19/10/2010 08:35 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Health Tips Worth Stealing

Do you know why the Japanese live longer than us, or know why people living in India have the lowest rates of Alzheimer's disease in the world?

Discover the health tips worth stealing from around the globe...,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=938562&pid=938561&uts=1285921038

Health tips from around the world

Want to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease?

Take a nap for half an hour after lunch. A recent study found that Spanish people who took a 30-minute siesta after lunch at least three times a week had a 37 per cent lower chance of heart attack.

A midday snooze can also help you live longer, say researchers, who found that Spanish senoras live to be 80 years on average – 13 years more than the global average for women.

Not only does taking a power nap reduce stress and relax muscles, it also helps boost your memory and means you'll be more effective at work in the afternoon.

Time for a snooze we think...

Health tips from around the world

Researchers came across the super spice tumeric in an effort to explain why rates of Alzheimer's disease are so low in India.

They believe that tumeric, the spice which gives curry its yellow colour, contains a compound called curcuma that helps prevent mental decline.

A study in America found that low doses of curcumin can block the accumulation of amyloid plaques, halving the number of 'knots in the brain' and reducing inflammation that is linked to Alzheimer's.

Other studies have shown that the curry spices cumin and coriander seeds can reduce the risk of cancer and asthma.

Health tips from around the world

It's said that there are more bikes than people in the Netherlands (an estimated 18 million bikes compared to 16.5 million people).

And the Dutch don't just wheel them out of the garage once or twice a year. More than half of the population cycles on a daily basis, clocking up an average 541 miles a year.

Cycling offers a great cardiovascular workout which improves blood circulation, helping to protect against high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

It's also a good way to maintain a healthy weight – expect to burn off around 550 calories an hour.

Health tips from around the world

Rooibos or 'red bush' tea contains the same amount of polyphenols found in green tea but is naturally sweet, making it less bitter and more pleasant to drink for many people.

A favourite in South African, Rooibos has anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties and is often taken to relieve stomach ulcers, nausea, constipation and heartburn.

There is also evidence to suggest that the tea could help keep you looking younger for longer.

Scientists in Japan found that Rooibos tea contains a mimic of the enzyme Super Oxide Dismutase (S.O.D.), an antioxidant which attacks the free radicals and limits their damaging effects.

Health tips from around the world

Couples who enjoy a good sex life are likely to live seven years longer compared to their less loving counterparts.

These are the findings of Dr David Weeks at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, who conducted a study into sexual satisfaction and life expectancy.

According to a recent survey by Durex, Greek people have more sex than any other nation in the world. The global survey of more than 26,000 people found that nearly 90 per cent of Greek people have sex at least once a week.

As well as reducing stress, a regular sex life improves the immune system, and leads to a better night's sleep. Another good reason to eat a healthy Mediterranean diet perhaps?

Health tips from around the world

The Japanese stay healthy for longer into old age (living to 82.12 years on average, compared to 79.01 years in the UK), according to the World Health Organisation.

Most meals in Japan are based around rice, fish and sea vegetables. In fact, the Japanese eat twice as much fish as they do meat, which is the opposite of most Western countries.

The Japanese also eat a diet rich in seaweed and green tea, both powerful super foods that are rich in antioxidants and minerals.

The Japanese diet is also rich in soy, which is believed to protect against heart disease and breast cancer. Try swapping cow's milk for soy milk, and try adding tofu to your stir-fries in stead of meat.

Health tips from around the world

People in Scandinavian countries tend to be fitter and are less likely to be overweight – there only 11 per cent of the population is obese, compared to 22 per cent in the UK.

Experts believe the main reason is the Scandinavian outdoor lifestyle, which sees them hiking in summer and skiing in winter.

Research shows that more than 70 per cent of Finnish people do outdoor exercise, halving their risk of a stroke or heart attack.

In Norway it's traditional for most families to go for a long hike on a Sunday, or head out for a cross-country ski in winter.

Health tips from around the world

The French outlive the British (coming 9th in the world rankings compared to the UK in 36th place) and suffer fewer heart problems - despite eating full fat cheeses and pastries.

The 'French paradox' has been put down to moderate wine drinking. Red wine contains flavanols, which have been found to act like antioxidants and protect the heart from free radicals.

The French also take longer over meal times, which means they're likely to eat less, as the brain has more time to read 'full signals' from the stomach.

Health tips from around the world

If you spend your summer holidays lying in the sun and eating and drinking too much, you might want to take a leaf out of the Russians' book.

More than half of city dwellers in Russia spend their summer holidays and weekends at country houses or 'dachas' where they grow their own vegetables.

It's traditional for Russian families to grow their own fruit and veg, and preserve what they grow – a far more nutritious and healthy approach than buying processed ready meals.

Gardening also helps to keep them fit. Why not turn part of your garden over to veggies or put your name down for an allotment? You can expect to burn off 300 calories an hour gardening.

Health tips from around the world

The inhabitants of Sardinia's mountain villages are more than twice as likely to live to 100 compared to people in the rest of Italy. Why? Fresh mountain air and lots of exercise!

Most Sardinians walk at least five miles a day - and a similar study in Greece found that mountain dwellers live longer than those who live in lowland areas.
Need another good reason climb a mountain? Aerobic exercise that gets the heart pumping can help keep your brain young.

Researchers in Illinois found that people aged 60-79 who undertook aerobic exercise had increased brain volume and white matter associated with attention and memory processing, compared to those with a sedentary lifestyle.

Health tips from around the world