Focus on Nutrient-Dense Foods
Because the traditional Japanese diet is focused on balance, so-called empty calories—high-calorie foods that have little nutritional value—rarely make an appearance. Instead, every component of the traditional Japanese meal provides some necessary nutrients. Consuming vegetables with every meal, including breakfast, makes for a diet rich in fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamins A, B, C, and E. The generous use of seaweed and fermented ingredients, as well as regular drinking of green tea and sake, provide antioxidants that protect cells from damage and promote healthy aging. Even plain steamed rice, which has been unfairly maligned as “empty calories” in some Western cultures, helps with digestion and keeps you feeling full and energized.