Dr Oz: Japan’s Alternative Health Secrets: Natto, Matcha & Ikigai


Doctor Oz did a segment on Japan’s Alternative Health Secrets for Anti-Aging, because we have all heard that people in other parts of the world (like Japan) are living longer lives.  In East Asia, women have the highest life expectancy.  So what makes the Japanese so healthy?  One thing the Japanese are great at is having harmony in their lives, which promotes health in their body.  I don’t know about you, but I definitely could use a bit more harmony in my life!  Alternative medicine doctors in Japan diagnose what is wrong by using their senses like touching your skin, analyzing your pulse and listening to what the person says.  In Japan they commonly use Acupuncture and Kampo, herbal remedies made just for you.  Dr Oz was joined by Dan Buettner to discuss Japan’s four secrets to eternal youth.  Dr Oz Japan's Alternative Medicine

Natto – Japanese Disease Fighting Remedy

Dr Oz said that Natto is fermented soybeans, and is widely used in Japan.  Natto contains an enzyme that helps to thin blood and break up plaque in Alzheimer’s Disease.  Buettner said that Natto also has Phyto-Estrogens that can fight cancer, especially breast cancer, and can help with heart disease.  Dr Oz said that Natto, since it is a fermented soy food, has even more health benefits than tofu or soy milk.  You can find Natto at your local Japanese market for around $12.

Matcha Green Tea – Japanese Stress Reducing Secret

Dan Buettner told Dr Oz that Matcha Green Tea is good for your heart, good for reducing stress and works as an anti-depressant.  If you go to a home in Japan, and they serve you three cups of Matcha Green Tea, then they are considered your friend.  You drink it kneeling down on the ground.  One secret for making the green tea is to steep it around 175 degrees – you do not want to boil Matcha Green Tea.  Then you whisk the green tea, kind of like how your whisk whipped cream.  There is a higher level of amino acids in Matcha Green Tea than in other green teas, which makes Matcha sweeter.  Another aspect of drinking the green tea is that it is like a meditation and very relaxing, because there are certain rules they have like you have to wait for your host to serve it to you – you never pour your own cup.

Seaweed – Japanese Anti-Aging Food

Dr Oz had a variety of different type of seaweed on his show: Hijike, Kelp, Arame, Nori and Wakame.  Seaweed is one of the major Anti-Aging foods in Japan that fights wrinkles.  Buettner said that seaweed has the broadest range of minerals and B Vitamins of any ingredient, which is great for preventing inflammation which wrinkles your skin.  In Japan, seaweed is often used in soup.  Dr Oz showed some seaweed soup and demonstrated how the seaweed is a bit slimy, which is why some companies put this into their skin creams.  Most of these types of seaweed (Hijike, Kelp, Arame, Nori and Wakame) shown on the Dr Oz show come dried, and you reconstitute it in water.

Ikigai – Japanese Depression Fighter

Dan Buettner told Dr Oz that Ikigai means “the reason for waking up in the morning” and Dr Oz’s show wrote on the TV screen that it means “that which makes life worth living”… same concept either way.  Ikigai gives you a sense of living and can be a hobby like bonsai, basket making or martial arts in Japan.  Dr Oz said the idea is to focus on living rather than stress and that the hobby should involve taking care of something else like gardening.  However, I do not really understand how basket making involves taking care of something else!



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