Let’s take a look at the top 10 countries with the healthiest citizens, based on a variety of factors and find out what they’re doing right
The Netherlands (10)
First up with a Life expectancy of 81.5 years, The Netherlands is widely regarded to offer one of the highest standards of Living in the World. This is largely due to the countries relatively low food prices and a diet that places emphasis on vegetables, fruits and dairy products. A popular and highly nutritious meal in the Netherlands is a Dutch Pea Soup called Snert, stuffed full of vegetables.
Amazingly Canada has one of the lowest numbers of Doctors per capita of any country on this list. With only 2.1 doctors for every 1,000 citizens. Yet Canadians enjoy one of the highest life expediencies in the world at an average of 82.5 years
With a life expectancy of 83. Australians have one of the best health care systems in the world. Down under, insurance companies are required to charge policyholders the exact same premium, regardless of their age, gender or history. Meaning no matter who you are or what you’ve done you will pay the same as everyone else for your health insurance.
The Swiss have a life expectancy of 82.8. The Swiss healthcare system has been named the best in the world on many occasions. Naturally this helps, but the Swiss are also lucky enough to be nestled right in the heart of the Alps which means sports such as hiking and skiing are prevalent, helping to keep the Swiss people fit and healthy all year round
Germans pay handsomely for their healthcare. 11.3% of the country’s GDP is spent on healthcare. There is no waiting for appointments in Germany and until very recently you didn’t have to pay for your taxi ride to the hospital.
This may come as a surprise, because 35 years ago Finland was one of the world unhealthiest nations. And the country actually held the global record for the highest numbers of heart disease. But this shocked the Finnish Government into action. The government launched a full blown campaign to dramatically improve people’s health by encouraging an active lifestyle and promoting fruit and vegetable intake. And it worked, present day Finland is a very different place and rates of cardiovascular heart disease have since dropped by over 65%
Sweden can owe most of its success to an emphasis on staying active, the Swedish government invests a lot of money in building new cycle routes and encouraging people to get out of their cars and cycle instead. Some Swedish GPs even give patients exercise on prescription; Sweden also has one of the lowest air pollution rates in the world.
With all the countries beautiful mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, and waterfalls it’s no surprise that the Icelandic love to spend plenty of time enjoying the great outdoors. But the main reason Iceland is so high on this list is because they eat practically zero processed food, choosing to eat exclusively locally grown food, even their organic food is considerably less processed than the US and UK, Icelandic food is considered by many to be the purest on the planet. People don’t buy their produce from industrial farms in Iceland; they instead buy local family farms. The country has a strong lineage of hunting, fishing and foraging, it’s what sustained Iceland for centuries, and to a large extent still does to this day. And to top it off Iceland is also one of the least polluted countries in the world.
Japan has been considered for many years to be the world’s healthiest county. Obesity is virtually non-existent in the country. And they owe it to the Japanese tradition of exercising strict portion control and eating a wide variety of foods. The Japanese also choose the right foods to eat, such as nutrient-rich soy and they are one of the world’s largest consumers of omega-3 rich fish. A typical meal in japan consists of up to six teacup-sized portions of different foods, and a lot of vegetables. The Japanese aim to eat at 30-40 different things every day, so they get a large variety of nutrients and vitamins. Seaweed is also a major component in the Japanese diet, highly regarded by the Japanese for its health properties. Up to 6 varieties of seaweed are eaten everyday by the average Japanese citizen. The Japanese enjoy a life expectancy of 84.6 years.
Okinawa Island (1)
It’s not actually a country; it’s a small island belonging to Japan, South of Japanese mainland. Okinawa Island has the highest percentage of centenarians, that’s people over 100 years, of anywhere in the world. It’s considered by many to be the healthiest place in the world. They share the same healthy diet of fish, rice, vegetables as the rest of Japan, but the Okinawans have another ace up their sleeves, and they claim the biggest reason for their longevity is their happiness and lack of stress. A lot of elderly in the west are struggling to survive on small pensions with physical pains and find the whole process of ageing generally quite stressful. But not the Okinawans, they stay active even at 100 plus and have a child-like zeal towards life stress just doesn’t seem to exist on Okinawan Island
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