so this really isn’t so much of a green living post as a general health tips post, but it’s such practical advice, and i’m all about being practical and natural, so i thought i’d go ahead and share for this week’s post. also, it just goes to show that a gazillion products, man-made chemicals and medicines aren’t always necesary. i find it amazing how everything we really need to be healthy is already conveniently right here on our planet. on that topic, i watched a video in an anthropology class last semester about a tribe in the rainforest who specialize in healing with natural medicines, and who believe they have found medicines to help diseases like diabetes from ingredients that are already in nature. it makes me think….too bad we’re cutting down all the rainforest and destroying everything that’s been put here for us to use.

i seriously digress…. anyway, here are some great tips that i came across from Dr. Oz that are actually practical and easy to incorporate into your daily life. a couple of things i like to do every day are drink a cup of green tea, take a nap when i can, and make myself sweat. simple but i always feel better when i at least two of them.

 

~Panama~

The Secret
Harvard professor Norman Hollenberg, MD, PhD, has spent years studying the Kuna, an indigenous tribe on the San Blas Islands who drink five cups or more of unprocessed cocoa a day. He discovered that compared with residents of mainland Panama, who generally drink nutrient-poor grocery store cocoa, the islanders’ risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease is reduced to less than 10 percent. They can likely thank cocoa’s flavonoids, powerful antioxidants with a host of cardiovascular benefits.

The Prescription
For a heart-healthy beverage, stir a touch of honey and a tablespoon of pure cocoa powder (flavonoids are often removed from processed powders) into a cup of warm milk.

~Japan~

The Secret
The Japanese live longer than almost anyone else on the planet—and this may be largely because their country has one of the lowest obesity rates in the world. One of their tricks for calorie control is a cultural practice known as hara hachi bu, which means eating until you feel about 80 percent full. At that point, your stomach is likely 100 percent full; your brain just doesn’t know it yet.

The Prescription
Try to chew your food 20 times before you swallow. Slowing the pace of your eating makes it easier to recognize that 80 percent full feeling.

~Russia~

The Secret
Golden root, or Arctic root (a.k.a. Rhodiola rosea)—an herb that grows at high elevations in the harsh environs of the Arctic region—is a traditional Russian remedy used to treat ailments ranging from infections and altitude sickness to depression and nervous system disorders. The extremely resilient plant is known to be an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to stressors; scientific studies indicate that it can indeed boost endurance and mood while lessening stress and fatigue.

The Prescription:
Pick up the root at a natural foods store and use it to brew a cup of tea whenever you need to de-stress.

~Netherlands~

The Secret
The Dutch ride bicycles as a form of everyday transportation. Almost one-third of all trips are made on two wheels, and each citizen pedals an average of 1.5 miles per day. A 2010 statistical review of Dutch drivers found that they’d live up to 14 months longer by switching to cycling for short trips on a daily basis, thanks to the extra exercise.

The Prescription
Cycle to work a few times a week, run errands on your bike, or just go for a joy ride. We know that 30 minutes of this kind of moderate physical activity at least three times a week can slash your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

~India~

The Secret
A large percentage of Indian meals contain curry powder, and curry contains turmeric—a spice that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Now research shows that turmeric may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action and immune-boosting properties—all of which may help to block or remove plaque from the brain. It’s not surprising that one of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s ever reported was found in northern India.

The Prescription
Incorporate more vegetable and chicken curry dishes into your diet—at least one a week. And go heavy on the turmeric.

~Greece~

The Secret
A 2007 study of more than 23,000 Greek adults may have revealed a surprising key to their legendary vigor—the siesta. Compared with those who power through the day, adults who nap for a minimum of 30 minutes at least three times a week have a 37 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease.

The Prescription
If your work schedule doesn’t allow you to pencil in a snooze, nap on weekends—every little bit helps.


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