Ever wondered why people in Japan manage to stay slim and are typically thinner than us? Well, the secret is that Japanese food culture plays an important role in how people age and stay slim.
We need to mention the Japanese expression of gratitude accompanying meals which can keep us vibrant and youthful. What I’m trying to say is that lifestyle and diet play a big part.
10 Reasons Japanese Women Stay Slim and Don’t Look Old
1. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods such as kimchi, kefir, kombucha, miso, tempeh, and sauerkraut are common issue in the Japanese diet. Fermentation is a process that preserves the natural nutrients in food.
In fact, it creates enzymes, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and numerous strains of probiotics. In this process, natural bacteria create lactic acid and feed on the sugar and starch in the food.
Fermentation aids digestion by promoting friendly intestinal bacteria and breaking down food to a more digestive form, which in turn helps with weight loss.
Moreover, it eliminates heavy metals and other harmful toxins from cell tissue. According to a 2014 study, there is a link between the growth of beneficial intestinal microbes and fermented dairy products.
Japanese people prefer to eat seafood which is not the case with the Americans who would rather eat red meat, which is related to various health problems including high cholesterol, obesity, and inflammatory diseases.
The most common meals in Japan are the noodles, rice, and different types of seafood. Fish and shellfish such as salmon, tuna, shrimp, and mackerel are also extremely popular in this cuisine.
Fish contains high-quality proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and many essential nutrients which are very beneficial for your brain, heart, and other body organs.
Omega-3 fatty acids are especially beneficial for reducing body fat such as abdominal fat. Moreover, seafood can reduce inflammation in the body and it is very beneficial for the nervous system.
Omega-3 fatty acids can also treat various skin disorders including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, acne, melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancer.
3. Eating Smaller Portions
Eating small portions is a significant part of Japan’s culture. Smaller portion can help you lose weight since they make you eat less. Portions may look larger on small plates, which can also make you eat less, thus preventing high-calorie intake and unintentional overeating.
These are the basic foundations of home-cooked food presentation in Japan:
- Fresh is best
- Don’t serve a big portion of any food
- Don’t completely fill up the plates
In order to showcase its natural beauty, foods should be garnished and each ingredient should be arranged in a proper way.
4. Healthy Desserts
Avoiding sweets and desserts is the main reason why Japanese women stay slim. Instead of eating sugar-laden desserts, people in Japan prefer eating fresh fruit at the end of their meal.
Sugar is known as the main cause of obesity in the American population. Moreover, Japanese sweets contain less caramel, refined flours and other ingredients commonly used in the United States.
These Japanese sweets are usually made from healthy ingredients such as fresh fruits, sweet potatoes, and buckwheat flour.
5. Daily Walking
People in Japan walk a lot. Walking is an excellent way to remain fit and slim. It can also improve cardiovascular health, relieve stress, and boost energy and mood. Many people in Japan commute by train and subways since the Japan’s population is heavily concentrated in cities.
In other words, they need to bicycle or walk to the station and back. Besides walking, use of bicycles is also very common. This is another excellent form of exercise.
6. No “Fast Food”
In Japan, it is considered impolite even though acceptable to eat while you are on the go since meal times are sacred periods of energizing your body. This is the main reason why there are no people who eat on the street.
People in Japan do not do anything while eating. In addition, they tend to eat slower, so their stomach will have enough time to process food and signal the brain that it is full.
This is not the case with the speedy binge eating of Americans, which usually results in overeating because it is already late by the time your stomach signals your brain it is full.
7. Cooking Methods
Japanese cuisine is known for using healthy ingredients and healthy cooking methods. To avoid the use of excess oil, people in Japan use raw, simmered, and grilled techniques which aid in preserving the taste and nutrients of the ingredients.
Deep frying food is not very common in Japan. When they cook fried food they are usually served with other dishes so they will maintain the health balance of the meal.
8. Martial Arts
There are many types of martial arts in Japan. Actually, martial arts styles of judo, aikido, and karate can significantly improve the fitness level as well as overall health.
These martial arts can improve cardiovascular fitness and endurance, improve muscle flexibility, and help build muscle strength. Moreover, they can slow the aging process and aid weight loss.
According to a 2013 study, martial art exercise can improve body composition and reduce inflammation in obese premenopausal women.
9. Hot Spring Baths
A hot spring bath can prolong life. This type of bath is a common practice in Japan. It is also known as ‘onsen’. Hot springs possess healing powers and are very beneficial for health because of the water temperature as well as the high mineral content such as calcium, magnesium, niacin, and silica.
Your skin will soak in these minerals and your hydrostatic pressure increases, leading to better blood circulation and oxygen flow. This is very beneficial for your heart and other vital organs.
Moreover, a hot spring bath will relieve stress and promote better sleep, thus improving your skin’s health. Having a hot spring bath two times a month helps Japanese women to stay slim and look young.
10. Green Tea
People in Japan regularly drink green tea. The powdered green tea is made from high-quality leaves which are dried and made into a powder. This powder is mixed with hot water.
Green tea is one of the most beneficial teas. It is a great source of antioxidants that can fight free radicals and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
A 2006 study showed that people who regularly consumed green tea had a lower risk of death caused by cardiovascular disease. According to the study, people who drank 5 cups of green tea on a daily basis had 26% lower mortality rates.