Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to guess the age of a Japanese woman? Yes, good genes could be a factor, but if Japanese culture is still an integral part of her life, then the main elixir of youth may be her diet.
For the past 25 years Asian women have held the world record for living the longest—an average of 86.4 years. Here are some lifestyle habits that might show us why:
Lunch for Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal in Japan. But rather than Grand Slamming their arteries with bacon and syrup, breakfast in Japan consists more of foods we would associate with lunch. A typical breakfast could include a small serving of steamed rice, miso soup with tofu, sheets of nori seaweed, an egg omelet or piece of fish, and a cup of green tea.
The Japanese include a cup of green tea with almost every meal, racking up those antioxidants. Plus, green tea has been shown to aid in weight loss…
Taking Fresh To A Whole New Level
Freshness of ingredients is so important in Japan, that at many markets, food packaging is marked by the half hour. How does this affect the food and your body? Fresher food simply tastes better, has more nutrients, and is more satisfying (so you are less likely to eat more of it… despite the fact that it tastes so good).
Another source of pride in home cooking: presentation.
Forget simply slopping a heaping scoop of food in a bowl and calling that dinner! The Japanese want to highlight the natural beauty of an item, so they abide by these standards:
• Never clutter or fill up a plate
• Items are lightly dressed or garnished
• Meals are served on dishes 1/3 rd the size of American dishes
…You can probably see how these rules naturally prevent over-eating in addition to looking pretty.
35 pounds. That’s how much fish the average person eats per year. But a Japanese woman eats an average of 150 pounds of fish per year. That’s 4 times the amount of healthy Omega fatty acid, crucial for heart health, brain function, and skin and hair moisture.
Not Our Idea Of Carbs
Over-consumption of refined wheat is a major cause of obesity in the states. Japanese women do eat carbs, but instead of portion controlling loafs of bread or pasta, they include about a half-cup of rice with every meal.
Bow Down To Dessert
Japanese women favor fruits and tea for dessert rather than sweet treats. Sweet things like pastries and ice cream are actually respected in Japan for the enlarging power they have on the appetite and the destruction on the body—facts that Americans tend to turn a cheek too while in line at Crispy Kreme. Of course, Japanese do have desserts, they just are much more petite, delicate, and savored. Again, when it comes to sweet desserts, it’s all about presentation- putting together a beautiful little package, one or two perfect bites. And that’s plenty.
If you’re trying to break the longevity record yourself, lose weight, and look great, you don’t need to hunt down rare Asian markets. Just pick up some of these simple, healthy habits in the kitchen.