A Zen mindset, a unique diet… Take them for yourself to tackle any health challenge
The lack of vitamins and the general vulnerability of the body to the effects of various viruses and bacteria can appear in any season, but no one wants to get sick. The following 5 secrets of Japanese longevity keep the immune system strong to deal with any health challenges.
1. Unique diet
Japan has unique features in the field of nutrition, which is mainly based on rice, fish and seafood. These products provide protein and beneficial amino acids, but not only are they not liked by everyone, they are not suitable for everyone. When adjusting your diet, it is important to find out which products you are intolerant to and to build your weekly menu according to the needs and specifics of your body. This way you will improve both your metabolism and your mood.
Tip: To strengthen immunity, update the database with the foods that are useful for you – take a vitamin content test, consider what to change in your diet according to the results. A consultation with a nutritionist will clarify your individual needs and give you ideas for including products that are good for you.
2. Aojiru for more vitamins and minerals
Japanese cuisine is not particularly diverse, and when there is not enough fresh fruit and vegetables there they prepare Aojiru – a vegetable drink invented by doctor Niro Endo during World War II to fortify the food of Japanese soldiers. It is made from kale, young barley or other leafy greens.
Although it does not taste very pleasant, according to experts, it is extremely useful, since the concentration of calcium in 200 ml of the drink is equal to the same amount of milk. The content of vitamin C is as much as that contained in three tomatoes. Aojiru has strong antioxidant abilities and improves cellular immunity, modern experts claim.
It has been used as a biologically active food supplement since the 1980s, but before including it in your diet it is best to consult a nutritionist.
3. Seaweed? Seaweed!
Let’s go back to proteins – the main “building material” for the muscles responsible for the strength of the skin and hair. If you don’t like fish, squid and shrimp, consider other sources of protein: beef, bananas, nuts, avocados and, above all, the super hit spirulina. It is a filamentous cyanobacterium, also known as blue-green algae, rich in dietary proteins and also in iron and vitamins A, C, D, E and those of group B, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and many other valuable minerals and amino acids.
It is especially suitable for inclusion in weight loss diets, but before you start taking it, ask a specialist.
4. Adequate level of physical activity
Regular physical activity is among the most important components of the longevity that the Japanese are known for. In the Land of the Rising Sun, people love sports, but not only – the state strongly stimulates this trend by preparing special state programs to increase the average life expectancy.
The numerous recommendations of GPs and fitness trainers in Japan prescribe a mandatory 10,000 steps per day, which equates to walking between 5 and 8 km, depending on the length of the step. At a normal walking pace, you get about 12 minutes per 1 kilometer or about 1-1.5 hours of movement per day.
During this time, the body produces more red blood cells and lymphocytes needed to fight viruses, and it also reduces blood sugar and bad cholesterol levels. Physical activity supports the work of the cardiovascular system and improves the condition of the nervous system.
5. Zen thinking
The state of the immune system depends to a large extent on the general emotional background, and in this regard we also have something to learn from the Japanese. There, the main religion is a mixture of Buddhism and Shintoism, which preaches the achievement of inner harmony through self-purification and detachment from everything superfluous and superficial.
In other words, to gain peace of mind, it is necessary to shake off tormenting thoughts about the imperfections of the world, distance yourself from stupidity, greed, arrogance and other external irritants. In the end, all this is quite insignificant against the background of the infinite and vast Universe according to Zen philosophy.
You won’t be able to get into it easily and quickly, but it is achievable to build an “emotional hygiene” that will be your shield against the world’s stress. The rules for it are simple: clearly define your life goals and strive to achieve them with patience and persistence; create a comfortable environment for yourself both at home and at work, surround yourself with pleasant people, places and things and try to take intractable problems for granted.