From the Japanese to the Russians, the Greeks to the Kuna Indians of Panama, every culture has its own secrets to better health and longer life. These traditional remedies and practices—like drinking a calming herbal tea or cooking with a particular spice—might seem inconsequential, but researchers are discovering that these little things can make a world of difference. Try importing these six habits, all worth bringing home.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pick up the root at a natural foods store and use it to brew a cup of tea whenever you need to de-stress.
- 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.
- Incorporate more vegetable and chicken curry dishes into your diet—at least one a week. And go heavy on the turmeric.
- If your work schedule doesn't allow you to pencil in a snooze, nap on weekends—every little bit helps.