It seems like everyday there’s a new health fad promising the world; from fat blasting diets, cryogenics, vitamin injections, supplements, crystal baths, to potent super foods.
So, in what seems like a sea of conflicting information – what is the secret to a healthy and happy lifestyle?
We turned to some of the world’s healthiest and longest living cultures to see what they eat to keep healthy and feeling fab.
On the Greek Island of Ikaria, life is sweet and anything but short. In fact, one in three Ikarains live well into their 90’s. Their secret is a diet high in olive oil. A diet rich in essential fatty acids – which is found in olive oil – lowers the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke , helping to improve overall heart function and longevity.
With the highest percentage of centenarians in the world, the Okinawa Islands of Japan has been rightfully dubbed as one of the world’s healthiest diets. Their secret to longevity is attributed to their consumption of their native purple sweet potatoes. Rich in flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin E and lycopene; their purple sweet potato helps to lower blood sugar levels, prevent cancer and maintain good eyesight.
There’s more to the Italian diet then just pizza and pasta. The Sardinian diet is rich in complex carbohydrates, particularly an ancient grain called barley. High in dietary fibre, selenium and protein, barely helps decrease heart disease and improve stomach health.
Jeju, South Korea
With one of the lowest rates of obesity in the world – it’s safe to say the South Korean island of Jeju has a diet one wants to emulate. South Korea is home to kimchi – a pungent fermented concoction of cabbage, radish and chillies – which is incredibly high in Vitamins A, B1, B2, calcium, iron and is also linked to cutting the risk of heart disease.
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa rRica
Sitting pretty in Central America, the locals of Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica easily make it to a hundred years of age. Their diet is high in tropical and nutritionally dense fruit like papaya, which contains high levels of anti-inflammatory enzymes, anti-cancer properties and improves digestion.
Caucasus Mountains, Russia
The locals of the Caucasus Mountains in Eastern Europe have relied on a powerful probiotic – called Kefir – for centuries to keep them at optimum health. Kefir is a fermented drink, traditionally made using cow or goat’s milk. It’s high in probiotics, which helps to boost the immune system and improve digestion.
Indigenous Australian’s have long used lemon myrtle, both in cuisine and medicine. This Australian superfood may look like pretty little flower but it packs a serious nutritious punch. Lemon myrtle is bursting with antioxidants, folate, lutein, magnesium – an essential mineral for a healthy nervous system– and zinc, which is vital for metabolic function and immunity.