10 Reasons Japanese Women Stay Slim and Don’t Look Old
Have you ever travelled to Japan or met Japanese people? Well, probably the first thing that has come to your mind is that Japanese people, particularly Japanese women look very young and are so slim. The reason for youthful appearance of Japanese people is their lifestyle and cuisine. Namely, Japanese people prepare their meals upon the principle of health and longevity. It is interesting to mention that in Japan, people believe in extracting health benefits from their food.
Did you know that Japan is home to the world’s highest proportion of people who live more than 100 years? Amazing, isn’t it?
Below we are going to present you the top 10 reasons why Japanese women stay slim and don’t look old:
- Drinking Green Tea
Japanese people enjoy drinking matcha (powdered green tea) which is made from the high quality leaves. The green tea leaves first are dried and then milled into a fine powder and then the powder is mixed with hot water. It is interesting to mention that this form of green tea is used in the Japanese cultural activity, a tea ceremony that includes the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha.
The green tea has a specific taste and offers numerous benefits. According to many scientists, this tea is one of the healthiest teas in the world as it is abundant with antioxidants that efficiently fight free radicals and delay the aging process. Additionally, this tea aids the weight loss. Regular consummation of green tea substantially reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.
According to a study conducted in 2006 and published in JAMA, adults in Japan who consumed high amounts of green tea had asubstantially lower risk of death. This study discovered that Japanese people who drank 5 cups of green tea on a daily basis, have 26 % lower mortality rates.
- Consuming Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and kimchi are part of daily diet of Japanese people.
These foods have been through a process of lacto fermentation during which the natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creates lactic acid. Experts explain that the process of fermentation preserves the natural nutrients contained in food and creates beneficial enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins and various strains of probiotics.
At this point it is important to mention that the fermentation promotes friendly intestinal bacteria and breaks down food to a more digestible form. In order words, fermented foods aid digestion, removes the accumulated toxins and heavy metals from the organism and also speed up the weight loss.
According to a study conducted in 2014 and published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, there is a link between fermented dairy products and the growth of beneficial intestinal microbes. Scientists highlight that the findings that non-dairy fermented foods and herbs can have a positive impact on intestinal microbiota are extremely important as there may be an influence on longer-term gut-brain communication.
- Popularity of Seafood
Japanese people prefer seafood, unlike Americans who prefer red meat. Medical experts explain that red meat is associated with various health issues, including obesity, high cholesterol levels and inflammatory diseases.
Namely, people in Japan combine rice or noodles with different types of seafood. Due to the fact that Japan is surrounded by sea, fish and shellfish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel and shrimp are very popular in the Japanese cuisine.
Fish is one of the healthiest types of meat due to the high-quality proteins contained in it, as well as many essential nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for the brain, heart and organs. The omega-3 fatty acids are extremely efficient in reducing body fat, particularly fat in the abdominal area. Additionally, the seafood has the ability to reduce inflammation in the body and it is beneficial for the nervous system.
It is interesting to mention that the omega-3 fatty acids also promote smooth skin. These healthy fats contained in fish prevent the occurrence of various skin disorders, including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, acne vulgaris, non-melanoma skin cancer and melanoma.
Japanese people prepare the fish in many different ways: raw, poached, grilled, fried, baked or steamed.
- Eating Smaller Portions
It is interesting that serving small portions is part of Japan’s culture. As it is expected, smaller portion sizes make you eat less and thus you can lose weight. Moreover, when the portion is served on a smaller plate it looks larger and that also contributes to less eating. Smaller portions actually prevent unintentional overeating and high calorie intake.
According to some experts, when it comes to losing weight, the smaller portions are more important than the type of food you eat.
Japanese people stick to the following rules:
- Do not completely fill up the plates
- Do not serve a big portion of any item
- Fresh is best
- Foods should be garnished and each item on the menu should be arranged properly to showcase its natural beauty
- Walking is a Ritual
In Japan people walk a lot and according to some, in Japan walking actually is a ritual.
According to medical experts, walking is one of the best exercises that is great for the overall health and in same time helps you to stay fit.
It is scientifically proved that walking helps the weight loss, but also improves the cardiovascular health, boosts the energy levels, improves the mood and helps in relieving stress.
The population in Japan heavily is concentrated in cities, and most people commute by train and subways. In other words, Japanese citizens need to walk or ride a bicycle to the station to go to work and again to go back home. Moreover, instead of being dropped off by their parents, children walk most of the way to school.
As it is already mentioned, besides walking, people also use bicycles to go somewhere and that is another great form of exercise that helps the weight loss.
- Eating on the Go is a Big No-No
Japanese people believe that meal time is a sacred period of energizing the organism and they never “eat on the go”. In Japan it is considered impolite to walk and eat, but still, it is acceptable. So, if you go to Japan you will rarely see anyone eat while walking on the street or while riding a public transport.
In Japan, while people eat, they don’t do anything else – no TV, no cell phone, no work. It is also important to mention that cleanliness and presentation of food is an essential part of Japanese culture.
Japanese people eat slower and thus allow the stomach to process the food and signal the brain that it is full. It is interesting that the use of chopsticks plays important role of hindering the amount and speed at which people eat food food.
- Healthy Cooking Methods
Japanese people use healthy ingredients and healthy cooking methods. Namely, meals of Japanese cuisine usually are prepared with simmered and grilled techniques and that means that there is no excess oil in the dishes. Moreover, these cooking techniques also preserve major part of the nutrients contained in the food.
In Japan, the deep frying food is very rare. Even when Japanese people eat fried food, such as tempura, they eat only several pieces along with other dishes.
- Practicing Martial Arts
In Japan there are different types of martial arts and both, men and women practice some forms. It is interesting to mention that Japanese martial arts styles of karate, judo, aikido and others substantially improve the fitness level and overall health of Japanese people.
The martial arts help build muscle strength and improve muscle flexibility, but in same time significantly improve the cardiovascular fitness and endurance. Most of the martial arts are great for losing weight and also slow the aging process
According to a pilot study conducted in 2013 and published in Clinical Medical Insights: Women’s Health, the martial art exercise is extremely efficient in improving the body composition, favors bone turnover biomarkers (to be more precise increases the bone formation and decreases bone resorption) and also reduces inflammation in overweight or obese premenopausal women.
- Hot Spring Baths
In Japan people often take a hot spring bath, which prolongs life. ‘Onsen’ is the Japanese word for a hot spring. Due to the fact that Japan is a volcanically active country, there are thousands hot spring throughout all of its major islands.
It is scientifically proved that hot springs have healing powers and are extremely beneficial for the overall health. Namely, the hot springs have specific temperature of the water and have a mineral content, such as magnesium, calcium, silica and niacin, which are extremely beneficial.
When you enjoy a bath in a hot spring, you actually soak in these minerals and your hydrostatic pressure rises which boosts the blood circulation and oxygen flow throughout the entire organism. Medical experts explain that better blood and oxygen circulation is extremely beneficial for the heart and other vital organs and tissues, as well. There are studies which indicate that hot spring baths aid in reducing chronic stress and promote better sleep and that is improves your skin’s health.
One of the reasons why Japanese women look young and stay slim is because they take a hot spring bath at least two times a month.
- Healthy Desserts
In Japan, people rarely eat desserts as sweets are not an integral part of Japanese cuisine. Namely, Japanese people prefer eating fresh fruit instead a dessert that is high in sugar. Studies showed that sugar is one of the main causes of obesity in the United States.
The Japanese sweets don’t contain caramel, refined flours and all of the frightfully fattening ingredients which are contained in the sweets sold in the U.S.
In Japan, the sweets are made from healthy ingredients, such as sweet potatoes, buckwheat flour and fresh fruits. Even when Japanese people eat Western-style sweet desserts, they always eat substantially smaller portions.