You may be surprised to learn that Italians stay healthier than most other Europeans, as we tend to think about pasta and pizza as unhealthy foods. As it turns out, however, Italian women manage to avoid ageing illnesses for up to 14 years longer than Brits and Italian men outlive their British counterparts by 10 years. You might think that a country famous for enjoying “La Dolce Vita” surely can’t be a pioneer of health – but you would be mistaken!
We’ve done some research to find out how Italians are so good at staying happy and healthy. Read on to find out the top 4 secrets of Italian culture which create the sweet life and get started on yours today!
Healthy Lifestyle Tip 1 – Taking time for food
First and foremost, the Italians celebrate their eating ritual. Spending time with family and friends while eating is almost as important as the food itself. Instead of quickly rushing to a supermarket to grab the next available sandwich and then gobble it straight down, Italians take pleasure in food and enjoy cooking as much as possible. Eating is more than just fuelling yourself, it’s about taking time for yourself and being mindful about each meal. Taking pleasure in presenting and consuming food makes life just so much sweeter – and Italians know that.
Healthy Lifestyle Tip 2 – The power of fresh food
Celebrating the ritual of eating is not the only reason why Italy is on top of the health charts. Fresh and nutritious ingredients such as fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds and olive oil and less red meat consumption have an enormous impact on your well-being. This leads to greater health benefits. The so-called “Mediterranean Diet” has been proven to reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancer.
Another important factor in the healthy Italian lifestyle is the fact that their cuisine revolves around seasonal ingredients – meaning that they only eat fresh ingredients. Italian cuisine follows along with the natural cycle of the year, meaning you’re eating exactly what your body needs as the season changes. Looking for the perfect recipe for an authentic Italian meal – make sure to check out our online cooking classes!
Healthy Lifestyle Tip 3 – The joys of red wine…
Of course, we can’t forget about the obligatory drink accompanying the meal – red wine! Consumed in moderation (this means no more than one glass per day), red wine is known to lower the risk of heart attacks while also reducing your cholesterol levels. Another important beverage in Italian culture – espresso – also proves to be a healthy choice! A lovely espresso contains more healthy antioxidants than coffee made by other brewing methods, meaning it’s perfect for a quick pick me up and you can feel good about it as well!
Healthy Lifestyle Tip 4 – It’s all about family!
There’s nothing more important than family in Italy, and big family gatherings over delicious food are a common occurrence! Something so simple as coming together for Sunday lunch is sure to improve your mental wellbeing as you’re surrounded by love, and will set you up for a great week ahead. Or even try to regularly have friends or family over for dinner once or twice a week – cook them a delicious meal and enjoy their company.
The seemingly never ending sunshine is probably also a factor leading to Italians’ overall contentedness. Unfortunately, we can’t change the amount of sunshine in the UK, but we can definitely help you get to Italy! Check out our holidays to get a flavour of “La Dolce Vita” in Italy.