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Top 10 Health Tips from Cultures Around the World

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From stress-relieving siestas to immune system-boosting herbs and spices, just about every culture around the globe offers unique, effective tips and solutions for managing weight and staying healthy.

To live healthier and enjoy a higher quality of life, check out these 10 global health tips from cultures all around the world:

1. Use the Freshest, Highest-Quality Ingredients You Can

All too many busy Americans choose processed foods over natural. Processed food options are often packed with sugar, salt and other additives that can be very damaging to health. Try instead to take cues from countries like Japan and Italy who favor farm-fresh, seasonal produce in their cuisines. Go to local markets and buy your ingredients fresh -- organic, if possible. If you're ambitious, consider growing your own food.

2. Eat From All of the Food Groups

Many people move from one "food fad" to another, cutting out fat one week and carbs the next. However, diets like the Mediterranean diet, which embraces all things in moderation, are renowned as incredibly healthy. The Mediterranean diet allows for carbs, wine, dairy and olive oil, and those who eat this way often remain healthy.

3. Favor Fish Over Meats

Red meat is a staple of many diets, and it's believed to be one of the causes of heart disease worldwide. A healthier protein option follows Icelandic and Japanese diets, which are rich in seafood.

High in Omega 3s, not only is seafood great for heart health, it can also lower one's propensity toward “winter blues", or seasonal affective disorder.

4. Eat Slowly and Take Time to Savor Food

Take a page from European cultures such as Italy and France, where food is savored in a very leisurely fashion. Taking a longer amount of time to eat meals and savoring each bite allows you to enjoy your meals more and reduce the risk of over-consuming.

It takes at least 20 minutes for the body to register a full feeling. Dining with others also enhances this savoring effect and allows you to better gauge how much you are eating.

5. Stop Eating Before Feeling Completely Full

The Okinawans have the world’s longest life expectancy and have a practice of eating until they feel just 80% full. This habit is known as "hara hachi bu".

Eating more slowly help you to recognize when you feel full and avoid overeating. Remember that it takes 20 minutes to register feeling full.

6. Spice it Up

Whether you love Mexican dishes or are partial to Indian cuisine, eating more spicy, flavorful foods can help you to boost your overall health. Studies have shown that turmeric – a spice found in curries – can help to slow Alzheimer’s disease. Chili peppers speed the metabolism and cause you to eat more slowly.

7. Have Alcohol with Meals

While an excess of alcohol is a threat to health, drinking wine (especially red wine) has documented health benefits when consumed in moderation.

Mediterranean habits of having wine with meals in moderation cuts health risks associated with alcohol. It also increases good cholesterol and lowers the risk of heart disease.

8. Take a Daily Nap

Spanish cultures have a long tradition of taking an afternoon "siesta”. The Japanese have also embraced the "power-nap" during the work day.

Sleep can help you to boost memory, reduce stress levels and help you live longer. Taking a half-hour nap three or more times per week leads to a 37% lower risk of fatal heart disease.

9. Family Time

Research findings have consistently indicated that having healthy ties to family and good friends helps people to live longer, healthier lives. This may be part of the reason that Italian and Hawaiian cultures are renowned for their good health and longevity.

A close-knit family offers both emotional and financial support, reducing stress in life and increasing feelings of well-being.

A survey of numerous countries revealed that Brazilians spent the most time with their families (74 hours per week on average) and had some of the lowest levels of stress. Take a page from close-knit cultures and strive to cultivate stronger connections with those you care about.

10. Don't Drive -- Walk and Bike

While many Americans take time to hit the gym at least a couple of times per week, research has shown that more integrated and regular daily activity can be even more effective than a sporadic workout regimen. All too many of us do very little outside of those trips to the gym.

While you don't have to forgo the gym workouts entirely, you can effectively boost health and fitness by taking inspiration from people in the Netherlands, where there are more bicycles than people. Strive to squeeze in more everyday physical activity like biking or walking to the store or to work. Consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Every positive lifestyle change helps, and together they can all add up to better health and well-being. There is much to be learned from our neighbors all around the globe. Hopefully this list will help you get started on the path toward better health.

posted Apr 6 by anonymous

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Acid reflux is an uncomfortable and frustrating problem. The condition can cause an intense burning sensation after eating, and therefore prevent the person from feeling comfortable, sleeping, and otherwise disrupt daily life.

Ten Foods That Help with Acid Reflux

1) Oatmeal: This food works well because it is both filling and it is very low in acid. The oatmeal can even help absorb some acidity that comes from added fruit, such as raisins. Oatmeal works great as both breakfast or snacks.

2) Bananas: Bananas are also very low in acidity and for most people, they can be very soothing for the condition. A small percentage of people find bananas make things work for them, so if someone finds their reflux is worse after eating one, this can be crossed off the list.

3) Melons: Melons, along with honeydew and watermelon, also have very low acidity and most people find them very soothing for their reflux. Like bananas, some people may find they make the condition worse, but these cases are rare.

4) Salad: Salads in general are fantastic for acid reflux sufferers. Some people, however, run into trouble with the parts they add to the salad. When fixing one, remember to avoid high fat dressings, cheeses, tomatoes and onions. Many people find their reflux to be fine so long as they add no more than one tablespoon of an ingredient with some acid content.

5) Fennel: This vegetable can be a fantastic additive to salads, chicken recipes and other dishes while helping to reduce reflux. It is low in acidity but high in vitamins and minerals, and may help improve stomach function.

6) Green and Root Vegetables: Nearly any vegetable that fits into this category, including broccoli, asparagus, or celery, are beneficial for those fighting acid reflux.

7) Poultry: Chicken and turkey are two wonderful options for those working to control their reflux with diet. The skin should be removed, because it is high in fat, but then the meat can be cooked and seasoned in a variety of ways without aggravating the awful heartburn.

8) Fish: Fish is another food category that does not provoke acid reflux. It can be baked, broiled, grilled, or sauteed without causing problems. This also includes shrimp and lobster, which can typically be eaten without worry.

9) Parsley: Parsley is an excellent choice for seasoning foods because of its mild flavor, but also for the benefits it offers in terms of digestion. It has been used for thousands of years to settle the stomach and aid in digestion.

10) Couscous and rice: These complex carbohydrates are not only good for people, they are also good choices for avoiding heartburn. They are easy to use to complement a meal and both tend to work well with chicken or fish.

We don't provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.
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