5 Wellness Rules Japanese Women Live By

Japanese women are some of the healthiest people on earth. It comes down to a few things, with geographic isolation and universal health care among them, but there are certain cultural habits that are undeniably tied to the long life expectancy and overall physical health shared by Japanese women, more than Japanese men.

From a diet centred on diversity and balance to the wellness-led interior design approach that aims to create zen through simplicity, here are five wellness rules Japanese women live by.

Drink green tea

This Japanese pantry staple loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids, with five times more Vitamin C than a lemon. Green tea has been suggested to help to improve brain function and assist with fat burning. If you're a coffee addict, caffeinated green tea is a healthier alternative—or, get yourself some decaf green tea for a cleansing evening sip.

Eat a diverse diet

Japanese women have the world's longest average life expectancy, with experts pointing to a healthy diet as the key reason. This means a highly diverse daily food intake (at least 30 different foods each day) and very little processed foods. Smaller portions and lighter cooking methods (such as steaming and simmering, rather than frying and roasting) are also trademarks of the traditional Japanese diet and will help you become more nutrient focussed in your eating.

Take an onsen

Bathing in a mineral-rich natural hot spring for 10 to 30 minutes a day has been proven to improve blood circulation and increase metabolism and has been practiced for hundreds of years. Benefits are not just physical but also mental, allowing time away from screens to reflect and recharge. Minerals such as calcium, sodium bicarbonate, sulfur, and iron are absorbed through the skin during onsen, but if you don't have easy access to your own natural hot spring there's a way to DIY at home by using Japanese bath salts in your bathtub.

Practice kanso

You've heard of feng shui, but what about kanso? This Japanese interior design concept is one of the seven pillars of wabi-sabi, and it's essentially mindfulness for your furniture. It's similar to the Chinese concept of feng shui, but more reminiscent of Marie Kondo's method. Kanso is all about simplicity: look around you and identify only the things that you need. Now, get rid of the rest. Easier said than done, of course, but it's a good place to start if you're aiming for a state of zen.

Keep it simple

While K-Beauty is focussed on cutting edge innovation, J-Beauty is all about simple beauty products done perfectly. The goal of J-Beauty is healthy skin that needs very little makeup if any, and Japanese beauty products are famed for the level of research and development that goes into making them.

Speaking of healthy skin, we asked our resident dietitians what to eat to get that healthy glow and here's what they said.

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