Six Ethnic Customs That May Unintentionally Improve Your Health

Numerous cultural practices have emerged over millennia all throughout the world, and it turns out that many of them offer potent undiscovered health advantages. Numerous of these customs provide a means of achieving greater health and vitality in addition to tradition. Which ones, though, and why? Let’s investigate.

It Turns out that Drinking Tea is a Smart Idea

Tea drinking is widespread throughout many nations and civilizations worldwide. It was probably invented in the Far East and has since spread throughout the world, with some nations—like Turkey—going all out for it. Turkey is usually in the top three countries in the world for tea consumption.

Turkey was the world’s biggest tea drinker in 2023, according to the World Population Review, with each Turk averaging 1,300 cups (3.16 kg) of tea a year. This equates to roughly three to four cups of tea every day, though during the chilly winter months, this can increase to an average of ten cups.

Black tea (çay) is the most popular form of tea in the nation. Still, other kinds, including Linden flower tea (ıhlamur çayı) and rosehip tea (kuşburnu çayı), are becoming more and more well-liked. When consumed in moderation, tea drinking can be a significant and pleasurable means of staying hydrated in extremely dry climates, such as certain regions of Turkey.

Particularly black tea has been shown to have a number of health advantages that you might not be aware of. For instance, it has a high content of antioxidants, which may help lower the chance of getting some malignancies. Additionally, it has been demonstrated to enhance digestive system and metabolic health.

There are further theories that tea helps lower cholesterol, ease osteoporosis, and prevent diabetes—all of which are less substantiated by scientific data—as long as it is consumed sugar-free.

Nordic Saunas Provide Numerous Health Benefits

Sauna use has a long history in the Nordic nations of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. Saunas have long been an integral part of their daily lives and culture, having been documented as early as 7,000 BC. Especially the Finnish sauna is well-known around the world. In the Nordic region, a sauna is usually a small, heated space where people can get together to decompress and rest.

By plunging into cold water or rolling in the snow, participants in a traditional Nordic sauna bath alternate between tremendous heat and cooling spells. Numerous health advantages of sauna bathing include enhanced circulation, reduced tension, relaxation, and general wellbeing. Additionally, the practice may help with detoxification, weight loss, better sleep, and immunity.

But everything has to be used moderately, even saunas. Research has indicated that men’s fertility may decrease as a result of frequent sauna use. In 2018, a study on men in Finland discovered that their sperm count significantly decreased after three months of two 15-minute sauna sessions each week.

On the other hand, reversibility of the effect was also discovered. To fully understand how saunas affect fertility, particularly in men with low sperm counts or other fertility-related problems, more research is required.

Japan’s Nutritional Practices May be on to Something

The staples of the traditional Japanese diet are rice, vegetables, fresh seafood, and fermented foods like natto and miso. Meals in traditional Japanese cuisine, commonly referred to as “washoku,” typically consist of several small dishes made with basic, seasonal, and fresh ingredients.

Eating a diet high in nutrients may help with digestion, weight loss, longevity, and general health. Additionally, type 2 diabetes and heart disease may be prevented by following a typical Japanese diet.

The behavior of “hara hachi bu,” or eating until about 80% full, is another prevalent one in Japan. With sensible weight management and portion control, this method may lower the risk of obesity-related health problems. Additionally, it has been proposed that it can prolong life and provide a higher quality of life. It might also provide other advantages like heightened awareness and a greater sense of “control” over your well-being.

It is said that the “proof of the pudding is in the eating,” as with any claim. And this is where the Japanese diet may have some value. The country frequently appears among the top few in terms of life expectancy.

India has Demonstrated The Health Advantages of Yoga and Meditation

Yoga is one of the primary cultural traditions connected to India. The history of yoga practice extends over 5,000 years. However, the systematization of yoga practice dates back barely 2,000 years, to the Indian scholar Patanjali. He made it easier for others to follow his teachings by documenting them in the Yoga Sutras.

It should come as no surprise that yoga has many positive effects on one’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Enhanced strength, balance, flexibility, and posture are some of these advantages. Additionally, yoga aids in stress reduction, depression and anxiety management, and better sleep.

Yoga has also been demonstrated to enhance immune system function, weight management, cardiovascular health, and the treatment of a variety of pains, including arthritis and back pain. Additionally, it can support the development of a solid “mind-body connection,” emotional stability, and community-based social interaction.

Additionally, yoga has a favorable effect on hormone control, digestion, and general wellbeing. It may possibly have therapeutic benefits for certain medical disorders.

The Spanish May Have a Point About Their Siestas

In addition to its excellent cuisine, wines, and beaches, Spain is well-known for its siesta. This quick afternoon snooze often lasts between twenty and thirty minutes. Although its exact origins are unknown, it is thought to have been historically taken by agricultural laborers during the hottest parts of the day. Many Spaniards worked in agriculture until the middle of the 20th century, when siestas were frequent and post-lunch breaks were necessary to avoid the intense midday sun.

The Latin term hora sexta, or “sixth hour,” is where the word “siesta” originates. It loosely translates to “rest in the middle of the day,” measured from sunrise. But as Spain got more urbanized, people’s daily routines were less and less centered around the siesta. There was less time for people to return from the office for a brief nap as more people relocated to the cities in search of employment. Although the siesta is still stereotyped, the majority of Spaniards seldom, if ever, get to take one; almost 60% of them never do. These days, their only chance to take a little snooze after lunch is usually on the weekends. In any event, it turns out that the habit offers some great health advantages in addition to preventing heat stroke.

Throughout the day, taking quick naps might enhance alertness and memory recall. Additionally, it can support better mood regulation, productivity, and cardiovascular health while lowering stress. Less is sometimes more, though, as extended naps can result in “sleep inertia.” This is a drowsy sensation that wakes you up and can also disrupt your sleep at night.

Chewing Greek Mastic is Beneficial To You As Well

The mastic tree, a shrub found in the southern part of Chios, Greece, yields 100% natural mastic gum, also known as mastiha in Greek. Making cuts in the mastic tree’s trunk allows for the extraction of this resin. Mastic has been an important part of the development of Chios and has been the island’s symbol for generations. It has been acknowledged as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product since 1997.

Since ancient times, chios mastiha has gained notoriety for its distinct scent and advantageous qualities related to wound healing. Herodotus is credited with the first mention of mastic, stating that the Greeks chewed the dried resinous liquid that dripped from the mastic tree’s bark. The first natural chewing gum in history, mastic was used to refresh breath and clean teeth. Mastic gum extract is still used in cosmetology today for body and face care.

Additionally, it is said to have therapeutic qualities that can treat inflammatory bowel illness and stomach pain. Mastic received official recognition as a natural remedy in 2015 from the European Medicines Agency. Mastic has been classified as a traditional herbal medication by the Committee for Herbal Medicines (HPMC) with two therapeutic indications: dyspeptic diseases and skin inflammation and scarring.