Culture/History Food/Drink

Key to longer lives – Part 1


According to Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, life expectancy of Japanese men and women were 81.25 years old and 87.32 years old, respectively in 2018. So why Japanese people live so long..?

Japanese food

One answer to the question above is definitely the food that Japanese people eat on a daily basis. You may think of Ramen, Sushi, and Yakiniku (BBQ) as typical Japanese food but these are not the Japanese food I am talking about here (By the way, Ramen, Sushi, and Yakiniku are very tasty but these are not considered good for your health in Japan). The Japanese food is characterized by consumption of fish and soy bean products and low consumption of animal fat and meat. Based on the research performed by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (“FAO”), Japan’s fat consumption per person was the lowest among developed countries in 2001.

Also, Japanese food includes bean products such as Tofu, Miso, and Natto (a fermented soy bean dish) which are all good for preventing atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. The green tea is a popular beverage consumed in Japan which includes ample vitamin C and green tea catechin.

In Japan, it is believed that a balanced meal has soup, rice, one main dish, and two small side dishes. Every dish is relatively small but contains a variety of ingredients with good nutrition. I must say it is not easy to prepare a balanced meal everyday, but it is worth eating healthy food not just for your body but also for your mental health.

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