THE ITALIAN BELIEFS ON HEALTH
I am writing this blog post from Italy while sipping a latte in a café. I am in heaven right now and don’t want to come home, though it is a bit cold for me right now. While here, I wanted to do some research about the Italian health beliefs and share what I learned with you. Unfortunately, I did not find a ton of sources that I like but will use what I found.
ITALIAN HEALTH BELIEFS
What’s interesting is that many Italians have a more superstitious view on health. Some common beliefs are that pain is evil, trouble breathing is a sign of dying, and fatigue is a sign of depression.
Italians view illness as a result of the “evil eye” and that a female relative must perform an ancient ritual to cure the disease and often involves praying to a saint. Another practice is to open the windows no matter what the temperature outside to help blow out illness and death. I was unable to find any statistics about how many people hold these beliefs, but I thought it was interesting to share.
They will try to treat illness with traditional remedies before seeking medical attention. Some other alternative treatments common in Italy are homeopathy, acupuncture, and massage.
ABOUT THE PEOPLE
The life expectancy of Italians is on average 82.8 years compared to the United States at 78.5. Around 300 centenarians live in the coastal village of Acciaroli with a population of about 2,000 people. Scientists from Sapineza University in Rome and UC San Diego studied this population and believe there are a few reasons they are living so long.
- Their Mediterranean diet
- Clean Air
- Less stress
- Eating lots of fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables grown in the region
- Lots of outdoor physical activity such as hiking and walking.
I am really starting to see a trend with the populations that live the longest. We can learn so much from them and apply some of these ideas into our life. That gives me an idea for a future blog post.
You can start by going outdoors more and walking or hiking which gives you clean fresh air, destress, and do more outdoor physical activity.
Another idea is to start buying produce that is in season and local to your area. If you want to take this a step further, try eating more of a Mediterranean style diet. I haven’t tried this yet but definitely something in my future.
CALL TO ACTION
I would love to know if you have been to Italy and what differences you noticed about their health habits? What is one healthy habit that you can implement into your life? Share in the comments below.