One of the best parts of traveling is living and emulating the cultures of the country you are exploring. So, while you are discovering all the wonders of the world, or dipping your toes in every sea, you’re also fully immersed in different cultures and lifestyles.
A comprehensive study was done, researching living standards, based on factors such as life expectancy, health risks, the burden of disease, diet and other aspects of life. We’ve collated a list of the 7 official healthiest countries in the world and what features of their life earned them the top spots so you can live like a local when visiting.
Thanks to a combination of exercise and diet, the island nation has the oldest population in the world. Scientists say one quarter of Japan’s population is older than 65. They also have the largest population of centenarians (someone 100 years or older) in the world.
Looking at their diet, a typical meal in Japan consists of is a modest portion of rice, a bowl of miso soup and a few side dishes served on little plates. Healthy fish, meat or tofu and vegetables are also incorporated into their diet.
Green tea, consumed throughout Japan, is rich in antioxidants and EGCG, a polyphenol that may help prevent against certain cancers.
The Japanese have also built physical activity in to their daily lives, even from an early age. More than 98 percent of Japanese children walk or bike to school so they lead less sedentary lives.
Spain enjoys a warm climate almost year round which increases Spaniard’s vitamin D levels and encourages a healthier active outdoor lifestyle. For example, long walks, hikes and bike rides are a lot more enjoyable under a warm blue sky.
The country eats less fast food and more fresh vegetables, lean meats, and red wine, with an emphasis on freshness and locality. Also, its famous cuisine being tapas, small portions of different varieties, the Spanish are used to portion control. Again, much of their health comes down to their Mediterranean diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts.
When it comes to stress and anxiety, you can’t discount the value of a good siesta, either.
Because of Australia’s remote location, locally sourced food isn’t a trend, it’s a way of life. Australians enjoy fresh, locally sourced seasonal foods all year long. They have a hunter-gatherer diet, the ‘bush tucker’ as they like to call it, which is said to be a reason for their high life expectancy and overall health.
Getting outdoors is also a big part of their culture. From swimming and rugby, to mountain biking, Australia accommodates all kinds of sports. And with some of the best beaches in the world for it, surfing is hugely popular and a great source of exercise.
According to the report, Singapore is the healthiest country in Asia. The city-state is better known for its food scene than, say, its workout classes. By imposing rules and regulations, Singapore has a fine system of keeping their environment healthy and clean.
They also have an efficient healthcare system and one of the best life expectancy rates in the world.
The third place spot is occupied by Switzerland, a country known for its gorgeous natural scenery and active, outdoorsy lifestyle. All of the starchy pastries, chocolate and cheese are balanced out by full-fat, no-sugar added varieties of yogurt. It is filling and easy for the body to digest.
The Swiss also have some of the highest life expectancies in the world. All of that fresh air, mountain biking and skiing in the Alps no wonder the Swiss are able to stay so fit and healthy!
Iceland’s citizens are active and outdoorsy and consume a diet largely of lean lamb, fresh seafood, grass fed beef from organic family-run farms.
They live an eco-friendly lifestyle with low stress and a landscape that makes you want to stay outdoors all day. Exercise is a lifestyle, and they enjoy sports all year round. There is also something to those restorative Blue Lagoon baths, too
Time to add “being healthy” to the list of things Italians do better than everyone else. They have a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fresh vegetables drizzled in extra virgin olive oil (Omega 3s), plus homemade pasta, fresh fish and lots of basil and garlic. Italy’s healthy diet leads to better cholesterol and overall health.
Italians are all about “Eating slowly”. Instead of fast food, they preserve traditional cuisine and local farming. They take their time.
On top of this, Italians in towns often go for walks after dinner with friends and relatives – a healthy habit that adds to their well-being.
Italy also has an “excess of doctors.” A baby born in Italy can expect to live to be an octogenarian!
People all over the world strive to be healthy by eating well and exercising regularly. So next time you’re exploring a country, eat the local cuisine and take part in their lifestyle activities to immerse yourself in the culture in these healthiest countries.