The Land of the Rising Sun occupies the most honorable place on the world map of longevity. Nutrition plays an important role in this!

What the Japanese eat to live long: 8 secret superfoods (all products are available from us)

Behind the exotic names of Japanese dishes are meat, fish, herbs, vegetables, rice that are familiar to us ... However, in cooking, as in all other areas, there is a fashion. For example, everyone remembers the booms in aloe, spirulina, goji berries, chia seeds, shiitake mushrooms, shea butter, which at various times were declared a panacea “for everything”. But this is marketing, and therefore in our expert review - products are "ordinary", but in fact they have the most wonderful properties, for which they can be endowed with the prefix "super". Meet the champions of the Land of the Rising Sun menu.

1. Tofu (or soy cheese/cottage cheese)

The main dishes of Japanese cuisine cannot do without it. Tofu is a champion in protein, which helps break down bad cholesterol, and magnesium, which activates the production of serotonin (the hormone of happiness).Consisting entirely of vegetable raw materials, namely curdled soybeans, tofu is neutral in taste and smell, but has a unique ability to fill and complement the overall flavor picture of the dish to which it is added. Tofu has virtually no fats and carbohydrates, which means it is a great food " for the heart ". It is recommended to eat no more than 200 g per day. 

2. miso paste

The technology in which soybeans are fermented under the influence of specific bacteria has more than one thousand years. Found: beans fermented in this way, pounded into a paste, give an unusual taste to the most ordinary food and disinfect it, making the food healthy and nutritious. In Japan, miso is called the second bread, along with rice and fish, it is a staple in the kitchen. Miso is the basis for condiments, soups, snacks, stuffed rice balls and many other traditional dishes. Due to its high choline content, miso effectively prevents the accumulation of fat in the liver , which is important for residents of countries where the diet mainly consists of saturated foods, such as in Russia. 

3. Rice and sushi

Millions of pages have been written about sushi! But not everyone knows how to eat them correctly: Japanese wasabi horseradish (which, ideally, the chef grinds on a shark skin grater to achieve the desired effect) is placed on rice under the fish. And then the sushi is dipped in soy sauce on the side of the fish, not the rice! Otherwise, the taste of the sauce overshadows the rest, and even the body receives too much harmful salt contained in soy sauce! 

Sushi is a food rich in gastronomic nuances that deserves the status of a “superfood”. This is a whole philosophy, in Japan there are many schools of cooking this dish. A set of sushi fills the stomach, creates a feast for the receptors, improves mood, while there is no heaviness from overeating. But since Japanese rice is an exotic guest on Russian shelves, steamed rice can be included in the diet. With this method of processing, minerals and vitamins from the bran shell of rice pass into the grain, which makes the product much healthier than the white polished “brother”, the glycemic index of which is quite high. 

4. Ginger

It can be safely called a "superfood" for the unique gastronomic palette that it gives to dishes - a small piece is enough to make the taste of food perceived sharper, brighter, spicier - and for helping the body fight colds, gastrointestinal problems, nausea and motion sickness . The mechanism of action of ginger is something like this: it causes a surge of heat, the production of gastric juice and increased immunity, as immune cells (leukocytes) are activated. 

5. Seaweed

The average Japanese menu contains about 30 types of algae. It is a complex of phytohormones and natural antiseptics, a source of energy and an important tool for maintaining immunity. The substances contained in them fight "bad" cholesterol and improve digestion (some enzymes found in algae help break down fats). According to statistics, centenarians of Okinawa, who regularly eat seaweed, are energetic, get sick much less often, and are physically active even in old age. Without increasing the total calorie content of the diet, algae enrich food with proteins, vitamins, enzymes, minerals and give the dish a unique taste.

6. Matcha

What is it eaten with? And they eat and drink! Matcha is obtained from the leaves of tea bushes, which are specially shaded from direct sunlight 2 weeks before harvest. Thus, there is much more chlorophyll and amino acids in the leaves compared to those that grow under the sun. The most expensive raw material is obtained from the upper leaves of the first collection - young and barely opened. The leaves are steamed and dried, then ground to a powder with a high concentration of polyphenols and flavonoids. And from the powder they make powder, which is called matcha. Matcha tea is a pleasure with a benefit, which is also very Japanese. But matcha can be eaten: the powder is added to soups, rice and even desserts! For example, tiramisu or matcha pasta. But the undisputed leader is matcha fondant with vanilla ice cream, it melts in your mouth. 

7. Noodles

Representatives of Asia traditionally eat a lot of noodles. Why do they stay slim? They know how to cook it right. Ramen soup is a common and beloved Japanese dish made from wheat noodles. Perfectly warms and nourishes. The noodles are cooked on their own (this is a must!), then supplemented with meat, fish or seafood (there are many recipes), as well as seaweed, vegetables, roots, mushrooms, herbs, spices, miso paste. Delicious broth, saturated with aromas and a range of tastes, has great energy and healing power. This is a real superfood. It is very well absorbed and helps to tame the appetite for a long time. 

8. Sesame

White, black, brown - there are many varieties, and it is extremely difficult to collect sesame seeds . Here and vitamin E, and a record content of calcium, and the substance sesamol, which prevents aging. Sesame oil, milk, pasta - all this is tasty and healthy. A tiny grain is fraught with great power and is able to give its "magic" properties to those who will enrich the diet with sesame seeds. About this product, as well as about all of the above, I want to say one thing: eat to your health!