Japan is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The green mountains, vibrant culture, blue sea, delicious local cuisine, and friendly people make Japan one of the best places to visit. If you’ve taken a trip to Japan or met many Japanese people, one thing that is easily noticeable is how slim and young they look, especially the women. You can easily mistake a 50-year old Japanese woman for a 30-year-old. Japan is also home to the highest proportion of people who’ve lived for more than 100 years in the world.
All these may have you wondering; how exactly do they do it? Well, the following are some of the reasons why Japanese women stay slim and age less quickly:
1. Drinking Green Tea
Japanese women love their green tea. If you walk into any Japanese home, the first thing you’re likely to be offered is a steaming hot cup of green tea. The powdered green tea (matcha) is made from high-quality tea leaves which are dried and ground into a fine powder. The powder is then mixed with boiling hot water to make the green tea.
Green tea is not only sweet but also has been proven to have a wide range of health benefits. It is rich in powerful antioxidants that delay the aging process and helps with weight loss.
2. Consuming Fermented Foods
Japanese women often consume fermented foods such as kombucha, kefir, tempeh, miso, and kimchi. Fermented foods are those which have gone through lacto fermentation, a process through which natural bacteria feed on sugar and starch in food and create lactic acid. Fermentation helps preserve natural food nutrients and created beneficial enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and other probiotics. It also breaks down food into a more digestible form which helps in weight loss.
Unlike people from most parts of the world, Japanese people prefer seafood to red meat which is known to cause various health problems like obesity, inflammatory diseases, and high cholesterol. Since Japan is surrounded by a seafood-rich sea, things like tuna, salmon, shrimp, and mackerel are extremely popular.
Fish is great for you because it’s rich in proteins and omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce body fat.
4. Eating small portions
Portion control is a large part of Japanese cuisine. The Japanese eat smaller portions of food than most other cultures. At mealtimes, Japanese people usually spread their food out in multiple dishes that take up the entire table. Plates and rice bowls are also smaller compared to other cultures. This makes the food seem more as well as makes it take longer to eat. Japanese people also use chopsticks instead of spoons which slow down the speed at which they eat. Eating slowly helps them eat less thereby keeping their weight in check.
5. Walking culture
The most basic form of exercise is walking. Walking is super easy yet very few people, especially in America, walk enough. The Japanese cities and transport systems are structured in such a way that people are more encouraged to walk than take cars. In the cities, trains are the primary means of transport which means people have to walk to the train station and back. Apart from walking, Japanese women love their bicycles with many even using them as their primary means of transport. Having a good walk daily or riding a bike daily boosts energy, improves cardiovascular health, and helps people stay slim.
6. Eating is mostly at specified times
In Japan, it is quite rare to see someone eating a burger or burrito as they walk in the street. Mealtimes are sacred in Japan and are treated as such; no TV, no work, or movement while eating. Although you are allowed to eat whenever you want, eating on the go is considered impolite in Japan. This helps them avoid overeating which helps them remain slim.
7. Healthy cooking methods
Japanese food involves a whole lot of boiling, steaming, stir-frying, pan-grilling, slow-cooking and fermenting. Raw, simmered, steamed, and grilled techniques are more preferred because they help avoid the excessive use of oil which promotes weight gain. In addition to helping avoid weight gain, these cooking methods also preserve the taste and nutrients in the ingredients. Deep-fried foods, such as tempura, are rare but when served, there are usually other accompaniments to balance the meal.
8. Eating a Balanced diet
The secret to eating healthy is always ensuring that every meal you eat is balanced. It should have some protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and fiber to aid in the digestion process. Traditionally, Japanese people eat lots of rice, vegetables, and fish. At the end of the meal, they prefer eating fresh fruit instead of sugar-laden desserts like ice cream that will only make you fat. Eating such a diet consistently ensures they are only getting beneficial nutrients in the body, not those that will lead to weight gain.
9. Practicing martial arts
In Japan, learning martial arts is more than just a sport; it is the way of life and it is connected to their spiritual practice. Both men and women practice martial arts from a young age. Some styles include Aikido, Iaido, judo, and popular Karate. Martial arts gives the whole body a proper workout that engages all the muscles in the body. In addition to promoting cardiovascular health and learning important self-defense skills, martial arts help Japanese women stay slim.
10. Skincare routines
Japanese women are known for their flawless skin. They don’t get wrinkles as soon as most other women and they also look younger for their age. While genetics are partly responsible for this, they also don’t leave anything to chance. One of the key factors that keep Japanese women’s skin fresh is hygiene. Japanese women use an oil-based cleanser to remove all traces of makeup and balance moisture. Touch also plays an integral role in their skincare routine. Facial Massages are used by many Japanese women to promote healthy blood flow to the skin and stimulate the regeneration of new skin cells.