The world’s healthiest countries or places are defined as those with low infant mortality rates and high life expectancy. These rates are in the brackets of 2 infant deaths per 1000 live births, and a life expectancy of 72 for men and 74 for women, which is more than you can say for the country you live in, unless of course, it is among the top World’s healthiest countries…
Just for the record, as at May, 22, 2012, Singapore topped the list of the World’s healthiest countries, followed by Italy, Australia, Switzerland and Japan. (For more on this, check out Bloomberg.com).
Naturally, you will ask, “what’s their secret?”… I know I did!! After all,there has to be something they are doing that the rest of us are not doing, it only makes sense to conclude that!
Here is the thing, if you are asking, you are right!! Except for the part where we think it’s a secret, because, after reading a few facts about these countries, it came to my knowledge that it is not really information hidden from anyone, on the contrary, it is information that is open to every single person who can read and write, we just choose to ignore it.
Take for example:
Singapore is said to be one of, if not the cleanest country in the world. Am told it is so clean you would be tempted to eat on the sidewalk. Hygiene and cleanliness lie right next to their hearts, and the rules and policies to govern this are very strict. The citizens of Singapore also make a effort to implement this in their daily lives, making cleanliness of their environment like second nature to them…
“Keep your environment clean”… I know, this mantra sounds very familiar!
In Italy, the heart is at the centre of everything. The diet components of Italians compose of foods that protect the heart from malfunction and disease, and it works for them just fine. There is a certain village in Italy called Campodimele, where the average life expectancy is 95! Cars are not allowed in the village, and to get anywhere, one is required to walk. Most work in the garden, taking care of animals and crops, activities that make the body active and give no room for extra bad fat to settle in the vessels.
Their diet consists of fresh produce of pulses, natural oils like olive oil, accessories like garlic and onions, and some red wine, which research has actually shown that it has heart protecting characteristics.
Your heart is the center of everything, isn’t it? Borrow a branch.
Their activities mostly include being active, the whole day, and going about it the right way. Keep fit, engage your body in activities that put the muscles to practice, and let your diet be fresh, cook food from scratch.
See, when you are not active, your body is predisposed to all those conditions that seem to bug our new century; CVDs, hypertension, high cholesterol levels……
Eating well and being active go hand in hand in giving your body the wholesome care it needs.
The Swiss people are very keen on the portions of food on their plates and cups. They also like using small sized vessels, just to make sure the portions they consume are just about right, unlike when one uses a huge plate, where the tendency to eat more than required is heightened, and chance of being overweight are high.
They also prefer eating together with family or at social gatherings, where the heart and mind are at peace, thus ensuring wholesome wellness.
So, give thought to that chunk of meat you have on your plate… and that portion of vegetables… and that portion of starch. Your amounts matter…
Japan is the world’s largest fish consumer. It is their major protein source, which leaves meat on the sidewalk. Their diet also consists of foods rich in omega-3 fats (natural sources) like salmon and walnuts. While I accept the fact that these are not readily available in our local market, there are other sources of omega-3 fatty acids available in the local market, including beans, fish and olive oil.
The Japanese are also known for their healthy behaviors and diets, constituting the famous herbal (read natural) spices, a long list that I will not mind coming back to another time.
There is a certain debate as to whether people live long because of avoiding doctors, or for the mere reason that they did not need them in the first place, but as the saying goes, ’prevention is better than cure’. This however, has to stem from the heart, if you are to see long term results , and making it a lifestyle is just the way to go.
It is not all health policy and government rules, or governing bodies and their incessant licenses, or the food production industries and their channels. The power over our health is in our hands, entirely. We just have to wave the magic wand of lifestyle change, and actually mean it.
You now know the secret: Keep fit! Eat fresh food! Cut out your stress! Revise your diet choices! Keep your environment clean!
And, Keep your heart and head safe!!
Borrow a leaf from these, I know I will…