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Asian Superfoods For Your Health

Asian Superfoods

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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I am often asked question about the delightful foods in my bowl, in my hand and in my smoothie. For this reason I thought that it was time that I explained my love affair with Asian Superfoods. 

I love going to the various Asian markets and seeing all of the different offerings that are not typically available in an American market. The smells are always strong as the air is filled with pungent aromas but, alas, I adore some of these smells (but some I can definitely do without). This is the land of the Asian Superfoods.

I do encourage you to take a deep breath and look around for awhile as there are amazing delights to be found. This is but a listing of a few of these delightful Asian superfoods.


Tofu

Many are afraid of tofu because of the buzz about it being a phytoestrogen but in this plant based eater’s opinion tofu can still have a place in your diet. Health benefits of soy may include increased bone health and decreased cholesterol, heart disease, hot flashes, and prostate cancer risk. the estrogen like activity of soy has raised concern but it is important to note that in Asia, where consumption of soy is very high, they experience historically lower rates of cardiovascular disease, menopausal symptoms, breast cancer (and other hormone dependent cancers), diabetes and obesity than Western populations. Standard recommendations are to choose organic tofu and limit yourself to three servings per week of soy foods.

Konjac Fiber

Konjac Fiber is a root from the konjac plant. It  has a rubbery texture and is often used to make noodles such as shirataki noodles.  This fiber retains up to 17 times its weight in water which makes it very good for promoting satiety, supporting elimination and keeping blood sugar stable. I highly recommend the PGX formula for help with boosting your fiber in a natural way. The singles are preferred over the capsules although both are good products.

Wasabi

This is something that we are all familiar with if we have ever eaten sushi, or been near anyone who does. This is the root that makes that delightful spicy green mustard. Wasabi can kill harmful food borne bacteria  as it is naturally anti-viral, anti-microbial,  and anti-bacterial. This is actually the reason why wasabi is so prevalent in the sushi world. The Japanese know that the raw fish breeds bacteria so they make sure to eat wasabi as a way to counteract the bacterial effects. Wasabi can also improve gut health, bone strength and liver function.

Mushrooms

There are so many wonderful mushrooms available at an Asian market.  Reishi mushrooms may help with reduction of prostate issues and they are anti-viral, anti-microbial,  and anti-bacterial. Shitake mushrooms assist with blood sugar stabilization and reduction of platelet aggregation and risk of atherosclerosis.  The flavor of mushrooms are plentiful and will benefit almost any dish.

Umeboshi Plums

These are definitely a favorite both for the flavor it brings and because it is just fun to say. This alkalizing delight is popular in Japan. It has been shown to have anti-bacterial qualities and benefits for fatigue and digestion. These may not be appropriate for all as they have a high sodium content.

Daikon Radish

This mild flavored vegetable that looks like a turnip or  white carrot offers cancer fighting properties. Additionally, it aids in digestion of fats and starches. It is very simple to use in salads or any soups or stews.

Seaweed

There are many different types of seaweed including kelp, nori, kumbe, dulse and wakame. One thing that all of these sea vegetables have in common are that they are very good for you. Seaweed can offer a thyroid boost plus protection against heart disease, birth defects and the growth of blood cells that can cause cancer. Enjoy seaweed as part of a sushi roll, chopped up in soups or just by itself. 

Do you have favorite recipes that use some of these ingredients? I would love it if you shared. Simply post the recipe as a comment. Thank you.

Resources:

Adlercreutz H, Mazur W. Phyto-oestrogens and western diseases. Ann. Med. 1997;29:95–120. 

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2002;9(3):149-56

Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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16 thoughts on “Asian Superfoods For Your Health”

  1. Wow, I’ve never heard of most of these and the only type of food in the list I’ve actually eaten is mushrooms. Even then, I’ve only recently started cooking and eating mushrooms because my hubby likes stuffed mushrooms. I learned to like them after he finally convinced me to try a bite of stuffed mushroom when we were eating out at Longhorn Steakhouse! 😉

  2. Have gone into Asian markets and marvel at so many products. Unfortunately my hubby is a meat & potatoes guy so I often do stir fry for myself- bok choy, tofu, mushrooms are my staples- need expert guidance to try other items.

  3. Elise,

    Thank you for telling us more about what’s in your bowl!

    I love mushrooms when prepared “right.” Learned a few things too!!

    ~Keri

  4. Hi Elise,

    This is certainly one of my favorite foods. I use Kelp in just about everything. When boiling water. Sea veggies are my favorite thing to eat. Now, that I live on the coast of Maine, I no longer have to purchase dry seaweed but pick it right out of the ocean, take it home and make a soup.

    I start with a large piece of Kelp in simmering water. Let it simmer for 15 minutes, then remove the kelp (great for the compost) Then I add thin slices of diakon, shitake mushrooms, and cod fish, in little chunks. I only add the fish if I can get it fresh locally caught. Then add some dulse, and nori to it and a dash of tamari.

    Most people don’t like it, but it is a super food for me and my husband. My mom just got used to it and she felt the energy from it. Now she is a fan!

    Well….that’s my share!
    -Donna

    P.S. When going through menopause, I found that tofu had helped so much. I only had one hot flash.

    1. Donna,

      I love that share. This could even be a wonderful plant based option with the substitution of tofu for the cod.

      Thank you for sharing your menopause experience. Many people have become so scared about soy product that they are missing huge benefits.

  5. I really need to eat healthier and am focusing on being more conscious about what I eat. My husband and I love Asian food so this is a timely post and super helpful.

    I’m looking forward to learning more from you, Elise!

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.