How do Japanese women manage to look 10, 20 or more years younger than their real age? Maybe they are regarded the most beautiful women by so many around the world because they have a beauty gene? These women have lit-from-within, wrinkle-free, and blemish-free complexions. Where does it come from? The secret is hidden in the food they eat. The Japanese diet is one of the most beautifying in the world. Low in bad fats, rich in omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins, they eat well and the results are clear to see.
Japanese women are some of the most weight-conscious in the world. The female obesity rate in Japan is about 3%, compares to 36% in USA, 23% in the UK, 24% in Australia, and 14% in Germany.
The traditional Japanese diet is rich in rice, vegetables, mushrooms, fish, seaweeds, products, and green tea.
As a cereal grain, rice is the most widely consumed staple food for Japan that eaten with no butter or oil. A low-fat complex carbohydrate, rice provides the body with a quick boost of energy. It’s also a filling food that leaves less room for other things resulting in eating less.
100 Grams of rice contains 80g of carbohydrates, 7g of protein and lots of group B vitamins. It also rich in essential minerals: calcium – 3% daily value, iron – 6%, magnesium – 7%, manganese – 52%, phosphorus – 16%, potassium – 2%, and zinc – 11%.
Geishas wash their faces with boiled rice water that helps with the skin elasticity and gradually lighten the complexion. It’s an old trick used to keep their skin bright and fair. Even if you are not a geisha, you can do the same.
Like rice, noodles are another staple. The Japanese make noodles not only from wheat, but also from mung beans and buckwheat (soba noodles).
Fish and Seafood
The Japanese annually consume more than 70kg of fish per person. This is compared to 26 kg in Western Europe and a mere 7kg in the United States. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is also an excellent source of low-fat protein, vitamins and minerals (calcium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, potassium, iodine and magnesium). Making fish your routine weekly menu item will turn you into a glowing gold fish, and it will be totally worth it.
Miso soup, edamame, tofu, and natto beans. The Japanese consume an average of 50 grams of soy per day compared to less than 5 grams for the average Westerner.
Seaweeds (such as Kombu, Wakame and Nori) contain high amounts of minerals, fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and pantothenic acid and riboflavin. Seaweeds contain skin-enhancing nutrients, proteins and detoxifying acids that help to draw out impurities and protects against free radicals.
Brassica is a genus of plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) that include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, and turnips. Brassicas are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. At the same time these vegies act as a broom in your body. Comparing to the Western diets, the Japanese diet contains about 5 times the amount of Brassica vegetables.
Being a low-calorie but rich nutrition food, mushrooms invigorate the immune system. Though neither meat nor vegetable, mushrooms are known as the “meat” of the vegetable world. They can be eaten cooked, raw or as a garnish to a meal. 100 Grams of mushrooms contain higher than 20% of the daily value (DV) of B vitamins, essential minerals, selenium (37% DV) and copper (25% DV). It’s also a good source (10-19% DV) of phosphorus and potassium.
Why green tea? Both green and black teas come from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis tea bush, and how these leaves end up – green or black – depends on how they are processed after being picked. Black teas are made by undergoing varying degrees of fermentation, from several months to many years, whereas Green tea is made from tea leaves that are simply steamed and dried soon after harvest. Usually, fermentation is an open-air oxidation process which alters the nature of tea’s antioxidants, its aroma and colour. Green tea maintains the maximum possible amount of catechins – tea’s important antioxidants responsible for its many health benefits. The Japanese drink green tea a few times a day, and their tea ceremony is an important one – not only for the nerves, but for the skin.
Tricks of Chopsticks
If you’ve ever eaten with chopsticks, you know that they pick up much less food than forks and spoons. Smaller bites result in more efficient chewing and better digestion. But not only that: using chopsticks slows down the entire eating process tricking the brain by giving it time to realize that the stomach is getting full; therefore you eat less. However, you can finish one hamburger in a minute and still feeling hungry.
Balance and Moderation
Since Buddhism arrived to Japan from China in the 6th century, the dominance of five colours – white, black, red, green and yellow – has been a tradition. The Japanese believe that these five colours have to be included in every meal. Indeed, this practice will help you serve balanced and healthy menu: white rice, black sesame seeds, red tomatoes, yellow omelet, and green beans boost the nutritional value of the dish. Each dishe is served in modest-sized portion to ensure dining satisfaction.
Last but not least: if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your face
From generation to generation, Japanese women consider beauty simple, natural and edible. If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin – is their golden rule and well learned habit. As skin is porous, anything you apply on it will be absorbed within minutes and end up in our blood stream.
Remember, lasting beauty is a lifestyle, not a project, and alas there are no shortcuts.