Research shows that Japanese people have the longest life expectancy rates in the world. The average life expectancy for Japanese women is 85 and 78 for Japanese men.
One of the reasons for the Japanese having the longest life expectancy rates is due to their diets. Research shows that Japanese people eat a greater variety of foods than people who adopt Western diets. For example, recent studies indicate that the Japanese eat over 100 different varieties of food per week, while Westerners, on the other hand, eat only about 30 different types of food.
The types of food that Japanese eat also seem to be a significant factor in their life expectancy. Fresh vegetables such as bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, string beans, mushrooms and cabbage form an important part of their diet. And while red meat is not excluded from their diets, it is only eaten in small quantities. By contrast, fish makes up a big part of their diet and is eaten 3 times more than meat.
Additionally, oily fish such as Salmon, Mackerel and Tuna are main staples in their diets. These types of fish contain important nutrients called Omega Fatty Acids which exert a protective influence over the heart and other organs. These nutrients also help to maintain the health of the reproductive organs, brain and eyes. Omega Fatty Acids also help to maintain a strong immune system as well.
Furthermore, Japanese people eat about 40 times more soy products than Westerners. Soy foods contain an abundance of natural occurring substances which are anti-carcinogens and have been proven effective against breast cancer and prostate cancer. Because soy is a low-fat source of protein, studies indicate that soy consumption can help you lose weight and build lean muscle mass.
Japanese people who stick to their traditional diets also drink a lot of green tea. Rich in cancer fighting substances called anti-oxidants, green tea helps the body to naturally burn fat and cause carbohydrates to be released slowly which promotes the burning of fat.
Although Japanese cooking takes a lot of time to prepare, many restaurants and delis now offer pre-packaged Japanese foods on their menu. So, although you may not have time to prepare it yourself at home, pre-packaged Japanese food is an easy option; as is dining in a Japanese restaurant when you choose to eat out.
On a typical day, a Japanese menu may consist of the following: Breakfast: rice and fish or egg with a bowl of Miso soup. Lunch: braised boneless chicken thigh, onion slices and egg with a bowl of chopped mixed salad. Dinner: Stir-fry mixed vegetables, cashews, bean sprouts and steamed rice. Dessert: Japanese waffle stuffed with sweet red beans.
Over-all, the daily calories of a person following a Japanese diet is about 1400 calories and includes a wide variety of fresh food, meat and vegetables. If you are on a diet, following the typical Japanese way of eating should help you to lose about 1 pound per week and help you to maintain a healthy, longer life as well.