Sushi, sashimi, beef yakitori and ramen noodle soup. It’s safe to say that Japanese is one of our favourite cuisines ever. Moreover, the Japanese diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world and because of this, the Japanese have an average life expectancy far greater than the western world. Our experts explain the health benefits and offer their top tips that you should try for yourself. Here’s 6 IDEAL ways Japanese dining could benefit you.
THE BONUS OF OMEGA 3 IN OILY FISH
As you probably already know Omega 3 is great for you and the human body is unable to make this on its own, so we need to get Omega 3 from our diets. This can be found in oily fish such as salmon.
The UK’s leading nutritionist, Dr. Marilyn Glenville, and author of The Natural Health Bible for Women, explains “Omega 3 oils can help lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease, soften the skin, increase immune function, increase metabolic rate, improve energy and help with eczema.” Nutritionist and Fitness instructor, Cassandra Barns, suggests that if you can, “be sure to eat a good serving of oily fish, such as salmon three times a week.
IT COULD STAVE OFF PARKINSON’S DISEASE
The Japanese diet consists of lots of oily fish and sushi and eating these allows for numerous health benefits. According to the latest research, a protein called Parvalbumin that is commonly found in fish could help to prevent Parkinson’s disease. It has been found that Parvalbumin is able to fire up the immune system by avoiding our digestive juices and passing straight into the blood, it collects up the Parkinson’s protein and prevents any action by acting first itself. Salmon is a great option to get more Parvalbumin into your diet and the Japanese have it in abundance in sushi.
Avocado is often found in the Japanese delicacy sushi, and its skin improving ingredients show another way Japanese dining could benefit you. Cassandra explains that avocado has great nutritional value, “avocado is a good source of vitamin E, which is thought to have several roles in skin health. Similar to vitamin C, it works as an antioxidant so may protect skin cells against damage. It is also thought to help protect the skin from harmful UV rays and have anti-inflammatory activity in the skin where inflammation can often cause rashes, blemishes and acne.”
Mindful eating is a prominent part of Asian dining culture. Amy Wright, an integrative nutrition health coach, working in alliance with itsu explains, “essentially mindful eating is all about reducing stress, savouring the flavours of our food and enjoyinghealthy, balanced portions of food that enhance our lives. Simply stopping to be present in the moment is a mindfulness practice and this is especially pertinent during a meal. In our busy modern lives, we tend to rush our food between commitments, ’stress eat’, skip meals or rarely stop to savour the flavour.
Food is often an afterthought or something we “do” whilst we are doing something else that doesn’t require hands!” Instead of scrolling through your phone or watching TV, switch off and observe your food, savour the flavours, textures, feelings and thoughts that arise in you.”
PROS OF PLANT BASED
A diet rich in plant-based products is really beneficial for overall wellbeing, as well as the planet. Amy Wright describes how “western cultures put meat at the forefront of meal times. Whereas, the Asian diet, that varies between its many countries, focuses on plant foods, vegetables, whole grains, fruit with moderate amounts of lean protein.
Meat is often served as a side element, whilst vegetables, soy products, spices and soups take the main stage.” A vast amount of research points to the health and sustainability benefits of a plant-based diet, therefore being mindful of our meat consumption and exploring new ways to incorporate plant-based protein onto our dinner plates is a great lesson to learn from Japanese dining.
FOOD TO IMPROVE YOUR MOOD
Where sushi and fish are so prominent in Japanese dining so is the vitamin B12 that is found in fish. This vitamin keeps the brain ‘happy’ and reduces the chances of depression, anxiety and brain fog. The fish oils could even help with conditions like psychosis and bipolar disorders.