With an intelligent and healthy culture, the Japanese stand out among other societies for their optimal health. The unknown that arises is: how do they become like this? Is it genetics or acquired habits?
In addition to having a healthy routine, one characteristic of the physical identity of the people of the Land of the Rising Sun is that most of them have a slim figure. Even, according to data from Japan’s Ministry of Health and Nutrition, it is one of the countries with the lowest obesity rates in the world. 3.5% Other countries such as Germany, France and Italy range between 21% and 22%, the United Kingdom at 26% and the United States, at 33.6%, compared to other countries.
However, it is important to note that the traditions and culture of the Japanese country, as well as the laws passed to combat overweight, have greatly helped its citizens maintain good physical condition.
It was in 2005 that Lei shku iku for the purpose of educating children Creating a social culture around food. The law focuses on diet, the daily diet of Japanese children, and their education: schools are required to offer healthy menus for school-age children. These values are instilled from an early age and thus they reach adulthood with a greater awareness of what is healthy for the body.
“Okinawa – a Japanese prefecture comprising more than 150 islands in the Sea of Japan – is a clear example. It is considered a Blue Zone. ,One of the places in the world with the longest-lived population of over 100 years of age—due to the longevity and excellent cognitive and health conditions of its residents. It has a special climate, natural resources and a different mindset that recognizes the importance of nutrition as well as its impact on health”, highlights nutritionist and director of Nutrim Mariana Patrón Farias.
for expert, The reasons for this phenomenon are due to multifactorial factors. “You have to look at the Japanese in their social, biological, ecological and cultural environment because we are all integral beings and it takes the right perspective to understand how they live like this.”
The customs of the Japanese are very diverse and include everything from eating habits to various types of physical exercise and hot baths. Among them are:
1. Mindful eating
The Japanese eat easily digestible foods. No.or they eat too many industrial or chemical products, They also prefer natural and raw foods during the summer months. The most commonly chosen are rice, fish, shellfish, vegetables and hot vegetables and infusions.
Since the Japanese were born, they have followed a healthy eating routine that is characterized by being low in calories and low in fat, where traditional medicine plants and herbs such as turmeric predominate and foods of plant origin. materials play a major role.
Ultra-processed, refined sugars or trans fats have no place in your diet. “If we compare with our western choices, where bovine meat and animal fats (in cheese, butter, cream, pastries etc.) are predominant and where there is an increased consumption of extra sugar and extra salt and all kinds of ultra-processed foods. Joiner… It is clear that the Japanese get more nutrients from their diet, and this contributes to the preservation of health and well-being for as many years as possible.Patron Farias explains.
2. Har Hachi Bu Method
Hara hachi bu is a Confucian teaching that instructs people to eat until they are 80 percent full or full. When one feels a certain sensation of satiety. This way, they feel satisfied and don’t need to eat as much as in other countries where culturally they eat until they “can’t take it anymore”.
“I think that More than a form of diet, it is about thriftiness and the respect we hold towards Japanese food for eating the essentials. and the thoughts we carry with others so as not to fill ourselves when others have a hard time”, explains Monica Hashimoto, Licensed in Journalism and Communications and former editor of a magazine for the dissemination of Japanese culture in Argentina Alternative Nikkei.
3. They don’t go to the gym
The Japanese are not used to extreme training routines, as is more common in the West. they practice moderate- or low-intensity physical activity such as daily walking, yoga, or stretching, However, Hashimoto points out From a young age, they are taught physical exercise, which is known as sports competitions. “Undokai” And this “fixes” -Gentle and relaxing exercises that explore greater dimension in movement – performed every morning in schools and in the workplace. “They also use bicycles for transportation, especially by mothers to go shopping or take their children to school. In general, they are not fans of gyms,” explains Hashimoto.
George Ohsawa, Japanese philosopher, created macrobiotics – a philosophy of life based on diet, exercise, meditation and the energies of yin and yang. It is based on eating, living in harmony and seeking balance of the body. To comply with this, the food consumed—preferably organic and seasonal products—must follow the biological and physiological application of the yin and yang principle, according to which everything It is balanced by these two forces, in each case, a definite proportion. It is divided into whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, barley, buckwheat or quinoa (between 40 and 60%), fruits and vegetables (between 20 and 30%) and animal products and derivatives (10 and 25%).
5. Hot Bath
this activity Helps the body burn calories and increases the metabolic rate According to a study published in 2017. These are called immersion baths ‘to open’ And yes, this is the most common method of sanitizing in Japan. It is not done for any specific purpose, rather doing so brings all the benefits that are knownFrom relaxation, skin hydration and detoxification, Hashimoto says.
On the other hand, and returning to the issue of food, Hashimoto comments that although it is common for the Japanese to be healthy with these mentioned habits, they do not do this to stay fit. “for me, It has a lot to do with genetics and lifestyle. This allows us to eat healthier and enjoy the benefits of seasonal food and more nutritious and delicious dishes”, he concluded.