Take cues from Japan if you want to be healthy and live longer

Japan has the lowest obesity rate in the developed world â?? 3 percent versus 32 percent in the United States, according to the International Obesity Taskforce. Many believe the good overall health and long life expectancy rate of the Japanese is due to their diet.

“People in Japan tend to eat smaller portions of healthier types of food,” says Dr. Mark Drucker, medical director of the Center for Advanced Medicine in Encinitas, Calif. “Eating plenty of low-mercury fatty fish, fresh vegetables and limiting red meat and refined sugars all contribute to this healthy lifestyle.

What can you do to reap the benefits of the Japanese diet at home? Here are some easy ideas from Dr. Drucker:

1. Try cultural cuisine
Sushi, a Japanese diet staple, is popular throughout the United States. Many grocery stores now carry pre-made sushi you can buy and snack on at home. Another fun way to enjoy sushi is to make it yourself. Try having a sushi-rolling party with your friends as a fun way to eat healthy and learn about another culture.

Making sushi yourself doesn’t need to be difficult. Pick up a book with step-by-step instructions and a sushi starter kit with a rolling mat. “Good beginner items that pack a healthy punch are smoked salmon, eel and pre-cooked crab and lobster meat. If you’d prefer to skip the meat, there are many vegetarian options. Try adding carrots, cucumber, green onion and daikon radish for a tasty, and healthy, treat,” comments Drucker.

2. Eat fresh veggies every day
Eating more fresh vegetables, raw when possible, is a great way to get many of the health benefits enjoyed by the Japanese people. A general rule is to eat vegetables in a wide range of colors, including dark green produce such as broccoli, spinach, kale and Swiss chard. These all provide high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C, and many are shown to have cancer-preventing properties.

3. Consider a healthy detoxifying supplement
Chlorophyll, the pigment responsible for the greenest plants on Earth, is a central property of immune-boosting, anti-aging vegetables. “Plants require chlorophyll to obtain energy from light, so itâ??s no surprise an ancient alga called chlorella â?? which contains the most amount of chlorophyll of any digestible substance â?? can be called natureâ??s green secret weapon when it comes to its long-term energy effect on human health. Chlorophyll is also one of the few and most effective ways to help the body eliminate mercury,” says Drucker.

As many Americans struggle to reach the USDA-recommended five to seven vegetable servings per day, supplementing your diet with powerful green whole foods can provide a great alternative to fresh vegetables. Much like how Americans regularly take a vitamin C supplement, many Japanese take a supplement called Sun Chlorella to utilize the superfood benefits of chlorella, which contain the widest range of essential nutrients available in any single food source.

Chlorellaâ??s popularity in Japan spans decades, and its health benefits are more than anecdotal. A 2008 human clinical study showed that a daily serving of Sun Chlorella had positive results on several key blood levels and health markers including body fat percentage, serum total cholesterol and maintaining blood glucose levels. This may be the result of Sun Chlorellaâ??s unique pulverization process, which makes otherwise-inconsumable chlorella digestible by humans.

4. Enjoy fatty fish for good health
Most people have heard of omega-3, a good type of fatty acid. Research has shown that omega-3 supports cardiovascular health, immune function, brain health and could even have anti-cancer benefits.

Some healthy fish options that are packed with omega-3s include salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. Visit the Asian food section of your local grocery store to find some Japanese seasoning and sauces and try flavoring these types of fish with them for a truly authentic meal.

“Not only do these types of foods have many health benefits, but they are absolutely delicious and can be made to order,” comments Drucker. “Whether it’s steaming some salmon and veggies or incorporating Sun Chlorella tablets into your daily regimen, I truly believe that taking health cues from a traditional Japanese diet can benefit almost everyone.”

By ARAcontent


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