It’s not often I would consider sharing a blog sent to me by a Financial Advisory firm, but this one really caught my eye.

It’s from Gem and Co Financial Services and the’ve put together a list of 10 habits from around the world that can help promote good health and wellbeing.

In these times of grim news about hardship, energy prices and war, it’s vitally important to make time for pastimes or hobbies that bring down our stress hormones, and help the brain to produce the chemicals that improve our mood, such as serotonin and endorphins. We also need to choose foods that are going to help lift our mood.

Here’s five more healthy habits that we’ve found from around the world:

Forest Bathing

Known in Japan as shinrin yoku, Forest Bathing is the art of immersing yourself in trees and nature to promote a sense of wellbeing and calm. There are some great tips on Forest Bathing on the Forestry England website.

Eat Nuts

Blue Zones is a term used to describe areas in the world where the life expectancy is greater than the average. People living in blue zones tend to eat a wide variety of plant foods, and nuts feature heavily. One blue zone is in Loma Linda in California, where they eat nuts on average 5 times a week. Californian walnuts are high in omega 3 essential fats which are good for brain health and mood.

Eat Three Meals a Day

One of the habits of a traditional French diet is that they eat 3 planned meals a day, and are not known for snacking or grazing between meals. There are several health benefits to eating this way, most notably that it is much better for your teeth! Each time we eat the mouth has to go through a cleansing process to protect the teeth, so constantly grazing all day is likely to lead to tooth decay and cavities. Eating regular meals also helps to regulate blood sugar, and resting the digestive system between meals supports the pancreas, the organ responsible for making digestive enzymes.

Dancing the Samba

Brazil is the home of the samba. Of all dances, the samba is the one that most uses the knees, strengthening those thigh muscles, as well as working the waist and hips. You can expect to burn about 250 calories dancing the samba for 30 minutes, as well as having fun and releasing endorphins.


Sauerkraut is a German word for sour cabbage. Although fermented cabbage probably originated in China, in Germany they love adding it to everything they eat, particularly sausages (bratwurst) and roasted meats. It is made by fermenting cabbage, a process which grows beneficial bacteria that are linked to mental wellbeing, good digestive health and a healthy immune system. There are studies that show that eating sauerkraut regularly may help to maintain a healthy weight, as certain bacteria help us to burn off fat stores.  Check out this simple recipe for home made sauerkraut, which is typically higher in beneficial bacteria than commercially produced products.

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