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Why eating Eel ( Unagi ) in summer is recommended in Japan

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

Traditional Practice: In Japan, it is a long-standing tradition to eat unagi (Eel) during the summer season, particularly on the "Doyo no Ushi no Hi" (Day of the Ox) which falls on specific days in July and August. This tradition originated from the belief that consuming unagi helps replenish stamina and withstand the hot and humid weather of summer.

Nutritional Benefits: Unagi(Eel) is highly nutritious and provides essential nutrients

that can be beneficial during the summer months. It is a good source of high-quality protein, which helps in muscle repair and growth. Unagi is also rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, and potassium, which are important for maintaining overall health and replenishing electrolytes lost through sweating.

Energizing and Cooling Properties: Unagi is considered to have "yakuzen" or warming properties in traditional Japanese medicine. Despite being served hot, it is believed to have a cooling effect on the body after consumption. This paradoxical effect

is thought to help balance the body's internal temperature and provide relief from the summer heat.

It's worth noting that while these reasons are traditionally associated with the consumption of unagi in summer, unagi can be enjoyed throughout the year as a delicious and nutritious dish.

At Zawa Japanese, we also offer fluffy unagi (eel) over rice and eel rolls. Please give them a try and savor the flavors.

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