Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 24, 2021

© Borislav Bajkic /

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The world on your plate

Every culture has its own ways to stay healthy — and most often that involves eating well. You can take a cue from the following countries to discover their culinary tricks.

Mexican cuisine makes heavy use of chili peppers, which contain capsaicin, a spicy compound that can help fight cancer, relieve congestion, protect the heart, and reduce inflammation. Fresh chili peppers are also a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, iron and potassium.

Indian and Pakistani cuisines are packed with spices including turmeric, ginger and red pepper, which may help lower cholesterol. Adding these spices to our favourite vegetables also makes them taste great.

Obesity rates in Japan are among the lowest in the world, and this could be attributed to a philosophy called hara hachi bunme, which encourages people to stop eating when they are 80 percent full.

The Mediterranean diet is deemed to be one of the healthiest diets thanks to its nutrient-rich properties. Traditional cuisine of the southern Italians and the Greeks emphasizes fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and plenty of fish.

Naturally sweetened and full of flavour, South Africans sip rooibos tea before meals to keep hydrated and prevent overeating. This tea contains antioxidants known as catechines that may help promote abdominal fat loss.

The blue potato native to South America is rich in anthocyanin, famous for its immunity boosting and cancer fighting characteristics.

Chickpeas are consumed all throughout the Middle East. In Morocco and Lebanon, the protein-rich legumes are commonly incorporated into hearty stews. Chickpeas provide an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which contribute to lower cholesterol levels.

In Hungary and Korea lots of pickled produce is available, such as cabbage, tomatoes and peppers. These fermented foods are a tasty way to consume probiotics.

In France, dinner is spread over a span of hours and every bite of the meal is savoured. Slower eating means you’re more likely to feel full before the end of your meal.

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