Tips from Japan


Longevity and Japan go hand in hand. The Japanese exhibit high average life spans and low body mass index. How does their gut microbiota impact this? One such research article found that when compared to 11 other nations, this particular Japanese study group had higher levels of Bifidobacterium; it’s difficult to make use of an isolated research finding but these are important and significant pieces of an incredibly large and complex jigsaw puzzle. What you can say is increasing your intake of fermented foods - such as miso - and being influenced by the Japanese diet is worthy of pursuing.

“A microbiota focused diet share many features with the Mediterranean and the traditional Japanese diets. These diets support exceptional health and longevity. Likely not by coincidence, these diets have in common:

  • High fibre content
  • Low saturated fat
  • Low red meat consumption
  • Regular incorporation of fermented food” By Justin and Erica Sonnenburg, Gut Reactions

How about some ways to incorporate fermented food at dinner time that the children will gobble up? Once a week we enjoy ‘Japanese style’ salmon or miso cod. We marinate either salmon or cod for 2-24 hours in the miso marinade below, and serve with wild rice cooked in vegetable stock, lightly steamed Chinese vegetables, and for added flavour and nutritional benefit we add seaweed ‘sprinkles’ on top, plus we enjoy a bowl of miso soup on the side. A crowd pleaser for sure.

Miso Marinade

  • ½ cup Mirin
  • ½ cup Liquid Amino (or Tamari)
  • ½ cup organic msg free miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated young ginger
  • 4 fillets of salmon or cod
  • Cover and leave in the fridge before baking the oven.
  • Seaweed Sprinkles: Mix together sesame seeds, finely cut dried seaweed, finely cut bonito flakes, sea salt