The health benefits of the Mediterranean diets are well known by now. And even if dishes contain some high-caloric ingredients, like cheese and meat, it's all used in moderation with a higher focus on fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes.
With the cold Nordic climate, veggies don't play a big role in Swedish cuisine. Instead, the Swedes have a big tradition of rye bread, especially the crunchy type. With tons of fiber, this type of bread will keep people fuller for longer than regular wheat.
The Israelis consume a lot of fruit and vegetables every day, favoring citrus fruits in particular. Grapefruits, lemons, limes, and oranges all contain vitamin C, which is ideal to keep cells and bones healthy.
In the late '60s, Finland had the highest death rates from coronary heart disease in the world. A long-term national public health program was set up to tackle the problem by helping to develop vegetable oil production. These types of oils helped reduce the amount of saturated fat eaten, and lowered cardiovascular death rates.
Incorporate fermented foods like South Koreans. The bacteria in fermented plant products contribute to healthy gut bacteria and ease inflammatory responses in the body. In South Korea, kimchi (fermented cabbage and radish) is served at every meal.
Like many African countries, Chad is among some of the healthiest countries diet-wise. With ingredients coming straight from the markets, their food is naturally free of preservatives and any unnecessary saturated fats and salt.
Islam is the dominant religion in Indonesia. It encourages periodic fasting during Ramadan, with no food between dawn and dusk. When done correctly, fasting can be linked to accelerated cell repair, reduced inflammation, a stronger heart, and better brain function.
Italy, just like France and Portugal, is a big consumer of wine, but with moderation. Research has shown that one glass of wine per day for women and two glasses per day for men can actually increase longevity and reduce risk for cardiovascular disease.
Brazilian dishes are made with local ingredients like yams, papaya, black beans, nuts, and açaí berries. Fresh fruits are also extremely importation to the nation's cuisine, and often consumed during breakfast or post-lunch.
When the French eat, they associate food with pleasure (as opposed to health) and make sure to savor the sensory experience. In general, France has a low rate of obesity and cardiovascular disease, which could be a result of how they enjoy their meals.
The Vietnamese cuisine is rich with herbs and chili, and one staple dish is pho, a noodle-based soup rich in antioxidants and nutrients. Vietnamese noodles are rice-based, making them easier to digest than their gluten-based counterparts.
A standard lunch or dinner is all about balance in Ghana. They understand how to perfectly mix their plate with a portion of carbohydrates (rice, yam, plantain, or cassava), soup or stew made with veggies and protein, and a fresh salad or boiled vegetables on the side.
Chileans, along with many South Americans, typically avoid sugar and processed foods. Corn casserole is a popular dish, as well as ceviche, a seafood dish. Having great vineyards, red wine is served with nearly every meal.
Indian cuisine features tons of spices, which add delicious flavor, appealing color, and lots of health benefits. Spices like ginger and red pepper may help lower cholesterol. And aromatics like garlic can lower lipid levels in blood, which could lower risk of heart disease.
Thai cuisine uses some super ingredients like coriander, lemongrass, and ginger, which are known to boost the immune system and aid digestion. Try Tom Yung Gung soup for all the mentioned health benefits.
Traditional Mexican culture includes a large midday lunch. Research suggests that the body is less responsive to insulin at night, so eating late in the day could cause weight gain, even if the calories are the same.
When it comes to a consistent and hearty diet, countries like Senegal are doing it right with diets high in fiber and omega-3s. Legumes, lean meats, fish, beans, and whole grains are important components to Senegalese cuisine.
For the Japanese, it's all in the presentation. Small portions and colorful, seasonal vegetables make for a visually appealing plate. The small portions may help to keep calories in check, while bright veggies provide a range of healthy vitamins and minerals.
It's easy to be swept away by the latest diet trends and eating habits, which can become very frustrating to follow. However, if you look around the globe, you can find some easy and healthy tips to incorporate into your routine. Be it by slowly enjoying your meal like the French, or adding some turmeric like the Malaysians, there's plenty to get inspired by.
Click through this gallery for some healthy eating habits from around the world.