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Zen’s Method: Congee for Healthy Soul


Title: Zen’s Method: Congee for Healthy Soul

“In the world of Zen, there is a phrase shuyujiri which states (and literally written in Chinese characters as) the “ten benefits of congee” ”

Rice is the staple diet in a typical Japanese family; so it is natural that congee is a part of Japanese culture. Because congee is recently popular for its good health results, it is easily forgotten that congee has been a part of Japanese culture for a long time.

Congee is the first food that babies eat. Rice is boiled gently in water 10 times the volume of rice for about an hour to make rice turn into congee, then pureed so babies, unable to chew, can practice swallowing it. Babies are still not used to solid food, so congee is said to be the best food for a weak stomach in Japan. Also, nana-kusa-gayu congee is food eaten on the 7th day of a new year to let the gourmand stomach rest from all the new year’s festive cuisine and drinks.

Congee is recently being revisited because of its health benefits. Because it is made by letting rice absorb large amount of water, the volume increases, thus significantly decreasing the calories per serving. In the world of Zen, there is a phrase shuyujiri which states (and literally written in Chinese characters as) the “ten benefits of congee”:
Color- better skin tones and conditions
Power- body becomes energetic
Life- live longer
Relieve- no eating too much
Sophistication- clear head for using pure and refreshing words
Light heart- the heart feels freed
Free from sickness
Assuage hunger
Wets the whistle
Maintain the stomach’s functions

For diet purpose, try eating congee 2-3 times a day with your meal to detox your body. Steamed vegetables are recommended with your congee and try enjoying them without much added salt. Let’s see the changes you will feel!

Check out Japan Marche’s Pinterest board to find more recent Japanese health trends!

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