Want To Increase Your Lifespan? Eat Japanese Food!
Food in Japan holds a lot of importance and immense cultural value. For a long time, Japanese cuisine was most famous for sushi, but fortunately the rest of the world is now discovering other Japanese delicacies such as chilled soba (thin buckwheat noodles), onigiri (rice balls, usually served with vegetables or fish), Takikomi gohan (seafood and vegetables), to name a few. Japanese cuisine is known for its extremely healthy preparations, which is a major factor for the longevity and relatively disease-free lifestyle of the Japanese.
- Rice plays a major role in Japanese cuisine. Almost every food preparation revolves around rice, which is highly valued in Japan. Since harvesting rice is a labour-intensive task, its importance is taught to each person in Japan since a young age. Delicacies like onigiri, kayu (rice porridge), mochi (rice cakes), sekihan (rice with red beans), senbei (rice crackers), chazuke (rice with green tea, often served with fish) and the famous alcoholic drink of Japan, sake (rice wine).
- While we complain about the fattening ingredients that goes into our favourite noodles or spaghetti, the Japanese found a way to circumvent that problem long ago. They enjoy their noodles in the form of soba (buckwheat noodles) or udon (wheat flour noodles), which is highly nutritious and absolutely yummy. These noodles are usually served chilled with sauces, vegetables, meats and may be accompanied with a raw egg or other topping of your choice.
- Soy beans find a significant place in Japanese food culture. Soy sauce is the most widely used garnish in Japanese cuisine. Soy is also relished in the form of tofu (cottage cheese made from soy milk), natto and edamame, it is a huge source of essential vitamins, minerals, protein and carbohydrates.
- Besides the above foods, fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat and green tea too contribute to the healthy diet of the long-living Japanese. A typical Japanese meal can be considered complete with a simple meal of rice, vegetables and/ or seafood.
- The Japanese cook their food only as much as is needed. Most of their dishes are boiled, seared and even eaten raw if possible. This ensures that all or most of the nutrients within the food are retained and not lost through excessive cooking or frying. Also, the seasoning is minimal, which allows one to enjoy the natural and inherent taste of the food ingredients. Frying is rare; the dish may be pan seared or wok tossed in a little oil, but never deep fried.
- Although Japanese food consists of several courses, the serving sizes are kept small so that one does not over eat. The Japanese are known to practise moderation and adhere to the ‘80% full rule’, which ensures that they stop eating once their stomach is 80% full.
- Presentation is key to Japanese cuisine. Before serving, the food is arranged so cleverly and carefully on the plate that even the simplest preparation turns into a work of art in Japan!
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