We all enjoy a good meal, especially one that’s rich in taste and flavour. We also understand that the right foods can have a beneficial effect on our health. That said, sometimes isn’t not about what we eat, but rather how we eat.
So, when you’re searching for a meal recipe courtesy of another culture, it would be advisable to also find out more about their eating habits so that your health can also enjoy your meal choices.

Longevity Eating Habits From Around the World

1. Love your lunch like the Spanish

While some may consider breakfast the most important meal of the day, in Spain, this title goes to lunch. In fact, lunch is often referred to as la comida, which translates to “the meal”.

Enjoying a bug lunch not only helps to speed up your metabolism, but a study published in the journal International Journal of Obesity found that participants who ate their main meal before 3 p.m. ended up losing more weight than those who ate their main meal after 3 p.m. Additionally, a more recent study published in Obesity also found that eating earlier in the day can help to regulate appetite, helping with weight management.

So, the next time you’re packing lunch, make sure to give yourself an extra serving of vegetables and enjoy the added fiber.

2. Eat with others like the French

Communal dining is common practice in France. Sitting down to enjoy a meal with your loved ones should become common practice, especially if you want to improve your health.

A Korean study published in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice revealed that men who eat by themselves, at least twice a day, face an increased risk for metabolic syndrome as well as prediabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, than people who always eat with others.

What’s more, not only do social gatherings improve your mental health, but research has found that incorporating food into this can help to reduce the chances of disordered eating and it can also improve one’s nutritional intake (1).

3. Enjoy fruits and vegetables like the Greek

The Greek diet consists of a high intake of fruits and vegetables so it’s no wonder that the Greek’s life expectancy is around 83 years old.

Photo by Loren Joseph on Unsplash

4. Go meat-free like the Californians

Loma Linda is an area in California whose residents follow a vegetarian diet. Considering the fact that Loma Linda is considered a Blue Zone, then perhaps it would be a good idea to cut back on your intake of red meat?

A study presented at ESC Preventive Cardiology revealed that a higher intake of red and processed meat was linked to worsened heart function. That said, a separate study found that substituting your consumption of red meat with whole grains, nuts or legumes can serve to greatly reduce your risk of heart disease./vc_column_text]

5. Spice it up like the Indians

Indian cuisine is known for its delicious flavor, thanks to the variety of spices that it features.

One of the most popular spices is turmeric, which contains the compound curcumin. According to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, curcumin can help to promote longevity.

Another spice found in Indian cuisine is Cayenne pepper and research has found that people who regularly eat chili pepper can live longer (2).

alcohol
Photo by Alfonso Scarpa on Unsplash

6. Enjoy a glass of wine like the Italians

A glass a day could keep the doctor away, and it’s probably why Italy is constantly considered one of the healthiest countries in the world.

Now, while research has shown that people who drink a glass a day are substantially less likely to spend time in hospitals–for any reason, it’s important to manage your consumption and stick to no more than a glass a day (two for men).

7. Eat fresh fish like the Chinese

Thanks to the heavy presence of fish in their diet, Chinese people get a great dose of omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds have been found to greatly reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and early death.

If you’re not a fan of fish, you can still get your omega 3s from nuts, seeds, legumes and even seaweed

eating

Want to know more?

Small diet changes can do more for you and the planet than you might think. In fact, researchers have recently found that small diet changes can protect you and the planet.

References

Bielak-Zmijewska, A., Grabowska, W., Ciolko, A., Bojko, A., et al. (2019). The Role of Curcumin in the Modulation of Ageing. International journal of molecular sciences20(5), 1239. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20051239

Chae, W., Ju, Y.J., Shin, J. et al. Association between eating behaviour and diet quality: eating alone vs. eating with others.  (2018). Nutr J 17, 117. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-018-0424-0

Costanzo, S., Mukamal, K. J., Di Castelnuovo, A., Bonaccio, M., et al (2019) Alcohol consumption and hospitalization burden in an adult Italian population: prospective results from the Moli-sani study, Addiction, 114, 636– 650. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/add.14490.

Garaulet, M., Gómez-Abellán, P., Alburquerque-Béjar, J. et al. (2013). Timing of food intake predicts weight loss effectiveness. Int J Obes 37, 604–611.  https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2012.229

Kwon, A. R., Yoon, Y. S., Min, K. P., Lee, Y. K., & Jeon, J. H. (2018). Eating alone and metabolic syndrome: A population-based Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2013-2014. Obesity research & clinical practice12(2), 146–157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orcp.2017.09.002

Raisi, Z., Mccracken, C., Gkontra, P., Jaggi, A., et al. (2021). Higher consumption of red and processed meat is associated with adverse cardiovascular magnetic resonance morpho-functional phenotypes: A study of 19,408 UK Biobank participants. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, Volume 28, Issue Supplement_1, May 2021, zwab061.454, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwab061.454

Ravussin, E., Beyl, R. A., Poggiogalle, E., Hsia, D. S., & Peterson, C. M. (2019). Early Time-Restricted Feeding Reduces Appetite and Increases Fat Oxidation But Does Not Affect Energy Expenditure in Humans. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)27(8), 1244–1254. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.22518

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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