You will find thousands of Japanese restaurants not just in Japan but across the world. Its global prevalence is a testament to how great this cuisine is.
The popularity of Japanese cuisine, though, does not simply lie in its inherently delectable and unique flavors, and visual appeal. Another reason why Japanese cuisine restaurants continue to dominate the food industry is due to the fact that Washoku or Japanese food is also healthier. As such, “eating Japanese” is a big hit among health foodies.
5 Reasons Why Japanese Food is Healthy
Here are five reasons why Japanese cuisine is considered one of the healthiest in the world today:
1. Japanese dishes contain plenty of vegetables
Many Japanese dishes contain a variety of produce. Numerous dishes also highlight different vegetarian ingredients. The reason behind this is that with plenty of vegetables, a dish won’t need a lot of artificial seasoning for flavor.
But in addition to the natural flavor veggies give, you will get more nutrients from such dishes. As a result, you will get balanced meals that will allow you to get the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need to function well and continue to stay healthy.
It is also worth mentioning that there are many delicious vegetarian Japanese dishes that you can choose from. The most popular ones are:
- Zaru Soba
- Nama tofu
- Miso soup
- Shiitake yakitori
2. Nearly every dish contains a variety of ingredients
Aside from vegetables, Washoku does an impeccable job of highlighting a variety of other ingredients. Most dishes contain more than one vegetable which makes them not just tasty but eye-pleasing as well.
And aside from the usual veggies, they also highlight other specialty organic produce and ingredients such as daikon, shiitake, and seaweed. As such, Japanese cooking is naturally low in calories and full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
But even with the variety of vegetables served in dishes, the protein ingredient won’t be overpowered. You will have your fill of chicken, pork, beef, seafood, and other protein when you go to a Japanese restaurant, so you have a nutritionally complete and deliciously filling meal.
3. Seafood is the most popular protein ingredient
Fish is the most popular protein in Japanese cuisine. Many dishes showcase salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and herring which are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids come with various heart-health and mood-boosting benefits.
If you order more fish-based dishes at a Japanese restaurant instead of beef or pork, you will avoid ingesting artery-clogging saturated fat that can lead to obesity and different types of heart conditions.
4. Japanese dishes are prepared through healthier cooking methods
Tempura, kaarage, and tonkatsu are popular Japanese foods that are deep-fried. Since large amounts of oil are used to cook them, they are not exactly the healthiest Japanese dishes to eat.
However, there are many Japanese dishes that are cooked using healthier methods as well. A variety of dishes are cooked by steaming, boiling or simmering, grilling, or pan-frying. They are, therefore, low in fat and calories. Additionally, they retain more of their nutritional content and natural flavors.
Japanese cuisine is also known for sushi. Sushi contains uncooked fish and other proteins while sashimi, a type of sushi, refers to raw fish. Since the protein and other ingredients such as avocado, cucumber, and mango are uncooked, you will get more nutrients from these dishes.
5. Japanese food is served in smaller portions
Japanese dishes are often served on separate small plates and bowls instead of on one big plate. Diners at a table can all take turns having a little taste of everything.
Studies show that eating smaller portions of food is one of the best ways of dining healthily and losing weight. This is because if you are served more, you tend to eat it all, whether you’re hungry or not or if you really want to finish it.
It is also worth adding here that using chopsticks to eat these small portions of food also helps slow down how fast you eat and forces you to take small bites. These, in turn, help with better digestion and the faster assimilation of the nutrients from the food into your body.
Eating healthily can seem effortless if you opt to go to a Japanese restaurant. But you do still have to make mindful dining choices regardless of what and where you eat because it is the best way to stay healthy while enjoying your dining out experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenene Bronwin Batts is the Senior Marketing Coordinator at Tourism Development & Investment Company or TDIC. She oversees website maintenance, PR requests, marketing initiatives and all general guests’ enquiries for the company’s destinations, including KOI Restaurant & Lounge and Boa Steakhouse in Abu Dhabi.