Friday, 9 November 2012

Japanese and Korean Beauty How-Tos? (Part 1 - Diet)

You can't help but wonder if there's something special in the water in Japan and Korea. The beauty secrets of both nationalities have been a popular topic for women (and men) owing to the youthful looks and graceful aging demonstrated by both celebrities and regular people alike~

So what's the deal?

There's quite alot of material on this topic so I shall separate them into different posts for digestable reading~ ^_^ Today, we'll explore some common components in the Japanese / Korean diet~

Image 10059845 by maya picture

The youthful looks of Japanese women have long been attributed to their diet which, as we all know, consists of alot of fish and sea vegetables owing to Japan's island location. This translates to a high consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils and fiber. The Korean lady's diet is quite similar, with a high consumption of Kimchi added to the mix.

  • Fish (raw or cooked)
Both countries place great emphasis on freshness and that's probably why sashimi is so popular. Raw fish has a much higher Omega 3 content than cooked fish and that's probably the biggest leg up the Japanese and Koreans have over many other countries.

Image 10098580 by piyato
If you don't have the habit of eating fish 2 or 3 times a week then it's probably a good idea to start on a good fish oil supplement (i.e natural and carefully processed). Some research has shown that in comparing the glyceryl ester form of fish oil to the ethyl ester form, the natural glyceryl ester form is better so you might want to take note of that =)

  • Wakame / Miyeok / Edible Seaweed
I've always known that wakame is very healthy but was never sure why. Did you know that wakame is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acid and calcium? I didn't!! =__= It also contains the fucoxanthin compound that encourages the burning of fatty tissue around the internal organs.

Not just a food but also an ingredient in beauty products and treatments, wakame skincare benefits include:
  • the ability to penetrate and nourish the different levels of dermis
  • excellent cleansing and toning properties.
  • helps give an ethereal glow to the skin by detoxifying and increasing circulation to the surface of your skin.
  • helps to increase the hyaluronic acid level in the skin
  • the ever-popular anti-aging antioxidants
Also used in haircare (e.g Funori Japanese Organic Seaweed Haircare Powder), the medicinal value of wakame contributes to caring for hair, skin, intestinal strength, menstrual regularity and blood purification. I must say the claims are quite fantastic! HERE are some organic skincare products with seaweed as an ingredient~

In a diet, wakame is quite versatile. It is commonly eaten cold with tofu as a side dish or salad or added to miso soups. You can find heaps of healthy, light or hearty recipes using wakame online~  In Korea, wakame / miyeok soup is popular with nursing mothers due to the high calcium and iodine content.

  • Kimchi / Korean Fermented Vegetable
Kimchi is another versatile dish that can be used as a cold appetizer, side dish for rice/noodles, added into soups, stews or fried with rice. There are many varieties of kimchi but the main ingredient is usually cabbage, radish, scallion or cucumber. In Korea, the type of kimchi available also differs from season to season.

This appetizing pickled dish is low in calories and high in dietary fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin C, B1, B2, calcium and iron. Being rich in vitamins and lactic acid bacteria, kimchi aids digestions and we know by now that good intestinal health does in fact translate to healthier skin, better overall health in fact~

  • Green Tea / Oocha / Japanese Tea
Most Chinese and Japanese teas are very good for health as they aid in digestion and are high in antioxidants. Green tea ranks higher in catechin level and is also a source of Vitamin C. 

Image 100107617 by zirconicusso

I'm convinced that Vitamin C is conducive for maintaining a fair complexion as the chief ingredient in my Hakubi White C supplement is (surprise suprise) Vitamin C. The high antioxidant level helps protect our skin from the free radicals in our concrete jungle environment and therefore helps reduce the signs of aging. As you've probably noticed, green tea is also increasingly used in skincare / beauty products~

Of course it doesn't hurt that green tea is also great for weight loss! =D


I think the 4 items covered above are nothing new to most of us by now but I hope that reading this will remind all of us how important our diet is, especially if you want to look good and age gracefully. I was certainly reminded of this fact in the process of typing this up. Don't forget, you are what you eat!

Honestly, the most fascinating part of this post (to me) was the wakame skincare and I fully intend to look around for something in that department to try out! Have you tried or seen any seaweed skincare in Singapore? Do leave a comment if you have~ Thank you~~ ^_^

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