Japan is known to be one of the countries with the highest life expectancy. Their culture is rooted in practices of wellness that might seem alien to us but they work! And that’s why we’re taking a deeper look into the practices that support the Japanese in their high levels of wellness and good health.
A low calorie diet goes a long way
If you have a general idea of Japanese food – take the most mainstream one, sushi for example, you will notice that their low-calorie approach to food is quite obvious. For example, the 1975 Japanese diet is made of legumes, fruit, seafood and seaweed. A Low calorie diet is key to reducing your risk of premature aging and chronic illness. They also consume twice as much vegetables and seafood as Americans and are not so big on snacks and sugary treats.
Apart from choosing a low calorie diet, the Japanese culture also places a lot of importance on attentive eating. Small portions with all their attention placed fully on the meal are how the Japanese have been taught to enjoy their meals, which may be why you don’t find as many to-go Japanese restaurants or dishes. The Japanese also have a saying “Hara Hachi Bu” which translates to eat until you’re 80% full.
Tea is their go-to beverage
Japanese tea is very different from Indian Chai. They take theirs with no milk, cream or sugar. The Japanese have a variety of green teas from the mellow gyokuro to the robust hojicha. You may be aware of the various teas and what they support. For example, chamomile tea is excellent for relaxation and sleep, oolong tea regulates blood sugar and boosts metabolism, jasmine tea is loaded with antioxidants and so on. A few cups of green tea a day can make a huge difference to your overall health.
Mindful activity facilitates good health
The Japanese are known to take things slow and prefer walking or biking to places. Commuting by foot means they get extra exercise without even trying and this adds to their health by ten folds. This habit begins from the time they are very young – for example biking to or walking to school and this then grows stronger during adulthood and old age. However, for the Japanese, it’s not just about exercise and activity but also slowing down during those activities. The Japanese culture is rooted in Zen Buddhism and these practices are normalized throughout their society and this has a strong impact on young minds. The practice of “shirin-yoku” means simply noticing what you are seeing, hearing and feeling in the moment. Absorbing and observing without judgement.
The Japanese culture is inspiring in more ways than one and we all have a lot we can learn from them. If you, like most of us, come from a culture that promotes the “hustle”, productivity and a fast-paced life, then you might need a little help shifting your perspective to function and be how the Japanese learn to. Starting begins with yourself, however, if you need a little help reaching that zen state of mind, we have some CBD products and full-spectrum hemp oils that work wonders in getting you there. Check them out!