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What is the secret of Japanese health?


Japan has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, with an average lifespan of 84 years. This longevity is largely attributed to the healthy lifestyle and diet of the Japanese people. In this article, we will explore the secrets of Japanese health and how their lifestyle can be emulated to promote better health.

Dietary Habits

The Japanese diet is based on fresh and seasonal ingredients that are low in fat and high in nutrients. They consume a lot of fish, rice, vegetables, and soy products, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. They also consume green tea, which has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.

Japanese Snack Box

Portion Control

In Japan, portion sizes are generally smaller than those in Western countries. This helps to prevent overeating and obesity. The Japanese practice Hara Hachi Bu, which means eating until you are 80% full. This philosophy promotes mindful eating and prevents overconsumption.

Physical Activity

The Japanese lead an active lifestyle, with many walking or cycling to work or school. They also participate in low-impact exercise such as yoga, tai chi or qigong. Physical activity is incorporated into daily life, making it a habit rather than a chore.

Stress Reduction

The Japanese practice mindfulness and meditation to reduce stress levels. They also prioritize relaxation time with activities such as hot springs, tea ceremonies, or flower arrangement. These practices encourage mental wellbeing and help to reduce stress-related illnesses.

Community Support

The concept of Ikigai, or finding purpose and joy in life, is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. This encourages a sense of community support and social connectedness. The elderly are revered as wise and respected members of society, providing a support system for all generations.

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene is taken seriously in Japan, with regular hand washing and wearing masks during cold and flu season. This helps to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses.

Sleep Habits

Sleep is viewed as essential for good health in Japan. The average sleep time is seven hours per night, which is considered adequate for optimal health. Napping is also encouraged as a way to boost energy levels during the day.

Traditional Medicine

Traditional Japanese medicine includes acupuncture, herbal remedies, and Shiatsu massage therapy. These practices aim to restore balance to the body’s energy systems and promote healing.

Environmental Factors

The natural environment plays a significant role in Japanese health. The country has a high number of hot springs (Onsen) that are believed to have healing properties for various ailments. Additionally, nature walks (Shinrin-yoku) are encouraged for their mood-boosting effects.


Education on healthy lifestyle habits begins at a young age in Japan. Children are taught about nutrition, exercise, personal hygiene, and stress reduction in schools. This helps to instill healthy habits early on in life.


Japan has a strong focus on technology that promotes health and wellbeing. From wearable fitness trackers to smart toilets that monitor health markers such as blood sugar levels, technology is utilized to promote optimal health in daily life.


In conclusion, the secret of Japanese health lies in their holistic approach to wellness that incorporates healthy eating habits, physical activity, stress reduction techniques, community support, personal hygiene, adequate sleep habits, traditional medicine practices, environmental factors, education on healthy lifestyles from an early age and utilization of technology for promoting better health. By adopting some of these practices into our daily lives we too can benefit from improved physical and mental health.

How do the Japanese stay so healthy?

The traditional Japanese way of eating emphasizes whole, unprocessed, nutritious foods that are appropriate for the season. The diet is high in seafood, vegetables, and fruit, while restricting meat, dairy, and snacks. This type of eating may enhance digestion, support weight control, increase longevity, and offer protection against various illnesses.

What is Japan’s secret to long life?

The reason for this remarkable long life span is attributed to the low incidence of obesity and a distinct diet, which includes a reduced consumption of red meat and an increased intake of fish and plant-based foods, such as soybeans and tea.

What is the secret to the Japanese diet?

The traditional Japanese diet is known for its balance and includes more fish than red meat, lots of vegetables, pickled and fermented foods, and small amounts of rice. Raw fish dishes are also prevalent. The diet is low in highly processed foods and sugar.

How do Japanese eat rice and stay thin?

Rice is a staple food in the Japanese diet and is consumed daily. It is a crucial part of most meals and is cooked without butter or salt, which may contribute to Japanese people’s lean figures. Junk food and high-calorie items are mostly avoided in the Japanese diet.

How does Japan keep obesity low?

The traditional Japanese way of eating involves eating a lot of vegetables, fish, and soy products, while limiting the consumption of animal fats, meats, and dairy products. This diet is still practiced today.

What is the number one cause of death in Japan?

Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of death in both the USA and Japan. The top 10 causes of death in Japan include coronary heart disease, stroke, and influenza and pneumonia, among others.

Work-Life Balance

A healthy work-life balance is also a crucial aspect of Japanese health. Many companies in Japan prioritize their employees’ well-being and offer benefits such as flextime, paid vacation days, and mental health support. This allows employees to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life, reducing stress and promoting better overall health.


The Japanese value simplicity and minimalism in their lifestyle, which can also have a positive impact on health. By focusing on what is essential and decluttering their living space, they reduce stress levels and promote mental clarity. This approach can also extend to their diet, where they focus on simple, whole foods rather than processed or packaged options.

Preventive Healthcare

Preventive healthcare is a significant aspect of Japanese health. Regular check-ups and screenings are encouraged to catch any potential health issues early on, allowing for timely intervention and treatment. This approach helps to prevent chronic illnesses and promote longevity.

Respect for Nature

The Japanese have a deep respect for nature and its role in promoting health. This is reflected in their traditional practices such as forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku) and gardening. By spending time in nature, they can reduce stress levels, improve mood, and boost overall well-being.

Cultural Beliefs

Cultural beliefs also play a role in Japanese health. For instance, the concept of Wabi-sabi emphasizes finding beauty in imperfection and accepting the natural aging process. This mindset can help reduce anxiety related to aging and promote positive self-image.

Social Connections

Social connections are essential for good health in Japan. The country has a strong sense of community, with people often living in close proximity to one another. This promotes social connectedness and reduces feelings of loneliness, which can have negative impacts on mental health.


Overall, the Japanese approach to health is holistic, emphasizing the importance of physical, mental, emotional, social, and environmental factors. By adopting some of these practices into our daily lives, we too can benefit from improved well-being and longevity.

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