Taking food seriously is the fastest course to a vast and healthy diet. Minimizing your intake of sugars, fat and all kinds of artificial additives will give you a good chance of leading a life filled with energy. It will probably keep you (and therefore your surroundings) happy, too. Of course – everybody knows this, but it’s not always easy to maintain disciplined. The flesh is only as strong as we allow it to be, in the end.
A solution to this might be the Asian approach. The continent has a long history with healthy ways of living, usually through specific types of food. A strong belief seems to be the key. No matter how diverse their cultures can get – for a lot of Asian people eating healthy is serious business. Take kimchi, the Korean dish of (usually) fermented cabbage. Most Koreans treat it almost religiously, preserving it in separate refrigerators.
A Japanese version of a natural, healthy dish is umeboshi. To the eye no more than a red plum, it’s actually a very delicate fruit. The Japanese pick them from the Ume tree. The plums are pickled with salt and wrapped in Shiso leaves. After six months they reach a fermented state. The plums have developed a special combination of enzymes and bacteria, creating great health. The Japanese believe eating umeboshi on a daily basis keeps you in very good shape and fights bacteria fiercely. It’s their version of Eating an apple a day, will keep the doctor away.
Eating umeboshi is quite an experience. But, we can assure you – once you get the hang of it, the taste is refreshing and addictive. Take one every morning, and the strong, sharp sting of the umeboshi will snap you awake, instantly. It’s the sour taste of health.
Read more about the whole process from harvest to fermented umeboshi here. With beautiful images of the different stages and steps.
Umeboshi can be consumed as whole ‘plums’ as well as paste and vinegar.
You can find it at most health food stores within the Japanese section.
Learn more about the fascinating remedies of umeboshi here.