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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, 2017 by anonymous

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+1 vote

An anti-cancer diet is an important strategy you can use to reduce your risk of cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends, for example, that you eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and eat the right amount of food to stay at a healthy weight. In addition, researchers are finding that certain foods may be particularly useful in protecting you from cancer.

This article of the following foods and drinks helps you to fight against cancer:

1. Garlic

Garlic helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin production. Low insulin levels in your blood cells helps to prevent tumor-growing cells. Garlic is known to reduce the risk for breast and prostate cancer. A phytonutrient in garlic called diallyl disulfide helps prevent cancer of the lung, skin and colon. Diallyl disulfide also helps to kill leukemia cells, according to Foods That Heal.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is another plant that can help minimize the possibility of getting cancer. It contains several nutrients such as vitamins A and C, calcium, fiber and folic acid. The calcium content of broccoli not only builds strong bones but research has shown that it is also responsible for managing high blood pressure. Broccoli also contains two phytochemicals that are very crucial to our health. These chemicals are; Isothiocyanates and indoles. These enzymes increase the activity of various enzymes in our body that are known to suppress agents that cause cancer. Health organizations recommend the intake of broccoli several times per week and they are linked to low rates of cancer.

3. Beans

All beans contain compounds called protease inhibitors that help prevent cancerous cells from affecting nearby tissue. Phytochemicals in beans help to slow down or prevent damage to cells that cause cancer. Beans have been found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, according to the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric is widely used in India for cooking because of its flavor and the yellow color that makes food look appealing. It is also used to make mustard and to add color to cheese and butter. Turmeric has been used for the treatment of various health conditions for over 4,000. Studies reveal that turmeric may be useful against multiple infections and certain types of cancers, treat problems of the digestive system and reduce inflammation.

5. Grapes

The skin of red grapes is a particularly rich source of an antioxidant called resveratrol. Grape juice and red wine also contain this antioxidant. According to the National Cancer Institute, resveratrol may be useful in keeping cancer from beginning or spreading. Lab studies have found that it limits the growth of many kinds of cancer cells; in men, moderate amounts of red wine have been linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.

6. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the primary source of lycopene which is an antioxidant that makes tomatoes red. It is also known to protect cells and the DNA from being damaged. Approximately 10,000 deaths occur every year in the UK due to prostate cancer with around 35000 cases of new infection. Studies have revealed that men who have a high intake of tomatoes are less likely to get prostate cancer.

7. Carrots

Caretenoids, which include beta-carotene that gives carrots their color, are responsible for the anti-cancer action it has in your cells. Falcarinol is an anti-cancer compound in carrots that is more effective when carrots are cooked whole instead of sliced. Other anti-cancer properties in carrots are known to reduce your risk for cervical, bladder, colon and breast cancer in post-menopausal women, according to Foods That Heal.

8. Green Tea

Green tea is said to be very beneficial to our health because it contains nutrients and antioxidants; That have very influential effects to our body. It not only improves the functioning of the brain but it also helps in weight loss and reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, such as; Prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. Research also highly advises people not to put milk in their tea as this could decrease the value of the antioxidants.

9. Whole Grain Foods

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, whole grains contain many components that might lower your risk of cancer, including fiber and antioxidants. A large study including nearly half a million people found that eating more whole grains might lower the risk of colorectal cancer, making them a top item in the category of foods to fight cancer. Oatmeal, barley, brown rice, and whole-wheat bread and pasta are all examples of whole grains.

10. Bok Choy

It is a cruciferous vegetable, and it is a staple food in Asia. It belongs to the Genus Brassica, and it’s juicy and tasty stalks. Its leaves are very popular in the western world. it is rich in vitamins C and A, minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients and antioxidants. Antioxidants such as indole-3-carbinol, thiocyanates, zeaxanthin, isothiocyanates, and sulforaphane. In addition to vitamins and fiber have been found to prevent certain cancers of the colon, prostate, and breast. Besides cancer prevention, they also help to reduce the level of LDL in the blood.

+1 vote

Many of us attend weekly yoga classes, which are good for our general health and wellbeing. However, practising yoga on a daily basis will make you reap even more health benefits. Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, it's easy to squeeze in just 15 minutes a day. Here's why it's worth it.

1. Improve muscle flexibility, strength, and posture

Daily yoga will help stretch and tone your body muscles. Popular poses like the plank will simultaneously work on strengthening your arms, legs, shoulders and abs. Don't think you have to be super flexible to practice yoga, the beauty of yoga is that it can be practised at all levels of ability. A few minutes a day practising poses like the warrior or the downward facing dog, will soon make you really feel the difference in your flexibility, whether you're pretty bendy already or not.

Daily yoga also helps improve your body posture, making you walk taller and sit up straighter at your desk. Aches and pains caused by incorrect body posture such as back pain will be alleviated.

2. Better all-round level of fitness

When thinking of improving your fitness, most of us think of huffing and puffing away at the gym. But that is not necessarily the only way to work out. Yoga gives you all that a gym can, but in a peaceful, safe and more holistic way. It combines aspects of cardio, functional and strength training all in one. What more could you ask for? The best part about this workout is that it can be done at your own pace in your own home.

3. Lose weight

You don't have to practice Hot Yoga or be able to bend double in a yoga pose to lose weight. An everyday gentle yoga practice will fuel the metabolic system and will help burn fat, leading to weight loss. Daily yoga can also help restore the hormonal balance in your body, which can normalise your body weight.

Levels of cortisol, the hormone that is released in response to stress and low blood-glucose concentration, will be lowered, leading to less overeating. Daily yoga also strengthens the overall mind-body connection and helps you deal more effectively with unpleasant emotions rather than reaching for food to suppress those feelings.

4. Increase your energy

Just a few minutes of yoga every day will provide that much-needed energy boost in our busy lives and will keep us fresh for longer. Yoga, with its unique synergy of body and breath work, is perfect when your reserves are running low. Daily yoga practice will awaken the main energy centres (called chakras) in our body. Great poses for extra energy are those that extend the spine, such as the tree pose, allowing energy to circulate throughout the whole body and poses that open the chest, like the cobra pose, encouraging the intake of more breath.

5. Reduce stress

Many workplaces now offer lunch-time yoga sessions because it's been shown that yoga is an amazing stress buster. Any yoga practice, even a short daily one, should be made up of three elements; poses, breathing and meditation. Studies have shown that those people who regularly practice all three elements are better able to regulate their heart-rate variability (HRV). This generally means that their heart rate is lower, giving the body the ability to respond to stress in a more flexible way.

Are you coping with so much stress that it's keeping you awake at night? Studies have shown that practising daily yoga can reduce or even fully prevent insomnia. When experiencing insomnia, practice relaxing asanas or postures, such as forward fold (uttanasana) or lying on your back with your feet up the wall. Relaxing yoga poses such as the forward fold or lying on your back with your feet up the wall can calm both your body and mind.

6. Breathe better

Breathing deeply and calmly is an essential part of every yoga practice. Yogic breathing techniques (called pranayama) focus on trying to slow down the breath and on breathing fully from the pit of your stomach to the top of your lungs. These methods will make you feel more relaxed and balanced and will help you face the day with confidence and calm. They also have some great side benefits including increased lung capacity and more tidal volume (the total amount of air your lungs can hold at any one time).

You can adopt these techniques whenever needed in daily life. They can help you stay calm in emergency situations, think clearer in stressful situations and they can help reduce pain.

7. Be happier

Adding a few yoga poses to your daily routine can make you an emotionally stronger and happier person. A recent study has shown that practising regular yoga and meditation results in higher serotonin levels(the happiness hormone). The same study showed that long-term yoga practitioners have more mass in the areas of the brain associated with contentment. Another study has shown that the brain's gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels are higher after practising yoga. Higher GABA levels are associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety. To put it simply, just 15 minutes of yoga a day can start changing your brain chemistry and improving your mood.

8. Become more mindful

Yoga and mindfulness go hand-in-hand. When practising yoga, you will shift your awareness to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that accompany a given pose. That awareness will bring the mind back to the present moment – the main aim of mindfulness - where it can stay happy and focused. Practising mindfulness has lasting physical and psychological benefits that are very much in line with the benefits of yoga. You will feel more calm and relaxed, and less stress and anxiety. You will experience higher levels of energy and enthusiasm and more self-confidence and self-acceptance.

9. Improve concentration and think clearer

Yoga poses and meditation require you to concentrate on your breathing. This process of observing your breath calms your mind and makes you more mentally relaxed. As a result of this mental stability, you'll able to recollect and retain more information. Meditating for just a few minutes in the morning can result in better concentration throughout the day. By reducing mental stress and physical tension, we are able to recall easier and have more organised thoughts. Improved cognitive function happens when we are able to clear our minds and refresh. From a place of peace and calm, we are able to use our mental facilities more efficiently."

By reducing mental stress and physical tension, we are able to recall easier and have more organised thoughts. Improved cognitive function happens when we are able to clear our minds and refresh. From a place of peace and calm, we are able to use our mental facilities more efficiently. Overall, by reducing mental stress and physical tension through daily yoga, you'll be able to think sharper and have more organised thoughts.

10. Live Longer

As you now know, everyday yoga will help you increase your level of fitness, regulate your heart rate, reduce your stress levels and make you a happier person. All those elements may add valuable years to your life. It's also known that yoga decreases the risk of heart disease, and it reduces the pace of your breathing which has been directly linked to a longer lifespan. Recent studies have shown that the meditation element of yoga might help delay the process of ageing by protecting the telomeres (caps) at the end of our chromosomes, too

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