I cannot remember the exact day I fell in love with Japanese cuisine. Probably since I first tasted it. With all its spiciness, freshness, and exotic, wonderful flavors, it comes as no surprise that Japanese food is one of the most famous cuisines in the globe and that nearly every city you visit has a Japanese restaurant or food shop somewhere.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of eating delicious Japanese food again. My meal consisted of ten pieces of sushi, five pieces of sashimi, one bowl of Miso soup, four pieces of spicy shrimp tempura, some rice, a whole lot of mixed veggies, and good old Japanese green tea. As usual, I had the time of my life sampling each of the stuff and mixing the spices. I loved it that I was having a great time eating yet feeling that I’m not ruining my diet or harming my heart, because Japanese food is not just tasty – it’s actually a lot more body-friendly than other popular cuisines.
For one, it concentrates on seafood, grains and vegetables – not a whole lot of pork, cheeses, and other fatty substances. I think one of the beauties of Japanese food is that despite its pretty but no-frills look on the outside, it just bursts into flavors once you put it in your mouth. Take a look at the sushi. Technically it’s just fish and rice, seaweed, and whatever you’d like to incorporate in it. Dip it in soy sauce and wasabi and bam! You got one great snack or meal. Yet sushi is more than just delicious, it is figure-friendly due to its generally low-calorie content as compared to your regular burger or pizza. In addition, the nori or the outer seaweed layer of the sushi is very healthy and rich in iodine, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and other micronutrients that help prevent a host of diseases. Plus we all know the healing powers and nutrient content of seafood, which is rich in protein, omega-3 fats, vitamin B-12, and more.
Miso soup, a traditional Japanese soup that is becoming increasingly popular in the West, is another Japanese food packed with health benefits. Made of soy paste and rice, miso soup has been found to be high in sodium protein, copper, and other beneficial minerals. Plus it’s a great accompanying soup to any meal, Japanese or not.
Let’s not forget the health benefits of our good old green tea – authentic Japanese one, to boot. Known to have a high amount of disease-fighting anti-oxidants, green tea is always the perfect soothing beverage to bring down a wonderful, healthy Japanese meal.