Japanese Diet Tips
The Japanese enjoy the longest life spans in the world. In addition, due to their traditional diets and healthy living practices, Japanese women also experience fewer menopausal symptoms than their American counterparts. Only seven percent of menopausal Japanese women suffer from hot flashes, as compared to 55 percent of women living in the United States*. In fact, there is no Japanese word for “hot flash”. What’s their secret?
- The Japanese diet includes large amounts of soy products such as tofu, edamame, miso, and natto that have isoflavones which act as phytoestrogens to mimic the effects of estrogen. These phytoestrogens – found in most edible beans and not just soy – potentially offset the steep drop in estrogen levels during menopause and help ease the effects of hot flashes and night sweats. Phytoestrogens may also help prevent heart disease and breast cancer, both of which have lower incidences among Japanese women.
- The Japanese diet also includes root vegetables such as carrots, burdock root, daikon radish, and ginger which help improve blood circulation.
- A fatty diet can exacerbate weight gain, another common symptom of menopause In addition, alcohol, caffeine excess sugar, dairy products, meat products and spicy foods – all prevalent in American diets, but not in Japan – rank among the top aggravators of severe hot flashes as well as mood swings.
- Help prevent or improve your symptoms by following a Japanese diet:
- Eat more fish, vegetables, and seaweed, instead of meat.
- Drink non-caloric, antioxidant-rich green tea, instead of sugary soda.
- Snack on rice-based sweets, instead of fatty ones like chocolate or ice cream.
- Enjoy the original taste of food, instead of applying too much sauce.
- Use chopsticks and small plates, chew many times, and sip soup between meals to help your stomach feel full more quickly.
- The Japanese sequence of eating is also anti-aging.
- Soak in a luxurious bath.
View more Japanese age-defying lifestyle and recipe tips on our blog.
* Dr. Lindsey Berkson, “Hormone Deception”, 2001