Has anyone ever noticed that the Japanese women have particularly nice skin? Well, I decided to do a little research myself about how to achieve glowing skin through diet. However, none of the food that is recommended is Japanese but all can be found in Japan so that’s good enough for me. According to Lacy Drayer, MA, RD, who wrote “The Beauty Diet”, there are ten foods that we should eat that will lead to healthy, glowing skin. And luckily, all of these foods are accessible in Japan. The Japanese believe they have the healthiest diet in the world and although many parts of their diet are very healthy, there are also a lot that is not. A lot of Japanese food has a high sodium content (which can lead to stomach cancer (of which Japan has one of the highest rates in the world) and high blood pressure) and things like white rice, have basically no nutrition whatsoever. The high carbohydrate content of white rice will make your blood sugar rise up and then crash not long after you eat it, making you crave another carbohydrate fix. So if you eat white rice, you should pair it with lean protein and vegetables to make it more balanced. Even better, switch your white rice with brown rice. Brown rice is much healthier and contains fiber, which will help to regulate your blood sugar levels. Here are some other things you can add to make your diet healthier and many of them can be found just around the corner, at your local Japanese supermarket.

1. Salmon, preferably wild salmon.A lot of salmon in Japan has been raised on fish farms so it’s not as healthy but it’s still better than not eating any salmon at all. Salmon, is chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation, keep our cells supple, and help our brains function properly. Think of omega-3s as moisturizing your skin from the inside out.

2. Low-fat yogurt.Meiji brand with the probiotics is good. Of course, we all know that yogurt contains calcium, which keeps our teeth and bones strong. It also contains zinc, which supports skin health.

3. Oysters.These seem to be a bit hard to find in Japan, although I know they exist and are usually pretty expensive. Oysters help create collagen in the skin and also have high levels of zinc.

4. Blueberries.Also seem to be hard to find in Japan although you can buy them frozen at major supermarkets. Frozen is better than nothing. These little babies contain more antioxidants that any other fruit. So there. Antioxidants protect against cellular damage from environment, stress, etc.

5. Kiwifruit.This green fruit stimulates collagen production and is also high in antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals which cause cancer and other terrible diseases. Also packed with Vitamin C.

6. Sweet potatoes.Although the sweet potatoes in Japan differ from the ones we typically find back home in the West, they are still packed with beta-carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A, which then keeps your skin smooth and healthy.

7. Spinach.Be like Popeye and eat your Spinach. Contains a lot of lutein, which is good for the eyes. It also contains beta-carotene, Vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, fiber, and even omega-3 fatty acids. So you can’t go wrong with spinach.

8. Tomatoes.This wonderful food brought to the Europe from the Americas helped make Italian and Mediterranean food what it is today. It is also the food which contains the most of the antioxidant lycopene, which is actually more readily absorbed into your body after it has been processed (think canned tomato paste, juice, or ketchup).

9. Walnuts.These can be found pretty easily at any supermarket in Japan and contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids and also Vitamin E, which helps protect cells from damage and supports beautiful skin.

10. Dark Chocolate.Yes, it’s finally okay to eat chocolate, dark chocolate that is. It contains as many polyphenols as red wine and has anti-aging properties. So, that’s my list. Add a few or all of these foods into your diet and you will soon be blessed with glowing skin!

 


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