Healthy Japanese Food Staples

During my 25 years of business travel outside the US, I visited Japan quite a few times. After the business day was over, I was invariably treated to a delightful evening meal by my Japanese hosts.

What impressed me most about Japanese food is how unique it is, not only in the food items, but especially in the delightful flavors I was exposed to.

It was only after retirement that I became interested in diet and nutrition. It was then that I became aware of how healthy the traditional Japanese diet really is.

In this short article, I will only cover a few of the staples of the Japanese diet that would be an excellent nutritional experiment to anyone wanting to improve their usual diet with some healthy Japanese staples.

For some, it may take a bit of time to become used to the different food tastes and textures. Your taste buds may be surprised at the difference in tastes from what you are used to eating.

However, it will be well worth your time and effort to let your taste buds become used to the different tastes so you can enjoy the health benefit from this delightful cuisine.

Some Staples of the Japanese Diet

You will find a number of different food items that will come up at each meal.

Many believe, including nutrition experts, that it is not only the foods themselves, but also the way they are prepared that contribute to the high levels of health and longevity of the Japanese people.

Rice

Everyone knows about this Japanese staple. Rice ranks at the top of the list of Japanese food staples. There are several varieties, but perhaps one of the most famous, and delicious is sticky rice.

The basic staple of any meal must be rice. It’s essential to satisfy the Japanese appetite. Although white rice is not as healthy as brown rice, this basic staple is prepared without any unhealthy additives. So if you can get organically grown rice, you will still be ahead of the game, health-wise.

The Japanese enjoy the full taste of rice without distorting the flavor by adding salt or butter. The rice will usually be steamed. While you are getting used to the true Japanese cuisine, you may want to add a small amount of broth to the rice, but not oil.

Fish

Fish is a very important staple. The Japanese will eat fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s just as important as rice.

From a nutritional point of view, fish provides omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are important contributors to good health. They contribute to maintaining a healthy heart and boosting the body’s immune system.

Fish may come to the table in a fillet, or served whole. To most Westerners, the idea of eating a whole fish with guts included would not seem very appetizing. But eating a fillet of fish will provide the same nutritional benefits.

The amount of fish in the Japanese diet far outweighs the quantity of red meat. This is probably due to the scarcity and cost of red meat. However, the side benefit is the considerable reduction in animal fat consumed by the general population.

Vegetables

Vegetables are very beneficial in anyone’s diet. Commonly served steamed or in soups, vegetables can be consumed pretty much in any quantity desired, and still be healthy.

You can’t overeat vegetables, from a calorie 日本健康食品批發 point of view. Vegetables go great with rice, providing a delicious, healthy combination.

In order to come closer to a traditional Japanese meal try seaweed, which is very tasty, but will probably require a bit of time to get used to. Lotus root and bamboo shoots will be easier to adopt, taste wise.

Soy

Soy is consumed in fairly large quantities in the Japanese diet. Soybeans in pods are used as snacks. They can also be stir fried to be eaten with rice, and also added to salads.

Soy provides plenty of plant protein, minus the adverse effects of meat protein which always includes a measure of unhealthy fats.

For a more exotic taste, you can try a soup like miso which contains a fermented soy pate.

Soy can be found in many dishes, from main courses to desserts.

Conclusion

Based on what we have reviewed, you can gain an appreciation of the advantages of the Japanese cuisine from a health stand point. So much of it is based on plant food which contributes to healthy nutrition.

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