Skip to Content

Japanese Diet Secrets for Beautiful Skin, Hair and Nails

Japanese diet secrets

Getting clear glowing skin is not entirely down to good skincare and using the right serums, moisturisers and sun protection. Your lifestyle and diet is also a big part of it. The Japanese diet is well known for being one of the healthiest diets in the world. It is also excellent to use as an acne diet plan. The number of patients suffering from acne in Japan is far less than the West and there is a reason for this. A book called The Clear Skin Diet has looked at this in detail. The author explains clearly how the traditional Japanese diet combats acne and looks at the prevalence of acne in populations that observed this diet. If you are already following the Japanese skincare routine, make sure you are also following these Japanese diet secrets, even if it is just drinking a matcha green tea latte every day!

The Traditional Japanese Diet

Eat Food High in Omega 3

The traditional Japanese diet contains a high amount of oily fish. I also recommend taking a good Omega 3 supplement as well. I believe the best one is the Solgar triple strength Omega 3. I’ve written about this in more detail in my post on 7 supplements for glowing skin.

Omega 3 - a staple in Japanese diet secrets and excellent for an acne diet plan

Eat High Amounts of Protein, Moderate Amounts of Vegetables & Grains & Less Fat

The Japanese eat a lot of protein packed tofu, and also ensure their meals only contain fresh, unprocessed ingredients. Vegetables, grains, rice, fish, and fermented foods are all eaten in moderate amounts.

Start Drinking Matcha Green Tea Latte Everyday

In Japan matcha green tea is widely consumed. I recommend drinking Doctor King’s Matcha Green Tea which I believe is the best quality available.

Matcha Green Tea Latte - excellent for an acne diet plan

Ensure You Consume a Variety of Different Foods

The Japanese dietary guidelines recommend that you consume at least 30 different foods daily. For some people who are not used to this it may seem a challenge. This is why I have created a checklist of 96 of the healthiest foods on the planet to help you ensure you are incorporating a wide variety of food into your diet on a regular basis. The check list can be downloaded at the bottom of this article and will help you stay on track. Print it every month and tick off each food once you have included it in your diet that month.

The 96 foods in the list are among the healthiest on the planet, and are detailed below:

1. Bone broth 

It has been claimed that bone broth reduces joint pain and gives you stronger hair and nails, and improved gut health. Japanese noodle bowls often include bone broth! It also helps you to increase your collagen levels and improve skin tone. If you are looking for Japanese diet secrets bone broth is an important food to include and excellent in an acne diet plan.

2. Salmon 

Salmon is high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, a great source of protein, potassium and selenium and is high in B vitamins. It also contains the antioxidant Astaxanthin. Try out this breakfast recipe with salmon, avocado and egg.

3. Eggs

Eggs are a good source high-quality protein. They also contain vitamin B2, selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper.

4. Avocado

Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

5. Coconut

Coconut is rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Try this coconut curry noodle bowl!

6. Reishi mushroom

Mushroom is one of the Japanese diet secrets! Reishi mushroom has been used to help enhance the immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep, and lessen fatigue. People also take reishi mushroom for health conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Reishi mushroom is not only consumed as part of the Japanese diet but is also used in Japanese medicine. It is also recommended to combat hormonal acne and thinning hair and therefore could be used in an acne diet plan. You can easily take reishi mushroom in supplement form.

Mushroom is a staple in Japanese diet secrets and excellent for an acne diet plan

7. Probiotics 

Probiotics help balance the friendly bacteria in your digestive system.

8. Miso and tempeh

Miso is rich in essential minerals and a good source of various B vitamins, vitamins E, K and folic acid. As a fermented food, miso provides the gut with beneficial bacteria. Tempeh is a nutrient-dense soy product with a high amount of protein, as well as various vitamins and minerals.  Tempeh also contains prebiotics, which may improve digestive health.

9. Blueberries

Blueberries contain fibre, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrients.

10. Sprouted long coat rice or sprouted black rice

Sprouted grains have a greater availability of vitamin C, folate, and minerals like iron. The sprouting process also results in a reduction in carbohydrates along with an increase in protein. The deep black or the purple hue of black rice is a marker of its high antioxidant properties.

11. Black seasame seeds

Black sesame seeds contain Omega-6, fibre, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

12. Seaweed

Seasweed contains iodine and tyrosine, and is a good source of vitamins and minerals. It also contacts a variety of antioxidants and provides fibre and polysaccharides which support gut health. Seaweed is a key food in Japanese diet secrets.

13. Purple potato

Purple potatoes have two to three times more antioxidants than white or yellow potatoes. They have a high anthocyanin content (like blueberries and blackberries) and also contain vitamin c, selenium, and tyrosine.

14. Ginger 

Ginger is good for the digestive system, and soothes the intestinal tract as well as reducing inflammation in the body. It is diaphoretic, which means that it promotes sweating and warms the body from within.

15. Matcha Green tea

Matcha contains antioxidants including EGCg. It boost metabolism and burns calories, detoxifies the body and calms the mind. Matcha is also rich in fibre, chlorophyl and vitamins. It enhances mood and aids in concentration. Try drinking a matcha green tea latte every morning!

Check out this great blog post on How Matcha is Healthy for you and the Environment by Stephanie Vainer at SPVLiving.

16. Almonds

Almonds contain healthy fats, fibre, protein, magnesium and vitamin E.

17. Walnuts 

Walnuts are rich in antioxidants, and a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. They may decrease inflammation and promote a healthy gut.

18. Dark cherries 

Dark cherries may improve the quality of your sleep as well as symptoms of arthritis and gout. They are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.

19. Purple carrots

Purple carrots contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. Eating purple carrots may improve heart health, encourage weight loss, and reduce inflammation and your risk of certain cancers.

20. Broccoli sprouts 

Broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is associated with a number of health benefits. It may treat certain symptoms of autism, protect against sun damage, reduce mental decline, improve constipation and protect against cancer.

21. Beetroot 

Beetroots are a great source of fibre, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C.  Beetroots and beetroot juice have been associated with improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.

22. Asparagus

Asparagus is a good source of fibre, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. 

23. Apples 

Apples are rich in antioxidants, flavanoids, and fibre. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.

24. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. They promote gut health and may have cancer fighting properties. They also support health vision and immune system and may enhance brain function.

25. Oats

Oats are nutritious and rich in antioxidants. They are also a good source of fibre and can lower cholesterol levels. Oatmeal is also very filling and may help you loose weight as well as improving blood sugar control. One of the Japanese diet secrets is maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Since oats have a low glycemic index they are a good choice!

26. Spinach

Spinach is high in vitamins A, C and K, magnesium, iron and manganese.

27. Oranges

Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. They help keep your immune system healthy and prevent skin damage.

28. Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants and high in fibre. They also contain vitamin k and omega 3 fatty acids.

29. Plain yoghurt

Yoghurt contains some of nearly all the nutrients that your body needs. On top of that is is high in protein, is good for digestive health, and your immune system and may protect against osteoporosis.

30. Banana

 Bananas contain potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6. 

32. Garlic

Garlic may benefit your immune system. It is anti-inflammatory and an excellent source of vitamin B6, manganese, selenium, vitamin C, phosphorous, calcium, potassium, iron and copper.

31. Strawberries

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, folate (vitamin B9) and potassium.

33. Onions

Onions contain antioxidants that reduce inflammation and cholesterol levels. Their anti-inflammatory properties may also help reduce high blood pressure and protect against blood clots.

34. Tomato

Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K

35. Kale

Kale contains fibre, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamin K, and is also a good source of vitamin C and iron.

36. Cucumber

Cucumbers are high in important vitamins and minerals but low in calories. They promote hydration and may aid in weight loss as well as lower blood sugar.

37. Lemons

Lemons are one of the most alkalising foods. They contain a high amount of vitamin C, and soluble fibre. Lemons may aid weight loss and reduce your risk of heart disease, anemia, kidney stones, digestive issues, and cancer.

38. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are an excellent plant-based source of protein. They’re also rich in various minerals, vitamins, fibres, and antioxidants. They may aid weight loss, promote colon health, and moderate blood sugar levels

39. Lentils

Lentils are full of polyphenols. They are high in protein and a good source of iron, fibre, folic acid and magnesium. Lentils are also good for your bones.

40. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a rich source of antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, both of which are thought to protect cardiovascular health. It may also lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

41. Orange carrots

Carrots are a good source of beta carotene, fibre, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. They also have a number of health benefits and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.

42. Soya milk 

Soya milk is a good source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin B-12, potassium, and isoflavones, plus it can be fortified with calcium and vitamin D. It contains as much protein as cow’s milk, yet is lower in calories. One of the Japanese diet secrets is the lack of milk in the Japanese diet! Soya milk is a great alternative!

43. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. They improve digestion, and help weight management. Additionally, chickpeas are high in protein and make an excellent replacement for meat in vegetarian and vegan diets

44. Kiwi fruit

Kiwi fruits are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, and potassium. They also have a lot of antioxidants and are a good source of fibre.

45. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain contain a good range of nutrients including iron, selenium, calcium, B vitamins and beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. They are also very high in magnesium.

46. Celery

Celery is rich in vitamins A, K, and C, plus minerals like potassium and folate. It is also low in sodium and low on the glycemic index, meaning it has a slow, steady effect on your blood sugar.

47. Pineapple

Pineapples contain high amounts of vitamin C and manganese. The enzymes in pineapples may aid with digestion. Pineapples boost immunity and reduce inflammation. They may also speed up recovery after strenuous exercise or surgery.

48. Barley

Barley has one of the lowest Glycaemic Index of all grains. It can help with weight loss, controlling blood sugar levels and improving insulin response which reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. It helps to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.

49. Bell peppers

Red, Orange, and Yellow Bell Peppers are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.  Bell Peppersalso contain a healthy dose of fiber, folate, and iron.

50. Quinoa

Quinoa is one of the most protein rich foods we can eat. It contains almost twice as much fibre as most other grains. It also contains iron, lysine, magnesium, vitamin B2 and manganese.

51. Black beans

Black beans are a source of fibre potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and phytonutrients.

52. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is naturally high in fibre and B-vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients. It enhances weight loss and digestion, and contains choline which is essential for learning and memory.

53. Peppermint

Peppermint may relieve digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating and indigestion. It can also relieve tension headaches and migraines, unblock clogged sinuses, improve energy levels, fight bacterial infections and improve your sleep.

54. Coriander

Coriander may help lower your blood sugar, fight infections, and promote heart, brain, skin, and digestive health

55. Olives

Olives are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. They are good for the heart and may protect against osteoporosis and cancer. The healthy fats in olives are extracted to produce olive oil, one of the key components of the incredibly healthy Mediterranean diet.

56. Beef

Lean beef is an excellent source of vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, iron, niacin, and vitamin B6

57. Chicken

Chicken breast is an excellent source of low-fat protein. Protein helps your body to maintain muscle mass and also helps you to build muscle.  Chicken breast is also a very good source of selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and niacin.

58. Lamb

Lamb is a rich source of high-quality protein, as well as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Regular consumption of lamb may promote muscle growth, maintenance, and performance. In addition, it helps prevent anemia

59. Grapefruit

Grapefruits may benefit your immune system and promote appetite control aiding weight loss. They may also help prevent insulin resistant diabetes, improve heart health and reduce the risk of kidney stones. Grapefruits are high in antioxidants.

61. Figs

Figs are high in natural sugars, minerals and soluble fibre. They are rich in minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper and are a good source of antioxidant vitamins A and K.

62. Pumpkin

Pumpkins are highly nutritious and particularly rich in vitamin A. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin which may protect eyesight. They also boost immunity and promote weight loss.

63. Melon

Melons help reduce blood pressure and contain vital nutrients to bone health. They are rich in electrolytes and water and may aid hydration. They support healthy skin, proper digestion and a healthy immune system.

64. Prunes

Prunes are high in fibre. They help digestion, and prevent haemorrhoids brought on by constipation. They are high in potassium and iron, help build bones and muscles and lower blood pressure.

65. Chillies

Hot peppers benefit the digestive tract, promotes a healthy heart, mitigates migraines, relieves joint plan and improves metabolism (aiding weight loss). They also help with psoriasis and fight viral and fungal infections.

66. Rhubarb

Rhubarb stalks provide good amounts of vitamins K and C, potassium and manganese.

67. Pomegranate

Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, which can reverse atherosclerosis as well as vascular inflammation, and thereby lower blood pressure. Most of the effects of pomegranate can occur quickly, after drinking as little as 5 ounces a day for only two weeks.

68. Redcurrant

Redcurrant contains flavonoids and vitamin B which help to fortify the capillaries, protecting the body tissues and preventing arteriosclerosis, and diabetes.

69. Sardines

Sardines contain omega 3 fatty acids which contain anti-inflammatory properties. They are also an excellent source of vitamin B12, calcium, minerals and protein. One of the most important Japanese diet secrets is the high intake of omega 3.

70. Mackerel

Mackerel has high levels of essential fatty acids, which improve endurance and aid recovery after exercise, whilst also helping to maintain beautiful skin.

71. Green Beans

Green beans are a good source of vitamin C, fibre, folate, vitamin K and silicon (needed for healthy bones, skin, and hair).

72. Leeks

Leeks are a good source of vitamins A, C and K (important for helping your blood to clot). They also contain minerals such as iron (which is important for red blood cells) and manganese (involved in the regulation of brain and nerve function). Leeks are also a good source of fibre.

73. Chives

Chives are low in calories but high in beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

72. Paprika

Paprika helps in healing wounds and treating skin problems. It supports healthy digestion and prevents hair loss. Paprika may even help to maintain hair colour. It induces sleep and has anti-inflammatory properties.

74. Cress

Cress is full of nutrients, particularly vitamin k which protects against osteoporosis.

75. Apricots

Apricots are high in antioxidants and contain many essential vitamins and minerals. They promote eye, skin and gut health. Apricots are high in potassium, protect your liver and aid with hydration.

76. Cod

Cod provides several important minerals, including phosphorus and selenium. Phosphorus is a critical component of bones and teeth. It also plays a role in the proper function of some B vitamins 

77. Basil

Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

78. Peas

Green peas are a great source of bone-building vitamin K and manganese. They will also boost your levels of folate and vitamin C.

79. Tangerines

Tangerines contain potassium, thiamin and folate. They also contain more vitamin A than oranges, though oranges are lower in calories and higher in vitamin C and fibre.

80. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also rich in antioxidants, and provide fibre, iron, and calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke.

81. Radishes

Red radishes contain Vitamins E, A, C, B6, and K, plus they are high in antioxidants, fibre, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron and manganese.

82. Alfalfa sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts are a good source of vitamin K. They also provide other nutrients like vitamin C, fibre, folate, copper and manganese. Another one the Japanese diet secrets may be that the foods are more alkalising in the body. You can read more about the alkaline diet here.

83. Sweetcorn

Corn is rich in vitamin B21, folic acid and iron which helps in the production of red blood cells in the body. It reduces the risk of anaemia. It is an energy enhancer and preserves healthy skin

84. Raspberries

Red Raspberries contain antioxidants such as Vitamin C, quercetin and gallic acid that fight against cancer, heart and circulatory disease and age-related decline. They are high in ellagic acid, a known chemopreventative, and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

85. Broccoli

Broccoli is a good source of vitamins K and C, folate (folic acid) and also provides potassium, and fibre. Vitamin C builds collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from damaging free radicals.

86. Courgette / Zucchini

Courgettes / Zucchinis are packed with Vitamins C and A, potassium, folate, and fibre.

87. Peanuts

Peanuts are an especially good source of healthful fats, protein, and fibre. They also contain potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and B vitamins.

88. Lime

Limes rejuvenate the skin, improve digestion, fight infection, help with weight loss, lower blood sugar and reduce inflammation.

89. Cashew nuts

Cashew nuts contain high levels of iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus and manganese. Magnesium protects against high blood pressure and supports healthy muscles and bones.

90. Kimchi

Kimchi aids in digestion. It contains healthy bacteria and probiotics. It lowers cholesterol, and promotes radiant skin and shiny hair. Fermented foods are staples of the traditional Japanese diet and may be key to understanding Japanese diet secrets.

91. Kefir

Kefir may ease IBS symptoms such as bloating and digestive distress. Consuming kefir regularly has also been associated with benefits for blood pressure, cholesterol balance and blood sugar management.

92. Pecans

Pecan nuts contain monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid along with phenolic antioxidants which help reduce the risk of heart disease. They improve digestion and help with weight loss. They also are anti-inflammatory, boost immunity, prevent skin problems and have anti-aging benefits.

93. Pistachios

Pistachios are a good source of healthy fats, fibre, protein, antioxidants, and various nutrients, including vitamin B6 and thiamine. Their health effects may include weight loss benefits, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and improved gut, eye, and blood vessel health.

94. Okra

Okra is a nutritious food with many health benefits. It is rich in magnesium, folate, fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins C, K1, and A. 

95. Mango

Mangoes help facilitate healthy digestion. They promote a healthy gut and clear skin. They boost immunity and aid weight loss as well as lower cholesterol.

96. Artichoke

Artichokes improve liver health and digestive health. They may ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and regulate blood pressure.

If you enjoyed this post on Japanese diet secrets and the acne diet plan then make sure to download your food checklist. Don’t forget to order your matcha green tea latte.


Click on the download link below to download your free printable checklist

Japanese diet secrets - make sure you are eating these 96 foods at least once a month.  Eating the right food helps you loose weight.  This list can be used for clean eating and will include recipe ideas, for dinner, breakfast, easy, lunch, on a budget, snacks, or vegan meals.  Ideas for what to take to work, for kids, for college students, desserts, fitness inspiration, salad prep, for weightloss, protein bowls, smoothies, gluten free, on the go, quick tips, for skin, menu for winter, for summer, vegetarian. excellent for an acne diet plan, matcha green tea latte
Japanese diet secrets - make sure you are eating these 96 foods at least once a month.  Eating the right food helps you loose weight.  This list can be used for clean eating and will include recipe ideas, for dinner, breakfast, easy, lunch, on a budget, snacks, or vegan meals.  Ideas for what to take to work, for kids, for college students, desserts, fitness inspiration, salad prep, for weightloss, protein bowls, smoothies, gluten free, on the go, quick tips, for skin, menu for winter, for summer, vegetarian. excellent for an acne diet plan, matcha green tea latte

Further Reading

Japanese Beauty


If you found this article helpful, you may enjoy the following posts from beauty bloggers that I follow and trust.





This post was all about using the Traditional Japanese Diet to Get Clear, Healthy Skin