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To strengthen the body's immunity against viruses,
it is important for the immune system to function properly.
Nutrients related to this include vitamins and minerals.
Try adding Okinawa brown sugar,
which is rich in vitamins and minerals and easy to use,
to your diet!
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Kae Izena

A registered dietitian from Naha City, Okinawa, who is certified by Okinawa prefecture to pass down the tradition of Ryukyu cuisine. She is  also a health and exercise trainer. After working as a registered dietitian at schools, hospitals, and companies, she established Health Planning Kae in 1991, and established Total Wellness Project Okinawa in 2015 as a representative director thereafter. She opened a new studio upon changing the location of the company from Naha City to Yomitan Village. In July 2016, she launched "KAE project - カエプロジェクト-" in full-scale.

 Nutritional benefits of Okinawa brown sugar
Contains more vitamins and minerals than other refined sugars!

Okinawa brown sugar is made from sugarcane, a tropical plant, from which the sugar juice is squeezed, boiled, and hardened to become brown sugar. Okinawa Prefecture produces the largest amount of brown sugar in Japan. Without processing, this pure aromatic sugar is made using only sugarcane grown in Okinawa and is produced using a traditional method of simply boiling it down.

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Sugar, which we often use in our daily life for cooking, baking, and in drinks, has different nutritional composition depending on the type of the sugar. 

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Table ①   Nutritional content of Okinawa brown sugar and other sugars per 100g

As you can see in the table above, Okinawa brown sugar has more vitamins and minerals compared to other refined sugars. Vitamins and minerals, which people nowadays tend to lack in their diet, are important nutrients for the immune system to function properly in order to protect ourselves against bacteria and viruses. Lack of these nutrients makes it difficult for the immune system to function, leading to deterioration of cellular function, thereby reducing the resistance to viruses. You can consider switching the sugar you normally use to Okinawa brown sugar to take in more vitamins and minerals!

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Figure ① Nutritional intake of Japanese women aged between 30-39

It is known that the young working-age population in Japan does not take enough nutrients in their daily life (see Figure 1). This could be a common problem worldwide. As a result, some people are experiencing symptoms that are not caused by illnesses, such as tiring easily, feeling unwell, fatigue, skin irritation etc.


Some people may have been staying at home more, eating at home more, or cooking more as a result of reduced outings during Covid-19 (see Table 1). I hope you will maintain a healthy diet and stay healthy during this time of pandemic.

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Table ② March 31, 2021 Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries "2020 Awareness Survey on Dietary Education"

How to use Okinawa brown sugar
  Great food to eat when you are feeling tired!
Easy ways to replenish vitamins and minerals

A simple way to use Okinawa brown sugar is to add it to drinks, such as coffee or tea, or use it for cooking. You can easily replenish vitamins and minerals this way. When you feel tired from work or study and have trouble concentrating, you can try eating a piece of Okinawa brown sugar like chocolate or candy. Because the sugar content of brown sugar is broken down quickly and it contains vitamin B1 and niacin, which are necessary in the process of converting into energy, brown sugar is a great food to consume when you are feeling tired.

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Vitamins and minerals alone are not sufficient to boost immunity, and a well-balanced diet, including proteins and oils, is important for strengthening the body to fight against COVID-19.  As both undernutrition and overnutrition are bad for the body, try to maintain a healthy body as a whole.


Okinawa Zenzai (Servings: 3~5)

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Kintoki beans   60g

Mung beans 25g
Oshimugi (rolled barley)   10g
Okinawa brown sugar    50g
Sanonto sugar    25g
Water   350cc

1. Soak Kintoki beans, mung beans, and Oshimugi (rolled barley)  in water overnight. (The water should completely cover the beans)
2. Get rid of the water used to soak the beans, quickly wash the beans, and then place the beans and 350cc of water into the pressure cooker.
3. Start with high heat. Once pressure is reached, turn to low heat and cook for 15 minutes.
4. After the pressure is released, let it stand for another 15 minutes.
5 When finished, add Okinawa brown sugar and Sanonto sugar, mix well, and let it cool down at room temperature.

*If you do not use a pressure cooker, please follow the following steps.

 Step ① and ② are same as above. ③ Start with high heat. When it stars boiling, turn to low heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes. ④ When the beans become soft, turn off the heat. Add Okinawa brown sugar and Sanon sugar, mix well, and let it cool down at room temperature.


Yogurt Pudding (6 Cups)

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Milk    150g + 200g
Yogurt (plain)   200g
Gelatin   5g
Water   2 table spoons

Okinawa brown sugar  30g
Granulated sugar   30g
Lemon juice    1 table spoon

1  Soak gelatin in 2 tbsp of water and set aside.
2  Heat up 150g of milk in the microwave.
3 Add yogurt, Okinawan brown sugar, and granulated sugar to the hot milk and mix well.
4 Put ① in the microwave and heat it up for about 10~20 seconds, so that the gelatin is completely dissolved in the water.
5 Add ④ into  ③ and mix well, then add 200g of milk and lemon juice and mix well.
6 Once it is well mixed, pour it into cups and put them in the refrigerator to solidify.
※Add your favorite jam to finish it off.

  \ Where to find Okinawa brown sugar/  

​Supermarkets, bakery supply chain stores, online stores, and etc.


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