Every culture on Earth has some healthy habits as well as unhealthy ones. While we often focus on unhealthy habits… Don’t do this and don’t do that, we find that humans are normally more responsive to the “can do” statements.
So in today’s post, we are going to focus on healthy habits. We are going to take a trip around the world and look at various cultures and healthy habits they have.
You may want to adopt some or all of these healthy cultural habits.
Healthy Cultural Habits #1 – Leafy Vegetables – Nigeria
With the various infectious diseases wandering through parts of Africa, we wonder why more people don’t get deathly ill. In speaking with a Nigerian native, we discovered a good reason they don’t… Leafy vegetables.
Many Nigerian dishes consist of leafy vegetables that are high in antioxidants. 2 widely eaten vegetables in this category are okra and bitter leaf.
Healthy Cultural Habits #2 – Small Portions – Japan
The Japanese are adamant about small portions on a person’s plate. They want it to look colorful and appetizing. So there are usually 2 helpings of vegetables and most portions are only 2 – 3 mouthfuls. This cuts calorie intake.
Healthy Cultural Habits #3 – Taking Regular Vacations – Australia
Every Australian I have ever known is very hard working. But they are also quite focused on living a balanced life and part of that balance requires regular vacations.
There are moments when we must set work to the side and spend quality time with our loved ones. Our friends “down under” understand that their mental and spiritual health need vacation time where work will wait until we return.
Healthy Cultural Habits #4 – A Vegetable Main Course – Greece
It is not a small serving like Japan, but it is all vegetable. According to a study, Greeks have the highest intake of vegetables in the world.
A typical main course would be any seasonal vegetables cooked in olive oil with tomato and other herbs. This is served with bread and feta cheese.
The plate may be full, but it is a healthy full and you will come away satisfied.
Healthy Cultural Habits #5 – Eating Slow – Spain
It is natural that a family meal in Spain will last for 2 hours or more. The culture entices a slow eating and an enjoyment of the company.
Eating slow gives your system time to digest the food and you will know when you are full and satisfied. Too often in the United States, we eat so fast that our systems cannot warn us that we have had enough.
So not only is this a healthy way of eating, it is healthy for family stability.
Healthy Cultural Habits #6 – Oily Fish And Root Vegetables – Nordic Countries
Studies have shown that people in the Nordic countries of
- and Denmark
have some of the healthiest cardiovascular systems in the world. And many experts equate this to their diets which are loaded with oily fish and root vegetables.
The fish is high in Omega 3’s while the vegetables have many vitamins and minerals our bodies need.
Healthy Cultural Habits #7 – Fixed Meal Times – France
While Western culture has passed some bad habits to the French, many still abide by the cultural habit of 3 set meals with few, if any snacks.
Meals are set at certain times and if you are hungry before that time, you just let your stomach growl.
In many ways, the French are similar to the Spanish in that they eat those 3 meals slowly and enjoy the time with family and/or friends.
Healthy Cultural Habits #8 – Tech Free – The Amish
Could you handle life without your smartphone for 1 week? Your television or laptop? How about the microwave oven?
Visit an Amish family and you will find none of these gadgets.
Now I know it may be asking a lot to give up technology, but if you want to feel healthier physically, mentally and emotionally, we suggest that you force yourself to turn the gadgets off for 1 hour each day and for 1 whole day every 3 months.
You will be amazed at the world around you by doing so.
Healthy Cultural Habits #9 – Take A Dip In Hot Springs – Iceland
It may be an ice cold country for several months of the year, but Iceland is known for having some of the purest waters on the planet.
There are hot springs all over the country of Iceland and it is in the culture to bathe in these springs that are full of healthy minerals known to heal and relax.
Now, you may not have a hot spring near you to bathe in, but there are several in the United States…
- Breitenbush Hot Springs, Detroit, Oregon
- Lava Hot Springs, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
- Allegheny Springs at the Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Virginia
- and many more
Just do a search to find one near you.
Healthy Cultural Habits #10 – 0 Dairy – Thailand
I don’t want to lead you to believe that all dairy products are bad, but the majority of dairy products available in the United States are heavily processed and many people have become addicted to them.
Travel to Thailand and when you want a carton of milk, you are going to end up with coconut milk which is extremely healthier than the milk that comes from a cow.
Healthy Cultural Habits #11 – Bicycling – The Netherlands
The primary mode of transportation to work, school, shopping, and more in the Netherlands is pedal power.
People bicycle their way to everything and this keeps them in physically good shape and is also a relaxing way to travel.
Maybe your commute to work is too long for the bicycle, but I bet you can find some other reasons to get your pedal power in.
Healthy Cultural Habits #12 – Many Spices – India
The Indian culture (I mean India and not Indian as in Native Americans) adds many beneficial spices to their dishes.
- Red pepper
All of these as well as onions and garlic are associated with lower cholesterol and lowering heart disease risks.
Healthy Cultural Habits #13 – Fewer Work Hours – Sweden
Instead of 8 hour work days, the Swedes maintain 6 hour work days. This provides for a better work/life balance and it seems that Swedish natives are healthier physically and mentally because of it.
This may be difficult to “pull off” with your boss. So you may want to use the other habits to make up for this one.
Healthy Cultural Habits #14 – Early Morning Exercises – Singapore
A visit to Singapore will open your eyes to a whole different way of life. It is natural that residents rise early and exercise. That is something we all should do. You will see them practicing Tai Chi, jogging or various other exercises.
It wasn’t always this way for Singaporeans. The excuse was no time so the Health Promotion Board introduced free fitness programs in various gyms, parks, and malls to enliven the citizens to exercise. It caught on very well.
Healthy Cultural Habits #15 – Tea Please – China
Chinese people consume the most tea per capita and their health benefits from it. Studies have shown that just 1 cup of tea per day can
- Lower cancer risk
- Reduce the risk of strokes
- Reduce the chances of neurological diseases
- and lower cholesterol
Have you had your cup of tea today?
Healthy Cultural Habits #16 – Support Your Local Farmers – United States
From Seattle to Upstate New York, in many communities, a person can find local Farmer’s Markets.
You are buying freshly grown produce that is healthy and wholesome, plus you are supporting the local farming network.
So take a look around and pick up some fresh
- sweet corn
- and my favorite, watermelon
There are no harmful chemicals and they are grown with love.
Well, you have come to the end of this list and I do hope you will share this with all your friends and family. There are buttons below to help you do just that.
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