumatism, among others. With added meditation while taking a bath, you could decrease or maintain your blood pressure levels.
Try to Eat Konnyaku
You should also try to incorporate Konnyaku in your dishes. This is produced by grounding a part of a konjac plant. In Japanese cuisines, this could be found in dishes such as the oden. It does not have a strong taste, but it has a slight oceanic smell and taste.
Konnyaku has very low caloric content, but it has a high amount of fiber. Hence, this is frequently used as a dietary meal. Its health benefits include detoxification, phlegm liquefaction, and blood stasis alleviation, among others.
Eat Fermented Food
Japanese dishes are rich in fermented food, from their soy sauce to their pickled side dishes called tsukemono. Studies show that fermentation has varied benefits including the strengthening of the immune system and easing of digestion.
The fermentation process of the Japanese involves the fungal agent koji which partially digests the food before it is consumed by humans.
Aside from tsukemono and soy sauce, other common Japanese fermented food involves miso and the bean paste natto. For its benefits to show, you do not have to place a significant amount to your dish. Just the right amount is already enough.
Don’t Forget to Enjoy and Have a Good Time
Finally, do not hesitate to enjoy and have a good time. This is a great health tip that could be taken from the Japanese. Unwinding by means of watching Japanese gag shows or doing karaokes could help release endorphins which help alleviate depression and boost the immune system.
Running is also a good past time. The Japanese do love marathons, so it would not hurt to try one out. Running has been proven to burn calories and strengthen your heart.
Adopting the Japanese lifestyle could be a tall order, especially if you are already accustomed to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. However, if you are open to change, you should give these tips a try. If you start off with a positive attitude, eat just the right amount of healthy food, and enjoy your life as a Japanese would, you will be overwhelmed with the outcomes.
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