In the last of our posts on how to achieve a healthier lifestyle by switching to Japanese cuisine, we’ll be casting our eye on some of the wonderful healthy eating options we have right here at Japan Centre.
For some time, tofu was chuckled at in the West as “silly food for hippies”, but no longer. People have woken up and smelt the tofu (so to speak) and now can’t get enough of this magical stuff. Even bodybuilders are gorging on tofu to develop their hulking muscles. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of tofu shall we:
- A great source of protein and therefore an excellent substitute for meat
- Contains all eight essential amino acids
- Rich in minerals: iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, zinc and copper – may sound like the ore of a mine, but each of these is great for the body
- Research indicates tofu helps lower bad cholesterol
Tofu options at Japan Centre Online:
Shirataki & Konnyaku
These superfoods from Japan are a more recent explosion onto the health food scene. Konnyaku, also know as konjac, is derived from a special Japanese potato or yam that’s sometimes called ‘Devil’s Tongue’ in English, though we have no idea why. When prepared in noodle form it is known as ‘shirataki‘ in Japanese, which translates beautifully as ‘white waterfall’. Aww, doesn’t that put the names of our grub in Blighty to shame – pork scratching anyone? Anyway, let’s not get bogged down with its seemingly infinite names, this stuff is the SHIZZ:
- Zero fat
- Zero carbs
- Virtually no calories
- Fills you up without fattening you up
- Full of dietary fibre and so excellent for digestion
One of our favourite things about konnyaku & shirataki is its versatility. It has no taste of its own, but will happily soak up whatever flavour you dress around it. Here’s some mega healthy recipes using the yam on everyone’s tongue (including Satan’s apparently):
Some people are terrified of seaweed – they find it slippery, untrustworthy and “too sea-ish”. Japanese however, are not in this category, and chow down on approximately 3 billion tonnes of the stuff a day (we just made up that statistic). We’ve looked before at the different kinds of seaweed that pop up in Japanese cuisine, now let’s look at its health benefits:
- Good for digestive health
- Eating sea vegetables has been linked to having a healthy heart- as seen by the long living folk of Okinawa
- Packed full of nutrients such as iodine and calcium
- Very low in calories
- Strong umami flavour from seaweed leads to feeling fuller for longer
- Helps detoxify the body
These are just some of the many benefits from chomping on sea plants. Cooking with seaweed is also an utter joy, as it tends to be very easy to prepare and you can reap the health benefits straight after. Let’s have a look at some of our Japanese seaweed recipes:
And don’t forget all our great sushi recipes, rolled in delicious, healthy, seaweedy nori.
What seaweed products do we stock at Japan Centre?
Check out our full seaweed selection here at Japan Centre.
And the healthy eating options don’t end there. If you’re a sweet tooth trying to cut down on refined sugar, try azuki sweet red beans used in yummy Japanese sweets and desserts. Other Japanese Centre classics that are great for the body and soul include natto, tea, sesame, shiitake mushrooms, soba noodles and more.