Here are 5 Japanese secrets to a long and healthy life that any of us can follow.
Japan is the country with the largest per capita population over 100 years old in the world. Arguably, part of the reason Japanese live longer is genetics, while others depend on their diet and lifestyle. These factors are especially important because they not only help prolong life but also reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
If you’re not Japanese but want to live a long and healthy life like them, here are 5 secrets of Japanese culture.
1. Eat kelp
Plant-based foods have long dominated the Japanese diet, with seaweed being the most prominent. There are many forms and nutrients of Japanese seaweed, but what they all have in common is that they all contain a variety of minerals, such as iodine, copper, iron, as well as substances such as antioxidants, protein, and fiber. Others. Nutrition. Beneficial omega-3 fats (also abundant in fish).
For Americans, nori is the most familiar seaweed, a type of seaweed used in sushi rolls or dried and sold as a packaged snack. Instead of cookies or chips, you can eat seaweed snacks. For a twist, try seaweed salad, which is usually made with wakame, a type of seaweed also used in soups.
2. Eat more seafood
A distinctive feature of Japanese healthy eating is its focus on seafood. Japan has one of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world. Middle-aged Japanese men have less cholesterol buildup in their arteries than their American counterparts. The main reason is that they eat a lot of seafood.
The Japanese eat about 85 grams of seafood per day, or nearly 31 kilograms per year, while the average American eats only about 7.3 kilograms of seafood per year.
Fish and shellfish, in particular, are high in protein and low in saturated fat. Also, one essential nutrient in this food group is omega-3, but the amount depends on the type of seafood you eat.
Eating seafood twice a week not only improves heart health, it also promotes brain health and better mood regulation.
Usually, seafood cooks quickly, and most seafood that can be grilled, steamed, or fried is a delicious and very healthy dish.
So you can add different types of fish and shellfish to your menu and eat them more often.
3. Drink green tea
Green tea is considered one of the healthiest drinks, and drinking green tea every day is an indispensable habit in Japan. Green tea is rich in polyphenol antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage, thereby preventing chronic disease. In particular, green tea supports the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, neurotransmitters that help boost immunity and improve mood.
Unsweetened green tea is a delicious and well-loved beverage. Alternatively, you can add green tea to smoothies, oatmeal, or even brown rice.
4. Eat only 80% full
The Japanese have a dietary rule called “hara hachii bu”, which means eat until you are 80% full. With this rule, you’ll eat until you’re full, but you still have room in your stomach. Essentially, it’s a form of eating that must meet the body’s needs without being too full.
To practice this rule, first regulate hunger and satiety. You may be asking yourself, “How hungry am I?” At the beginning of a meal, this determines and guides how much you need to eat.
After a meal, you can ask, “Do I really like this?” or “Am I so hungry that I need a few more bites?”.
Also, you should get into the habit of eating slowly, turning off electronic devices, and limiting unnecessary distractions while eating. These can help you meet your body’s calorie needs and feel more excited about your meal.
5. “Forest Bath”
In Japan, “shinrin-yoku” or the practice of bathing in a forest or enjoying the forest air is considered a natural remedy. Rather than going out for a walk or a run, this practice focuses more on mindfulness and being close to nature.
When you are in nature, you use all your senses, like feeling the wind or the sun on your skin, seeing the colors of trees, hearing the movement of leaves. This relaxes the mind and body and has the same effect as meditation.