Did you know that a 2019 study identified poor eating habits as the leading cause of death in the world? Poor diet leads to a myriad of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and various types of cancer. From these totals, it’s estimated that unhealthy food choices strongly contributed to 1 in 5, or 11 million deaths annually. On the opposite end of the ranking of healthy and unhealthy foods are countries like Uzbekistan. In Israel, only 89 people out of 100,000 die every year as a result of unhealthy diet. The rate in Uzbekistan for diet-related deaths is 892 out of every 100,000, which more than 10 times the rate in Israel.
The risks associated with unhealthy eating habits are clearly not worth it. So, where can you turn for inspiration? This same study named Israel as the country that has the healthiest food in the world. Israeli cuisine is full of vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Their food is also made using real ingredients, rather than the heavily-processed, high sugar foods predominant in some of the more unhealthy cuisines around the world. What is it about Israeli cuisine that makes it so healthy? From the different cooking methods that are used to the ingredients they use to prepare their foods, there’s lot of reasons that the food in Israel is some of the healthiest you’ll find anywhere in the world. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Easy Access to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Israel has a temperate climate that lets crops grow year round. Even during the coldest month in the year, January, the average low is 8 degrees Celsius, or 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of the staple crops in Israel include crops like chickpeas, wheat, ground nuts, and sunflowers that are available year round. Other popular produce includes tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, eggplant, apples, oranges, strawberries, melons, peppers, mangoes, grapes, pears, apricot, plums, avocados, herbs, carrots, potatoes, lemons, and grapefruits, depending on what’s in season.
Eating enough fruits and vegetables is incredibly important to a healthy diet. They are full of vitamins and minerals important to maintaining health and preventing disease. Fruits and vegetables are also high in fiber, which is important for health. Research from Harvard shows some of the benefits of eating enough fruits and vegetables include lower blood pressure, reduced risk of stroke, heart disease, and cancer, digestive benefits, benefits for eye health, regulated blood sugar, and so much more.