Whatever body shape and size you have, it is very important to have a proper diet. Japan is probably one of the best places to find healthy food as most Japanese people are conscious about their health. Food portion sizes at restaurants in Japan are relatively smaller than overseas. They also have special eating habits and dietary practices which they religiously follow. Here are three healthy Japanese dishes that are guaranteed to satisfy your cravings without worrying about weight gain!
Natto is fermented soybeans, a dish not very popular in other countries. It is rich in vitamin K2 which is also known as “menaquinone.” It has possible health benefits related to bone strength and arterial health. It can reduce calcification (accumulation of calcium salts in the body tissue) and blood pressure. In Japan, natto is known as a super food and is primarily eaten for breakfast in the morning.
Most foreign people don’t like natto due to its strong smell and indeed, it is an acquired taste. Though it is commonly served with rice in Japan, it is best eaten with vegetables, scallions, and a little wasabi. You can also serve it with soy sauce and slices of green onions depending on your preference.
Japan has its own version of pickled vegetables called “tsukemono.” These come in a variety of colors and often accompany Japanese meals. It is said that tsukemono was used in ancient times to preserve vegetables and fruits.
There are several kinds of tsukemono you can try such as shiozuke pickles or salt pickles. They are the most popular and the simplest to make. One way of making them is sprinkling vegetables with salt and putting them inside a container with a lid. Some people leave it overnight, while others leave it for months. The longer the pickling time, the stronger the taste it brings out.
Another example of tsukemono is umeboshi or pickled plum. It is often served as a side dish for rice during breakfast and lunch.
Hiyayakko is Japanese chilled tofu. It is a simple dish consisting of chilled tofu topped with green onions, bonito flakes, ginger, mustard, ponzu, soy sauce, etc. Ingredients added depend upon one’s liking.
Tofu is known as a good source of protein, calcium, and iron. It also consists of essential amino acids. Chilled tofu is definitely gluten-free and has low calories. Hiyayakko is also ideal during the summer season as it provides a refreshing taste.
Other health benefits include lowering blood pressure, providing healthy nutrition for weight loss, and serving as a mood booster. It has a lot of reputed benefits and is even regarded as a magical ingredient.
Eating varieties of dishes here and there is definitely fun in Japan. However, there will come a time where you will need to plan your meals carefully, especially when it is related to your health. So keep these three healthy Japanese dishes in mind next time you grab something to satiate your appetite!