Mar 28, 2016
Even Salad Oil?! 4 Foods to Avoid in Kafunsho Season Japan
Sifting through the news of a Monday, we’ve decided to steer clear of the bombshell that Japan’s penchant for impressionable young things in frilly dresses is spreading to yet more parts of Asia, with plans for AKB48 to add ‘branches’ in Bangkok and Manila.
No, today we’re going to run with something more seasonal, and hopefully practical. Trending on livedoor NEWS …
This translates very roughly to the title of this piece …
Even Salad Oil?! 4 Foods to Avoid in Kafunsho Season
Kafunsho - 花粉症 - hay fever
Actually, livedoor are scrolling this headline from Japanese website Menjoy. Now, before we get into the nitty gritty of this, let’s just take a moment contemplate the name Menjoy, and what we might imagine such a publication to be (apart from one with a fantastic name).
Menjoy, the tagline in the ‘about’ section explains, is a magazine for women, to enjoy men! This is the literal, albeit clumsy, translation.
So, the theme of foods to avoid during kafunsho season seems an odd choice here. However, the nuance (or rather the blunt sledgehammer overtone) of the piece seems to be that exacerbating allergy symptoms in ‘your man’ can get in the way of a romantic date (or ‘home date’ as the piece often refers to). In the intro, the writer explains that kafunsho can place limits of where you can go out on dates, and also have adverse effects on your (and we just love this phrase ) ラブタイム / love time.
Anyway, date spoilers aside, we hope that some of the diet/nutrition advice, from the Japanese, might help anyone suffering from kafunsho better get through this most irritating of seasons. The information used by Menjoy was lifted from the site microdiet.net, and was written up by a food analyst from the magazine. We bring it to you in English.
Foods to avoid during kafunsho season in Japan
Milk / 牛乳 / gyuunyuu
The protein (タンパク質 / tanpaku shitsu) in milk makes for twitchy fingers on the allergy trigger, so to speak. This is an oft spoken about topic amongst those bringing up children. That said, even though it comes from the same ‘dairy product’ family, yogurt is said to be good for such things, so care needs to be taken here.
The article goes on, bizarrely, to conclude that these kinds of foods make you want to refrain ‘home dates’, don’t they?! Err, yea, if you say so.
Sugar / 砂糖 / satou
Sugar can increase the volume of release of histamine (ヒスタミン) in the body and exacerbate allergy symptoms.
White sugar, in particular, is easily absorbed and can cause sudden rises in blood-sugar levels. This sugar is easily stored as body fat which, in turn, decreases the body’s ability to overcome allergies.
So, staying on the theme, this should serve as a warning to those ladies in the habit of making their men sweets!!
Wheat products / 小麦製品 / komugi seihin
Products like breads and pastries that are made from wheat will also contain gluten (グルテン).
Gluten is described in the piece as being one of the ‘allergy products’. Therefore, if people who suffer kanfunsho eat wheat products, their symptoms will become worse.
So, again, it’s back to your man; maybe rather than a sandwich, it would be better to give him a white-rice based Japanese meal. We’re not making this up, honest!
Salad Oil / サラダ油 / sarada yu
On a ‘home date’, are you cooking with salad oil?! No idea, I just buy the cheapest stuff I can from the supermarket!
The largest component of regular salad oil is Omega 6 fatty acid (オメガ6脂肪酸 / omega 6 shibousan). Taking in more of this than recommended increases the risk of allergies, and other inflammations/irritants.
Large quantities of Omega 6 are also found in canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, sesame oil, and safflower oil.
Although intake of these fatty acids is essential, in today’s world, people are exceeding recommended levels
For your ‘home date’, consider using olive or coconut oil instead.
We’d like to reiterate that our purpose in bringing this to you is to help suffers of kafunsho. We’re not in this for the dating advice, the language of which seems to be stuck in the 1950s. We’ve chosen to include it though, as a sort of cultural reference.
Our translation can in no way be considered official, nor is anyone here (at City-Cost) a qualified medical/dietary professional.
If you’ve got any tips on dealing with kafunsho be sure to share them with the community, or pop them in a blog post.
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One of my students is a nurse and recommended getting an air filter (空気清浄機 / kuuki seijyou ki) at home to help with my dust allergy. Most models also help capture any pollen that find their way into your house. They're kind of expensive, average is about 一万円, although I found a decent one from a recycle shop (cleaned up with a new filter) for 3000 yen. I can agree with the article in that I tend to feel worse when I eat dairy and wheat, although I haven't noticed a connection with sugar or oil (yet).