Food for the Soul – Healthy Food at Food Japan 2016

Considering that the 3 key areas of Food Japan 2016 are Health, Innovation and Productivity, it is no surprising that this year’s event is filled with good food – food that are good for you! Guest writer Arvin checks out some of the good food found at this year’s Food Japan. (The following article is going to get a bit technical at times, but deal with it! It’s good for you!)


If you love Konnyaku (Konjac), Food Japan has it in spades. Konnyaku is a no calorie, high fibre diet food that can be found in many varieties. At booth F28, one can find Chia Seed Konnyaku Jelly which comes in a variety of flavours such as grape, apple and peach. Chia Seeds are known for being rich in omega-3 fatty acid, Vitamin B and dietary minerals. Chia seeds are also known for being good diet food and combined with Konnyaku, the Chia Seed Konnyaku Jelly makes for one healthy snack. The snack was delicious and I could feel the chia seeds expanding in my stomach. If snacks are not your thing, we also managed to try noodles made from Konnyaku at booth D26. Konnyaku is also a good replacement for Carbs as it is low calorie and Gluten-free.


Speaking of Gluten free, F17 had some Gluten-Free Pasta such as Linguine and Macaroni which were made of Sprouted brown rice from Ogata in Akita prefecture. Sprouted brown rice (pre-germinated brown rice) is rich in GABA. GABA or gamma-Aminobutyric acid, an amino acid, aids Brain development and is used to lower blood pressure. For someone who used to cook whole wheat pasta, the gluten-free pasta has a similar texture and taste to traditional wheat pasta.


If pasta made from Rice is not your thing, Tanesho Company at D14 has a variety of Super Food Rice ball. Superfood is a term used for food known for being very rich in nutrients.The rice balls are packed with these superfoods allowing you to have a healthier option of rice. Some of the varieties include Spirulina (a bacteria that has all the essential amino acids), camu camu (rich in vitamin C and tannins) and hempseed (omega 3 acid and essential fatty acid) & almond (vitamin B and calcium).

One of the most common product being showcased was Natto. Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. It is an acquired taste as it has a pretty strong smell, flavour and slimy texture. However, it is known as a highly nutritious food. It is richest known source of Vitamin K2 which studies have shown in prevention of Osteoporosis, heart disease and Prostate cancer. Natto too has the benefits of soy products without the high sodium content. While those have experienced Natto may be repulsed by the strong taste, the ones showcased in Food Japan have been fermented for a shorter duration so it is not as sticky nor as strong tasting. Some of the stalls have made it into a paste form meant to be spread and for a much more convenient packaging.

Unlike the previous years of Food Japan, which were bursting at the seams with sake and meat, this year is filled with things that are good for you!

Photos by Ken Koh

© POPCulture Online 2016

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