Last Updated on November 18, 2021 by Olivia Herlihy RN
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Almonds contain healthy fats, fibre, protein, magnesium and vitamin E.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Spinach is high in vitamins A, C and K, magnesium, iron and manganese.
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.
Bananas contain potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6.
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.
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, folate (vitamin B9) and potassium.
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.
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
Kale contains fibre, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamin K, and is also a good source of vitamin C and iron.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Coriander may help lower your blood sugar, fight infections, and promote heart, brain, skin, and digestive health
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.
Lean beef is an excellent source of vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, iron, niacin, and vitamin B6
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rhubarb stalks provide good amounts of vitamins K and C, potassium and manganese.
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.
Redcurrant contains flavonoids and vitamin B which help to fortify the capillaries, protecting the body tissues and preventing arteriosclerosis, and diabetes.
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.
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).
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.
Chives are low in calories but high in beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
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.
Cress is full of nutrients, particularly vitamin k which protects against osteoporosis.
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.
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
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.
Green peas are a great source of bone-building vitamin K and manganese. They will also boost your levels of folate and vitamin C.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Peanuts are an especially good source of healthful fats, protein, and fibre. They also contain potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and B vitamins.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Okra is a nutritious food with many health benefits. It is rich in magnesium, folate, fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins C, K1, and A.
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.
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.
JAPANESE DIET SECRETS – FREE PRINTABLE CHECKLIST TO HELP YOU CHECK OFF YOUR FOOD GOALS
Click on the download link below to download your free printable checklist
- The world’s most nutritious foods
- Japanese Skincare and Beauty Products
- The Best Japanese Sunscreen for Acne Prone Skin
- Japan’s Number One Skincare Line
- 37 Amazing Japanese Shampoos