Japanese Superfood to Boost Your Immune System to Fight Against COVID-19

April 16, 2020 Juju Kurihara Cooking, Culture, Foods, Lifestyle Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

How are you dealing with the quarantine? Japan has finally announced a State of Emergency in big cities although many businesses are still open and therefore, many people are still outside and doing their normal life. The supermarkets are always crowded because kids and fathers are at home and eat three meals. At many supermarkets, there are still no indications to keep the distance between the customers. Hope this changes.



Most of us will probably get infected eventually. As we know, for many people the symptom is mild but you don’t know if you get a mild one or not. We don’t know what we can do to beat against COVID-19. Apart from washing your hands and face and gurgling after coming back from outside, only social distancing seems to be the best way at the moment. 


How to wash your hands properly:



Exercise is also recommended to increase your immune system. The President of Uganda is showing his nation how to exercise indoor. He looks well fit as a 75 years old! I do 15-20 mins home workout every morning at home. It definitely helps me to stay focus and not get paranoid during this situation.




But I am more interested in food that boosts our immune system. Yakuzen (薬膳) is something I’ve heard all the time in Japan. This is known as Chinese food therapy which is a concept that food is a medicine and believed that different ingredient has different effect on the body. Perhaps you may have heard the ingredients that are Yin and Yang. Yin foods cool down your body and Yang foods warm your body. 



For example, umeboshi and leeks are typical yakuzen when you have a cold. Yakuzen is the Japanese superfood that boost your immune system. What are they? (No particular order)


      1. Natto


Natto contains Arginine which is amino acid that helps to boost our immune system. Especially this slimy stickiness fixes the intestines by preventing bad bacterias. It’s recommended to eat small potion but everyday.



      2. Seaweeds


Sliminess of seaweeds is coming from the dietary fiber called Fucoidan, which activates our immune cells. Seaweeds are also rich in minerals. For women, seaweeds are perfect diet food for its low calories and as they help the body to absorb less sugar and to reduce neutral fat, they are a superfood for men too. Since they contain iodine, it’s not recommendable to eat big quantity everyday. Better to have them as a small side dish or an ingredient of the salad. 


      3. Miso


Miso is rich in innutritious and since it has many good effects on our health, it’s called “keep the doctor away” food.  To start with, it contains high amino acid and vitamins, minerals and enzyme. Plant finer and linoleum acid are especially good for women because it keeps the skin beautiful. There are more good effects that miso gives on our body. 


Miso prevents us ageing and constipation, lowers the cholesterol levels and reduces melanin. It’s really a superfood! Only the problem is it’s quite salty and you need to be aware of the quantity you eat. 


      4. Yuzu


Yuzu is a citrus fruit and it’s often used for its special fragrance in Japan. The skin is also used to use as a decoration as well as adding the flavour. The taste is acid and bitter-sweet at the same time. It contains high vitamin C, also iron,  potassium and calcium. 


On the winter solstice, many Japanese people have a bath with this Yuzu for a good health. This is because this fruit has an effect of warming the body. It helps to sooth rough skin too. If you make a yuzu liquor and drink it one or two small potion, it would prevent hardening of the arteries and anaemia. 


      5. Umeboshi


Umeboshi’s major effect is to kill bacterias. This has been know for a long time in Japan and used as a medicine. Recently the study shows that umeboshi can prevents lifestyle-related diseases and cancer. When your immune system is low, your body is more exposed to viruses and bacterias. And there, umeboshi will here to help you.  Umeboshi is so powerful that it helps you to recover from the exhaustion too. 


      6. Matcha


Matcha is really a superfood. It keeps us from many diseases, from bad teeth to cancer. Catechin is the bitter taste of match and this kills bacterias in our body. Studies show that it stops the growth of cholera bacilli and even influenza virus. 


Another good thing about matcha is an antioxidant effect which helps to prevent lifestyle-diseases and cancer as well as ageing. Matcha also helps you to relax. If you have anxiety during this quarantine, it may help you to have a cup of matcha latte a day. (But no in the late afternoon)



These are Japanese superfoods and there are more of course. What is the superfood in your country? Would you like to share with us? 


Eat well and beat COVID-19 (by staying at home). 




Savvy Tokyo: https://savvytokyo.com/7-japanese-superfoods-to-boost-your-immune-system/

lark: https://www.lark.com/blog/covid-19-and-exercise/

Yomeishu: https://www.yomeishu.co.jp/health/3371/

Karacare: https://karacare-media.com/article/8845

Food-drink.pintoru: https://food-drink.pintoru.com/miso/health-benefits-of-miso/

Ryoko-club: https://ryoko-club.com/food/matcha-nutrition.html

Nurse-web: https://nurse-web.jp/kouka/ume/

Kenko-tabemono: https://bit.ly/3beM1zZ





  1. Beth Parkhurst 3 years Reply

    What a useful post — thank you very much! I think I’m going to make some miso soup soon.

    Kale is a popular superfood in the U.S. I have a small plot in our community garden and like to grow kale there. Kale is available in every farmers’ market, too. My mother gave me a recipe for a delicious Portuguese kale soup.

    • Juju Kurihara 3 years

      Miso soup is good even not for your immune system. 

      I’ve got to know kale after started living in Europe, especially in Germany, people often use it. So far, I like kale chips the best. Enjoy your Portuguese kale soup and stay healthy!!

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