They eat a lot of plants
Various healthy cultures emphasise different types of foods but one thing they all have in common? Plants, and lots of them. Regardless of the cuisine, the healthiest peoples loaded up the majority of their plates with fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, according to the Blue Zones study. The NIH notes that adding more plant foods to your diet will protect you from disease, improve mental health, help you reach a healthy weight, and lengthen your life.
They have quiet time every day
You may not realise just how noisy modern life is until you turn it all off. But it’s important to make space for quiet, daily mediation says Samantha Brody, a licensed naturopathic physician and acupuncturist. “Meditation has been shown in research to reduce blood pressure, increase attention span, help insomnia, reduce anxiety and depression, and increase compassion,” she says. Whether you pray, do a guided meditation, or simply sit quietly and focus on your breath, doing some type of meditation is one of the best – and simplest – healthy habits you can have. Hint: Meditation is one of the ways that cardiologists protect their own hearts. Here’s how to build relaxation time into your routine.
They spend time outdoors
Aside from the exercise opportunities, spending time outside in nature provides major health benefits. Okinawans, one of the healthiest cultures in the world, have a practice called “forest bathing” that involves being in nature purely for the enjoyment of it. Research agrees: Strolling through forest environments lowers stress hormones, slows your heart rate, reduces blood pressure, improves your immune system, and increases feelings of safety and well-being, according to a study published in Environmental Health and Medicine. There’s a reason they call nature the brain’s miracle medicine.