13 Japanese Diet Tips To Make You Healthier And Beautiful Both Inside And Outside!

The Japanese have the longest life span in the world with 86 years for women and 79 years for men. All of this is thanks to what they eat thus making the island nation with the lowest obesity rate (3%) in the developed world. “The Japanese diet is the iPod of food,” says Naomi Moriyama, a dietician, “it concentrates the magnificent energy of food into a compact and pleasurable size.”
1. Eat with your eyes
There’s a proverb in Japan that literally translates as “Not dressing up the meal with color is like sending someone out of the house without clothes.” Traditional Japanese meals use food items that are red, green, yellow, white and black in colour to give the food an aesthetic appeal and reflect the nature of the seasons. Compare a platter of sushi or a bento box to a hamburger and fries (although the latter is perceived as delicious and can be wolfed down) the former is a work of art that has to be appreciated like art. Go slow, take small bites, relish every flavour.
2. Smaller portions
Break down your meal into smaller portions, this way you can enjoy a greater variety of foods.
Scientists in the University Of Illinois found that people tend to eat up to 45% more when they are served bigger portions. They filled their plates according to it’s size. So bigger the plate, larger the portion size.
Lesson learnt: Use dessert and salad plates.
3. Fill your stomach up to only 80%
Or Hara hachi bunme as it is said in Japanese. The idea is to reinforce the eating of smaller portions. We have been raised to eat until we are absolutely full so that we don’t feel hungry later. However it’s better to not stuff ourselves and only eat until we feel adequately full.
Yes you will feel hungry after a few hours but that’s ok. It means lesser pressure on intestines and slowing down of the aging process of cells which can help to prevent cancer, heart attacks and diabetes.
4. Light dinner or supper
Following the 80% rule discussed above, a light dinner puts less pressure on your intestines and allows you to digest your food in your sleep. Heavy meals can sometimes make you wake up feeling full in the morning and this upsets your routine when you skip breakfast.
5. Rice is nice
Rice is a low fat complex carbohydrate that helps fill you up on lower calories (small bowl of rice has lesser calories than two slices of bread) This will not keep you hungry and craving for snacks right after your meal.
6. Eat more than 5 types of vegetables a day
Preferably of different colours if you are like a Japanese lady who has an OCD.
The Japanese incorporate about 4-5 types of vegetables in each meal which make up the major bulk. They are sometimes eaten raw as a salad or cooked in a broth which enhances its flavours. Stir fried vegetables taste delicious but sadly their nutrients are gone.
Warning! Avoid salad dressings which contain mayonnaise, opt for yoghurt based dressings or vinaigrettes and lemon juice.
7. Eat vegetables first
Now that you’re sorted with vegetables being part of your meal and are ready to dig in, beeline for the veggies first!
Why? Your mom would say save the best for last, but the real reason is that vegetables absorb toxins that are already present. Vegetables are full of fibre and when you consume them first, this fibre helps to cover whatever is eaten after and inhibits insulin spikes and the speed at which sugar is transported into the blood.
Proteins are harder to digest when they are eaten first and everything else eaten after would take time making you feel bloated. Raw vegetables contain a digestive enzyme that helps break down proteins.
8. Replace red meat with fish
Japanese favourites like salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna, sardines and herring are a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids which are known for their heart-health and mood boosting benefits. The island nation accounts for 2% of the worlds population but consumes 10% of the worlds fish.
9. Fermented foods
Fermented foods such as Yoghurt, dahi, Miso (fermented soy bean paste) and Tofu control high blood sugar levels. They support and strengthen immune and digestive systems, preventing diseases such as cancer.
Try to make fermented foods a part of your meal or consume them after you are done eating. A small bowl of dahi after an Indian meal works equally well.
10. Soy Products
When consumed in moderation, soy products like Tofu and Edamame beans which are rich in protein are a good vegetarian alternative for red meat as they have little or no saturated fat.
Recently, research has proven cows milk as not fit for human consumption as it causes the body to produce mucous. Healthier options are soy milk and almond milk. Soy milk contains vitamin B1, B2, B6 and E which helps to rejuvenate the skin and prevent acne breakouts.
It contains 8 essential amino acids and has a fair amount of protein.
11. Fresh Seasonal Fruit
Desserts in Japan are usually beautifully decorated plates with sliced fresh fruit of the season. Like vegetables, a variety of fruits should be eaten.
Remember to eat seasonal and local produce.
12. Tea is key
Green tea is low in calories and caffeine which makes it an excellent alternative to coffee and other creamy beverages. It aids digestion and the anti-oxidants it contains helps to clear the system of any toxins.
13. Indulge in moderation
The Japanese diet seems to be very strict and you might think its a routine for skinny supermodels, but there is always room to indulge. The Japanese love western sweets and dark chocolate but if you notice, they are very small.
Junk food is eaten once in a while and when it is, it is forgotten with healthy servings of broth, vegetables and green tea the next day.
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Amazing tips

  • If you are coughing uncontrollably, raise your hand above your head and it will stop
  • The best revenge is to move on, get over it, and continue to succeed. Never give someone the satisfaction of watching you suffer.
  • When you have a crush on someone, your brain overlooks and ignores the flaws of that person causing them to appear “perfect”.
  • Psychology says, pain makes you stronger. Fear causes you to become braver. Heartbreak makes you wiser.
  • Doctors claim that having a cup of tea before bed time, wearing a comfortable pajamas and going to bed at 10 pm sharp is essential for a perfect night sleep.
  • Women pay more attention to guys who can make them laugh, this characteristics makes that person more attractive.
  • Dogs can see sadness in humans and often attempts to make their owners happy by initiating cuddling.
  • A person usually makes a lot of hand gestures when telling a true story. When telling a lie, a person’t hands will stay noticeably still.
  • If your girlfriend catches you looking at another women, turn to her and say “I’m glad you don’t dress like that”.
  • Pineapple juice is 5 times more effective than cough syrup. it also prevents colds and the flu.
  • Wait 4-6 months before becoming to attached, it is in this time in which a person’s true motives are revealed.
  • When you are at an event, always hold your drink in your left hand. That way your right hand won’t be cold and/or wet when you shake hands.
  • At a restaurant, wash your hands after ordering. the menu is generally the dirtiest thing you can touch!
  • If your dog gets out, don’t chase it. Instead, lie on the ground and pretend you are hurt. It will come back to see if you are okay.
  • The best way to get someone to confess to something? Remain silent. They’ll talk simply due to being uncomfortable.
  • To see if batteries are good, drop them on the floor. If they bounce once, they’re good. If they bounce more than once they are empty.
  • Make time for your mom on your birthday. It’s her special day too.
  • Listen carefully to how a person speaks about other people to you. This is how they will speak about you to others.

Microwave Tips

Most people purchase a microwave to reheat meals or thaw frozen food, but this compact appliance has numerous other uses. You can use your microwave for all sorts of household tricks and cooking cheats. Here are 16 more ways in which you can use your microwave that you probably didn’t know about:

Clean the inside quickly

Microwaved food often overheats and explodes, creating a mess on the inside of the appliance. When this happens, place a glass bowl of water with a drop of vinegar in your microwave and heat for five minutes. The inside will steam up, making it easy for you to wipe away the gunk that has accumulated.

No more lumpy sugar

Brown sugar can sometimes become an intractable lump. If this happens, you can place a piece of dampened paper towel in the box and microwave it for 20-30 seconds on high heat. The sugar will come out soft.

Enjoy reheated sandwiches

If you usually use your microwave to reheat sandwiches or other baked goods, they become soggy. Avoid that by wrapping your food in a paper towel. The towel will absorb the extra moisture.

Make an instant hot compress

Instead of waiting for your hot water to run or your kettle to boil, place a wet hand towel or washcloth in the microwave on high for one minute. You’ll have an instant hot compress when the time’s up.

Dry out fresh herbs

Quickly dry out herbs like parsley using your microwave. Place one cup of herbs on a sheet of paper towel and heat on high for 2-4 minutes. Crumple the herbs in the paper towel after heating. This method results in less mess.

Restore crystallized honey to liquid

When honey begins to crystallize, your microwave can restore it to its liquid form. Remove the jar lid and using 50% of your microwave’s power, heat the jar for two minutes. The honey should liquidize once again.

Get extra lemon juice

Squeeze more juice out of your lemons or limes by zapping the fruit on high heat for 10-20 seconds. This will make the fruit juicier and easier to squeeze.

Tear-free onion experience

Avoid tearing up when chopping onions with this neat trick. Trim the ends and heat the onions on full power for 30 seconds. You won’t feel the sting anymore due to the heat.

Steam vegetables

Thick-skinned vegetables such as potatoes, squash and tomatoes can be cooked in the microwave, but often explode because steam gets trapped. To avoid this, pierce the skins with a toothpick or knife before you begin cooking so that the steam can escape and your food won’t explode.

Peel garlic, tomatoes and peaches easily

For a single garlic clove, heat the clove for 15 seconds. The heat removes the moisture that gets trapped between the skin. The moisture-free clove can be easily peeled. For tomatoes and peaches, heat the fruit for 30 seconds on high. Let the fruit sit for two minutes. After these two minutes, the peel should slip off without much effort.

Poach an egg

Quickly make perfect poached eggs with this method. Boil water in the kettle and pour it into a microwave-safe bowl. Add a dash of white vinegar and an egg into the bowl. Lightly pierce the yolk with a toothpick and then cover the bowl with cling wrap. Microwave this on full power for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and gently turn the egg over. Cook for another 20 seconds on full power.

Save time soaking food overnight

If you spot a recipe you want to make but notice it calls for an overnight soaking, use the following shortcut. Place the beans in a bowl with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda and cover with water. Heat the beans for 10 minutes on high. Let it sit for 30 minutes, and you’ve saved yourself an overnight soaking.

Revitalize stale bread

Rehydrate stale bread by wrapping bread in a damp kitchen towel. Heat it on high for 10 seconds at a time until the bread is moist enough.

Damage free stamp removal

Easily remove a stamp from an envelope without ruining the stamp or the envelope by using your microwave. Put a few drops of water on the stamp and microwave the envelope for 20 seconds. The stamp should peel off without damage.

Make soggy chips crispy again

Potato chips get soft and lose their crunch after time, but you can use your microwave to make them crispy again. If you briefly heat them in paper towels, you can restore your chips’ former crispiness.

This Super Fruit Can Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Keeping the heart healthy is a primary concern for us all, but it isn’t always an easy thing to do. Despite increased, widespread understanding of its dangers and causes, heart disease remains the biggest killer in the western world, accounting for 1 in 4 adult deaths in the USA every year. For this reason, scientists continue to search for new ways to treat and prevent the problem. Some of these studies find that the key to prevention can be found in the kitchen, not the medicine cabinet. And now recent research has suggested that one super fruit could prevent and even help reverse the rate that fatty acids build up in the arteries, which is a common cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Here’s how the pomegranate could be your new best defense against heart disease.

Fatty Acids the Arteries
The arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart to other parts of the body as part of the circulatory system. They are vital for sustaining life and the human body cannot function unless they are in good health. However, over time, our arteries can become clogged with cholesterol, fat and other materials which begin to line the vessel walls.
As this layer of material becomes thicker, it also begins to harden. This combination forces the arteries to become more narrow, meaning blood cannot pass through as easily, putting more stress on the heart which has to pump harder to force more blood through. If left untreated, the blockages can close the arteries altogether, causing a heart attack.

How Can Pomegranates Help?
Recent studies have suggested that pomegranates could have a remarkable ability to reduce the progressive thickening of the coronary arteries by these fatty acids. Here we will have a look at the findings, as well as some other benefits of this super fruit.

Introducing the Pomegranate
Pomegranates are one of the oldest known fruits in the world and feature in ancient literary works of many cultures and religions. It’s a red fruit, with a hard outer skin housing a series of red seeds which can be eaten or juiced. They have a long shelf life and can last for up to two months in the fridge as long as they are covered but most importantly of all, they are absolutely packed with nutrients. Pomegranates have been revered by many cultures as a symbol of health, fertility and life; and now modern research suggests that this reputation is deserved.

Recent Studies
Mice who were genetically prone to sudden artery blockages were provided with pomegranate juice via their drinking water over a period of two weeks. Although the treatment was found to increase cholesterol levels associated with artery blockage initially, it noticeably reduced the size of the harmful build ups in the aortic sinus, an opening above the aortic valve which lets blood exit the heart. It was also shown to reduce the number of coronary arteries that had accumulated the plaques and blockages that cause heart problems.

Further research suggests that Punicalagin, a compound found in pomegranates, can not only lower both cholesterol and blood pressure levels, but also help increase the speed at which blockages of the arteries melt away. Blockages can therefore be removed before they harden and grow.

In another study, patients with severe carotid artery blockages drank pomegranate juice every day for a year. The results were remarkable – showing a 12% average reduction in blood pressure across the study’s participants, along with a 30% reduction in plaque build up in the arteries. Patients who did not participate in the test saw their plaque levels rise by 9% over the same period.

Discussion
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that pomegranates really can have a significant impact upon blockages in your arteries and in doing so reduce your susceptibility to a heart attack. Experts recommend that you add them to your regular diet to strengthen your body’s own defenses against heart disease. Their benefits are not confined to their ability to help clear your arteries. Evidence based research has suggested that their value to heart health is broad:
They can help lower blood pressure.
They are strong anti-inflammatories.
They are one of the most potent anti-oxidants found among fruit, helping protect the body against cell damage.
They are anti-infective.

Excessive Ear Wax: How to Spot It and What To Do About It

It is easy to view ear wax as an annoyance, but like most secretions, it has an important purpose. It’s a cleaning agent, produced by your ears to prevent them from drying out. It contains protective and anti-bacterial agents to help your ears stay healthy.
However, various factors can cause more wax than is needed to collect in the outer part of the ear canal and if it’s left unattended, it can cause pain and eventually require medical intervention. But don’t worry, help is at hand in the form of these effective remedies you can try at home!

What is Ear Wax?
‘Wax’ is something of a misnomer for the body fluid that forms in your ear. It is actually a water-soluble mixture of various secretions mixed with hair and dead skin, formed in the outer part of the ear rather than the inner drum. Your ears are self-cleaning for the most part, and the secretions help move dead skin to the opening of the ear, aided by the jaw motion you use when you chew. Once out in the open, ‘wax’ will usually dry out and flake away naturally. However over time it can build up and cause other problems, sometimes aided by overproduction or a blockage within the ear canal.

What You Shouldn’t Do?
Firstly, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that digging every last bit of wax out of your ear constantly is an indicator of good personal hygiene. Remember that ear wax has its uses and removing it excessively can cause your ear canal to dry out. However, if it accumulates in excess, it can cause discomfort and even pain. It is in these circumstances that you need to take action.

No Cotton Buds
The other big ‘NO’ is the use of homemade poking and scraping devices down your ear hole. Q-Tips, bobby pins, pencils and any other similar instruments are NOT suitable for cleaning your ears, no matter how many times you might have used them in the past. Although you may see remnants of wax on your Q-Tip after you have had a good rummage down your ear, you will more than likely have pushed other clumps further into your ear canal. Additionally, if you prod down too far then you could cause serious damage to the inner ear.

Signs You Need to Take Action
Since you don’t need to constantly clean the wax out of your ears, what are the signs that you have an excessive buildup that you need to deal with? Different ears produce different amounts of wax. It may be that you know from past experience that you are likely to have excess wax. There are a number of other signs that can indicate a problem too:

Earache
Strangely muffled hearing
Tinnitus or ringing noises in ear
Itchy ears
Odor and noticeable, moist discharge
An uncomfortable sensation of ‘fullness’ in the ear

You can buy ear drops and wax removal kits or visit your doctor, but the answer to your problems can also be found in natural remedies you can make in your own home. Here are some that have proved useful to others:
N.B. – Please note that these remedies should not be used if you have an ear infection, hearing loss or severe earache.

1. Salt Water
Salt water is one of the best home remedies for excessive ear wax. It works by softening the wax inside the ear and flushing it out to the surface:
Take a teaspoon of salt and drop it in a half cup of warm water. Wait until the salt dissolves entirely.
Take a soft, cotton ball and dip it in the solution.
Tilt your head so that your affected ear is facing skywards. Place the cotton ball over the opening and let the solution drip into your ear canal.
Keep your head tilted for three to four minutes.
Tilt your head downwards to let any excess solution drain back out.
Wipe the area around the opening of your ear with a clean cloth to remove softened wax.

2. Olive Oil
Olive oil can also soften ear wax. It also lists ‘antiseptic properties’ among its many benefits so it can help reduce your risk of an ear infection as well:
Slightly warm some olive oil. Make sure it isn’t too hot to touch of course as you should be able to easily bear it against your skin.
Put two to three small drops of the oil into the ear, using a dropper or, ask someone to do it for you.
Let the solution settle for ten minutes and then tilt your head to remove any excess.
Repeat the process before bedtime for 3-4 days.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is used in many of the over-the-counter ear drops you can buy for wax removal. It is important that you don’t use this one if you have sensitive skin. Always make sure that the peroxide you use is less than 3% in strength:
Mix together equal parts water and (3% or less) hydrogen peroxide.
Tilt your head sideways and drop a few drops of the solution in to your ear (ask someone else to do this for you if you don’t have a dropper).
Make sure you place a towel over your shoulder to catch any loose drips.
Allow the solution to stay in the ear for 10 to 15 minutes. Lie down on a pillow, keeping the treated ear pointed skywards if it helps.
You should feel tickling or a bubbling sensation.
When this sensation stops, remove the solution by tilting your head the other way, and dry your ear with a clean cloth.

4. Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol Solution
This is a remedy from a bygone age and works by dissolving the ear wax. The antibacterial properties of the vinegar also helps keep infection at bay.
Mix equal parts white vinegar and rubbing alcohol in a small bowl.
Immerse a cotton ball in the solution, then remove it.
Tilt your head so that the ear you want to treat is facing upwards.
Use the cotton ball to apply a small amount of the solution into the opening of the ear.
After four to five minutes, tilt your head back the other way and use a cloth to catch the liquid as it is dispelled from the ear.
Dab clean with a cloth or tissue.

5. Baby Oil or Glycerin (Mineral Oil)
If you have either of these products lying around your house, they are great for softening up your excessive ear wax as well:
Use a dropper or the help of friends and family to put three drops of oil into your ear while it is facing upwards.
Place a cotton ball over the ear opening to help the oil stay in your ear.
After around ten minutes, remove the cotton ball and allow the oil to drain onto a cloth or tissue.
Wipe away any excess soft wax.

What To Do If Your Problems Persist

If your ear continues to feel uncomfortable after the application of these natural remedies and/or over-the-counter solutions available from the pharmacy, you will need to book an appointment with your doctor or an Ear, Nose and Throat Consultant. You should always consult a medic if you have severe ear ache, large amounts of fluid flowing, severe hearing loss, dizziness, fever and vomiting. Your ears are important, please look after them!

When Is Chest Pain a Heart Attack?

If you wake up in the middle of the night with chest pain, your mind might automatically think you’re having a heart attack. After all, it’s the number one killer disease in the USA. And the number one symptom is the vague term “chest pain”, which can be misleading because it’s not always painful nor always in the chest.
In most cases, people imagine they will have severe chest pain and dismiss the actual symptoms of a heart attack, go back to sleep and suffer one. Below I will discuss the symptoms you will and won’t feel if you are having a heart attack and what you should do, and in which cases you should seek help immediately.

How chest pain from a heart attack feels
The typical pain described is a feeling of tightness, squeezing or heaviness in the chest. The Latin term angina pectoris, meaning sensation in the chest, is a more accurate description. This pain has been described as feeling like a band or weight is being tightened around your chest. The pain is often on the left side and above the bottom ribcage, although it’s often difficult to determine its exact location.
Other typical symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
Sweating, nausea, and anxiety
Pain in the left arm, jaw or neck.
What other symptoms might I feel?
While the typical symptoms are definitely a reason to visit your physician, sometimes people feel less typical pains, which could also indicate that you are having a heart attack.
Pain not on the left side – sometimes the pain is located on the right, center or top of the abdomen.
No pain – some people don’t experience pain and only feel shortness of breath. Research indicates that no chest pain symptoms can occur in 1/3 of people having a heart attack.
Sharper pain – some people report sharper chest pains or the feeling of indigestion.
How long should the chest pain last?
The next indication of whether you are suffering a heart attack is pain duration. Consider the following 3 factors:
Heart-attack-related chest pain comes on over several minutes and not suddenly. Sudden severe pain is a reason for concern, but it is not consistent with angina.
The chest pain lasts for at least 5 minutes and doesn’t last continuously for more than 20 to 30 minutes.
Pain that comes on during rest, or doesn’t go away after exertion, also indicates a heart attack.
Do I have any of the major risk factors?
Doctors like to consider the risk factors when determining whether your chest pain is a heart attack. They will take high-risk patients with atypical symptoms more seriously than low-risk patients with classic symptoms.
Age – the risk increases as you age. For men it’s after the age of 40 and for women it’s after the age of 50. It can happen to a younger person, but it’s more unlikely.
Sex – this is not to say women aren’t affected by heart disease, but the risk for heart attacks is higher for men.
Genetics – your risk is significantly higher if a member of your immediate family had or has coronary heart disease. The risk is even higher if that family member was a man under 50 or a woman under 60.
Hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol – these diseases increase your risk of having a heart attack considerably.
Smoking – while most people think smoking destroys your lungs (and it does), more smokers die from heart disease. Smoking substantially increases the risk of you having a heart attack.
What it shouldn’t feel like
Some chest pain is not consistent with having a heart attack.
Sharp and brief pain – stabbing pain that lasts only a few seconds is not coming from the heart.
Persists for hours – heart attack chest pain will last for 20-30 minutes at the most and typically ends with a heart attack.
Gets worse with movement –
the sort of pain that worsens when pressed on is usually from chest bone or muscle pains and not the heart.
You can pinpoint the pain with a single finger –
heart chest pain tends to be difficult to locate exactly.
If you have a worrying pain, there is no harm in having it checked out. It’s better to have lesser symptoms checked out than to stay at home and actually have a heart attack. If you are high risk, don’t hesitate to have the pain checked out. If you are high risk and have the classical symptoms, I advise going to the emergency room or calling an ambulance.