Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Essence of Japanese Cuisine

The upcoming Healthy Food and Green Festival is not just about new and healthy Japanese products but a celebration of a healthy lifestyle based on basic Japanese ingredients.

Japanese cuisine is generally very low in cholestorol, which is explained by some of the staple foods found in Japan. For example, in almost every Japanese meal, you will find rice that is rich in carbohydrates (good for energy), contains vitamin D, calcium, fibre and iron, and is low in sodium; so it is recommended for people suffering from high blood pressure. In meals that don't have rice, you may find Japanese noodles such as soba or udon that are very nutritious as well. In addition to being rich sources of carbs and vitamins, udon noodles were discovered to have incredible digestive enzymes which dissolve in the stomach much faster than other pastas and noodles, and three times faster than beef.

You are also likely find soy, seaweed, mushrooms, or green tea in a typical Japanese meal. These key ingredients are almost completely free of saturated fats and have highly beneficial nutritional values of their own. Seaweed contains an abundant source of calcium, green tea is rich in antioxidents, and mushrooms provide protein as well as multiple vitamins and minerals. Soybeans are such an important source of protein that it has become ingrained in Japanese cuisine in countless forms like tofu, miso, soymilk, natto, and soy sauce. There is also edamame, which is young soybeans plucked while still in the pod and is one of the few vegetarian-qualified foods that offers all nine essential amino acids.
The benefits and results of Japanese cuisine cannot be argued with. According to the CIA World Factbook, Japan has one of the highest life expectancies worldwide. Japan also has one of the lowest death rates from heart disease. Researchers have attributed these statistics to the fact that instead of a diet of red meat and dairy produce, which are high in saturated fats, the Japanese eat much more fish, which have more polyunsaturated fats, which lower blood cholestorol.

Come to the JapanTown Healthy Food & Green Festival on August 22nd to learn more about how to incorporate these ingredients in your everyday life! There will be a stage for demonstrations, and several healthy food vendors such as Suzuki Farm, Marukome, Kikkoman, Ajinomoto, Souen, Ito En, and Asahi Ryokuken.


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