Increase Your Lifespan with Japanese Cuisine
Let’s take a look at the culture. In Japan, eating is much like a ritual. Meals are given a definite place in the daily routine. Here, we skip breakfast as a matter of course if we are in a hurry. Fast food restaurants provide the needed nourishment for busy people on the go.
Because meals are part of the daily routine, it is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Japanese meals are served on many plates. Instead of piling food up on one already sizable plate, smaller dishes are used to serve many things. It is almost like a community smorgasbord. Each person can take from a dish and add it to their small plate. You are eating more, but less at the same time.
Now, examine what is on those plates. It is not uncommon for Japanese families to eat what we consider “dinner fare” for breakfast. Soup is not usually thought of as a breakfast item, but they may eat soup and vegetables as part of their earliest meal.
What are the benefits? Well, vegetables are full of vitamins and antioxidants that help to retard the aging process going on in the body. Some choices like burdock (a root vegetable) and bamboo shoots are not usually eaten here but they can be found at an Asian market. Most vegetables are prepared fresh and we can find them in any market: red and green peppers, green beans, edamame, turnips and carrots.
Another difference is the cooking method. Soups and even vegetables are prepared in seasoned broth. The broth infuses the food with flavor so no additional seasonings or sauces are needed. Much fat can be hidden in heavy sauces and creams which also mask the true flavor of the food.
Very little oil is used to prepare the food. A tablespoon may be used for stir fried dishes and it will be healthy oil like canola. Steaming is a preferred method to bring out the flavor without the fat.
When you limit fats and choose foods that are filling and full of fiber, you eat less. You also ingest less trans fats and calories. Vegetables can be eaten all day with very little caloric intake.
Believe it or not but the Japanese tend to live six to seven years longer than most Americans. Why because of the way they eat. Making it routine, adding foods that have less fat and calories and cooking foods that need no additional items to make them taste better are a part of the Japanese culture. Simpler eating may prolong your life and can add a little variety to our everyday meals.