Japanese Superfoods

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the importance of eating good, healthy foods. And then I saw a post by Kyle Quandel about superfoods. He writes:

Recent dietary research has uncovered 14 different nutrient-dense foods that time and again promote good overall health. Coined “superfoods,” they tend to have fewer calories, higher levels of vitamins and minerals, and many disease-fighting antioxidants.

Beans (legumes), berries (especially blueberries), broccoli, green tea, nuts (especially walnuts), oranges, pumpkin, salmon. soy, spinach, tomatoes, turkey, whole grains and oats, and yogurt can all help stop and even reverse diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and some forms of cancer.

Delicious stuff! Living here in Japan, however, I realized that some of those foods, like berries, turkey, and walnuts are expensive and hard to come by. Actually, Japan has a few of its own superfoods that are worth mentioning.

Natto

by Jasja Dekker


The first is natto (made with fermented soy beans or black beans), which are loaded with probiotic enzymes and vitamin K, which Mercola claims can prevent cancer and heart disease. It has a strong smell and a really gooey, sticky texture, which some people don’t like, but once you get used to it, you can learn to like it.

Another superfood in Japan is miso, which is also a fermented concoction of generally soy beans, rice, salt, and a special fungus called kojikin (which is also used in brewing sake). Most people know miso from its most common form: a soup served with meals. But raw miso is also great as a dip for vegetables, especially cucumbers.

A third superfood in Japan is wakame, a type of seaweed. Often served as part of soups or salads, wakame is loaded with vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. It is even said to help protect against radiation.

by syntheticpanda


Finally, there is one of my favorites: green tea. It is an excellent way to prevent colds and common illness, while getting a good dose of vitamins. Even better, is matcha, which is a ground up, concentrated form. While bitter, it can be best described a powerful way to get a big dose of all the goodness green tea has to offer. In that sense, it is a medicine.

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Momo in Japan

While I was surfing tags for Nepal, I came across this wonderful photo of delicious Momo in Nepal. For those of you who don’t know what Momo are, this is what it said:

If there is one food you will learn about in Nepal, its the Nepali Momo! It is often eaten as an appetizer or a snack and found in almost all restaurants or sold by vendors in street corners.

I was wondering how much a plate of Momo costs in Nepal. Here in Japan, you can get momo at a Nepalese Restaurant, but it costs at lot more. For example, this restaurant in Tokyo charges 680 yen ($8.50) for 4 momo!

So how much would a plate cost in Nepal?

By the way, here in Japan, the most popular type of dumpling is a Chinese style dumpling called Gyoza.

Japanese Gyoza

by Toyohara