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Health And Family

WATCH: John Arcilla shares benefits of forest bathing, pescatarian diet

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — How do actors manage stress or stay relatively youthful-looking and healthy amid their busy schedules?

John Arcilla swears by a popular Japanese practice, as he revealed in an exclusive interview for Philstar.com's Lifestyle and Entertainment show "Slam Book."

'Forest bathing' 

John shared that whenever he needs a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, he chooses to commune with nature. 

"I do forest bathing because ang nabasa ko ang nature daw with the sounds of the birds and the leaves, the energy of the forest can actually repair your body by 800 times," the Venice Film Festival Best Actor shared exclusively to "Slam Book," Philstar.com's online show. 

"I love that. I do that. Kapag down ako, gusto ko nasa tabi ng dagat, nasa forest, sa tabing ilog. Nakikita ko 'yung halaman, nature," he added.  
  
Forest bathing or Shinrin-yoku was coined by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in 1982.

Its effects had been written many times in many literatures. In fact, a study aimed to find the physiological effects of forest bathing in humans who spent time in 24 forests across Japan.  

The study revealed that forest environments promote "lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity" observed than those who are in city environments. 

Going pescatarian

The actor has also chosen to go meat-free. His decision was influenced by his compassion for animals and by research on the effects of eating meat on overall health.  

It started when he read about extinction of different animal species. He read about how some animals like elephants and orangutans were forcibly taken out of their natural habitats. Their plight saddened and depressed him. 

"Sobrang naiiyak ako, sobrang na-depress ako. Wala akong ibang pwedeng mai-share kung hindi to stop eating meat. Sabi ko kasi I love my dogs, I love animals. What is the difference? 'Pag tingnan mo 'yung mata ng animals, iisa sila ng soul, iisa sila ng essence. So sabi ko, I will stop eating meat from now on," John shared. 

He might have taken a vow not to eat animals but he found himself including fish and crustaceans in his diet during the pandemic out of necessity.  

"There was a moment after three years noong magkasakit ako tapos nagkaroon ng pandemic, nag-lockdown, feeling ko parang kailangan kong mag-boost ng protein, nag-pescatarian ako. So, I went back to (eating) fish and crustaceans but I never touched meat at all," John stressed. 

John, however, noted that based on his research, plant-based diets still work and offer "complete protein" requirements. 

"Ang meat nanggagaling diyan ang cancer, sakit sa puso, altapresyon. So why should I? 'Yun nga number one kinakapitan ng virus. I should never touch meat again," he stressed.

RELATED: John Arcilla: Laurenti Dyogi my hero; I was Ara Mina's first kiss

JOHN ARCILLA

SLAM BOOK

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