Start incorporating these Japanese superfoods into your diet to create a much-needed shift.
Given that Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies, we need to take a closer look at the Japanese diet. Let’s explore what superpowers Japanese food has in store, with protein-rich vegetables, fresh seafood, soothing drinks, and some lovely soybeans.
What is a superfood, exactly?
Fruits, meats, grains, and vegetables that are high in “the good stuff” are known as “superfoods.” That implies our bodies will receive plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and fatty acids.
Due to its numerous health advantages, matcha, or Japanese powdered green tea, is at the top of most superfood lists. Matcha has a high natural caffeine level as well as a variety of other nutritional benefits, making it an excellent coffee substitute.
A cup of includes catechin antioxidants, which protect cells from harm and viruses. Furthermore, several studies have found a direct link between green tea consumption and enhanced liver health. Matcha also contains the amino acid theanine, which aids in relaxation and mental well-being.
Your matcha-flavored ice cream, on the other hand, might not pass as a healthful complement.
While daikon (Japanese radish) is primarily water, its nearly non-existent calorie content is ideal for people seeking to shed some pounds. Daikon is a root vegetable native to China and Japan that is high in vitamin C and helps to boost the immune system.
Daikon also includes folate, which aids in the development of red blood cells and is advised for persons who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. It can be eaten raw or chopped into curries for extra flavor.
With natto (fermented soybeans), the soybean scores another point. You can’t refute the never-ending health benefits, whether you like it or not. In Japan, these sticky fermented soybeans are a traditional breakfast dish, especially when served with rice. They contain the recipe for a healthy body.
Probiotics are produced during the fermentation process, which aid in gut health and nutrient absorption. Natto is also believed to improve digestion, strengthen bones, control blood pressure, and reduce weight gain.
4. Soba noodles
Buckwheat flour is used to make soba. Surprisingly, despite its name, it is not a wheat variety. It’s a seed, after all. That doesn’t make it any less nutritious, though, as it’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein.
Soba delivers a constant energy flow rather than hefty carbohydrates that leave you feeling sluggish. Its massive plant components cut cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. For people who are gluten intolerant, it’s also a great alternative to other noodles.
Sashimi (raw sliced fish, shellfish, or crustaceans) offers far too many benefits to be overlooked. Sashimi’s standout quality is omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to keep the heart healthy by lowering cholesterol, delaying plaque formation, and stabilizing cardiac rhythms. Sashimi helps you lose weight by increasing your metabolism and is ideal for a low-carb diet.
Salmon is commonly referred to as a superfood, so eat it in its “natural form”—shake sashimi—to reap double the benefits.
Tsukemono (pickled items) are tucked aside near the soy sauce and seasonings on many Japanese restaurant tables. Bright pink gari (pickled ginger) is a common ingredient in sushi restaurants, and it’s good for both the palate and the gut.
Tsukemono has been utilized as a digestive aid for centuries, thanks to its high potassium content, which helps to keep blood pressure in check, and its high fiber content. To boost your immune system even further, try fermented pickles. The citric acid in umeboshi (pickled plum) has long been touted as a remedy for constipation.
7. Miso soup
Miso is one of many superfoods that have come from the versatile soybean. Miso contains beneficial bacteria that decrease toxins and provide a protective layer as a result of the fermentation process.
It has similar benefits as amazake (fermented rice alcohol), which is supposed to be good for the intestines and promotes cognitive health, thanks to beneficial plant chemicals and the usage of koji (a type of mold).
Tofu is a member of the soybean superfamily and is frequently seen floating in miso soup. This bean curd is made from crushed, boiling soybeans and is high in vital amino acids and protein, making it an excellent vegan option.
Tofu lowers cholesterol and lessens the risk of heart disease, and it’s especially good for women with hormonal difficulties because of its high estrogen level.
Yuzu is a citrus fruit from Asia that tastes like a mix of grapefruit, lime, and orange. It is high in vitamins A and C, which aid to promote blood flow, cognitive health, and skin ageing.
Yuzu’s true potency comes from its aroma, which is thought to alleviate anxiety and stress. Taking a yuzu bath, especially during the winter solstice, is thought to protect you from developing a cold in Japan.
10. Zakkoku-mai rice
While white rice isn’t exactly the healthiest option, there are options like zakkoku-mai, which is rice combined with beans, nuts, and grains. If you only need a bowl of rice to accompany your meal, make it this fiber-rich addition that assists digestion and aids weight loss.