Japanese Healthy Diet That Enlightens in Four Seasons

Though our modern lives are full of comfort, we have gradually become distant from our natural environment. Living in homes with heaters and air conditioners have isolated from the changes in the four seasons. We tent to forget the gentle breeze in the treetops and the warm rays of the sun.

In Japan, the foods eaten in the Buddhist temples as enlightened foods are known as “shojin ryori” or shojin foods in every season. This traditional temple food uses no meat ingredients. All sources and elements come from plants and natural resources. Most of all are vegetables, seaweeds, wild plants, grains, pulses, and beans. Faith and expectation are for physical and spiritual well-balanced growth.

Since I came across in enlightened healthy living, I have a great passion for the traditional temple foods of all seasons. The meals come from seasonal natural resources, in the perception that following the flow of nature is best for the body. Eating foods in season provides your body with the nourishment it needs at a given time of the year.

The Four Seasons


The slight bitterness of spring buds and bamboo shoots, for example, is said to remove the fats the body accumulates during winter.


Vegetables from all the melon family, and vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, and cucumbers, have a cooling effect on the body.


Fall seasons provide an abundant harvest of sweet potatoes, yam, squash, chestnuts, and fruit, such as berries, citrus fruits, which revive tired bodies after the heat of summer.


During this time of the year, a variety of root vegetables is widespread in Japanese dishes, such as Japanese radish, turnips, and lotus roots. It provides warmth and sustenance to the body’s condition and health.

The creativity of all Season

When vegetables are seasonal, there is often a glut of particular ingredients in a specific period. A variety of cooking methods (frying, broiling, grilling) and seasoning (spices, salt, miso paste, soy sauce) allows the same vegetables are enjoyed in many different ways. Take, for example, when cooking with Japanese radish, the skin can be sliced thinly and fried, the root can be boiled, and the leaves can be blanched, finely chopped and mixed with rice.

In preparation of foods in temples, it is essential to notice all parts of the vegetable, as well as the ingredients, are in various ways in the region of cooking. In this way, the whole foodstuff it is used, without wasting any of it, is also kind to the environment.

The healthiness of all Season

In addition to the vegetables and fruit seasons, dried foodstuffs such as seaweeds, mushrooms, tofu are often used in every household and temple. These sun-dried foodstuffs are high in nutritional value and concentrated flavor, which is traditional staples in the Japanese diet.

Eating dried foodstuffs is said to ensure a long, healthy life. Seaweeds, for instance, it is rich in fiber, calcium, minerals, and iodine to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Tofu products are high in protein yet low in calories and fat.

I highly and heartily recommend trying these traditional Japanese foodstuffs as a part of your healthy diet. Aside from the nutrition you get, it is low in price that is very reasonable to your purse.

Have a great day!


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  1. Wow! I did not know about how certain food can do certain things in certain seasons.
    It is really an interesting read. I only it seaweed when it is served at restaurants but i am going to look into adding it to my grocery list. I want all those benefits and it’s yummy too.

    1. Hi Kate,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.
      I’m glad if you found this piece of information useful to you.

      In Japan, seaweeds are used usually in soup such as Mizo soup and to garnish sushi and sashimi.
      If you are looking for seaweeds you must prefer a dried one because it’s only in Japan uses the fresh one.

      Once again thank you so much,

  2. This is a great article, thank you for sharing these ideas!
    Eating the foods of the season you are in has to be the most healthy way to get your daily vegetables in. Plus you can grow them yourself much easier in the right season.
    Thanks for sharing… MrJimish

    1. Hello Mr. Jimish,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I agree with you eating the foods of the season you are in has to be the most healthy way to get your daily fresh vegetable, not the frozen ones.
      And the best thing is if you grow them especially the green for fresh salads.

      Once again thank you so much,

  3. Thank you so much for this article. My coming across it is very timely. I have been trying to change up my diet for a while to more organic foods. The idea of cooking things differently by frying or boiling will come in handy. I have never had Japanese radish or turnips, but I will be on the lookout for them and give it a try as I approach winter.

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