Bellissima: Wellness Tips From The Healthiest Country in the World
Bellissima! Ask just about anyone for a one-word description of Italy, and Italian culture, and Italian food, and people and you will most likely hear the word Bellissima—gorgeous. It is a well-deserved description—Italy is indeed absolutely gorgeous. And just what makes it so, well, Fantastico? That actually can’t be simplified down to just one word, because every component of life in Italy contributes to the beauty of the Italian lifestyle; from the Mediterranean diet, to the seaside destinations, the grand mountains and the abundant sun, and above all the focus on family, health and happiness that seems to be engrained in nearly every Italian you meet.
The way that the majority of Italians eat and live does play a huge role in their overall lifestyle and health and in fact, according to the 2017 Bloomberg Global Health Index, Italy is the healthiest country in the world right now. Italians have very high life expectancies, low blood pressure rates, low levels of cholesterol and very positive mental health outcomes. And researchers say that much of that can be linked to the Italian Mediterranean diet, which is rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, fish and poultry (instead of red meat), red wine (in moderation) and, most importantly, taking the time to really enjoy meals especially with friends and family. It is an oft-used stereotype, but a fitting one—Italians truly enjoy every aspect of preparing and eating food. Whether it is selecting the ripest tomatoes, the freshest lemons, purest olive oil, the creamiest ricotta and most fragrant herbs or creating the most elegant pastas and seafood delicacies with tenderness and touch, to savoring each mouth-watering bite of their dishes and cherishing every moment of their meal with their chosen company—Italians love their food.
And the time and attention and love and enjoyment that Italians put into cooking and eating healthily carries over into other aspects of Italian life as well. Italian women are known for their glowing skin and perfect hair and that can also be linked back to their healthy Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. Italian women love their moisturizing creams - every woman has a favorite and they are as essential to Italian beauty as tomatoes are to Italian food. And speaking of food, olive oil isn’t only used in cooking in Italy - it is used by countless Italian Bellas as a moisturizer - and an excellent one at that. Italian beauty and style and film icon Sophia Loren was legendary for lathering her entire body in olive oil every day, and, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t love to look just a little like Sophia Loren? Citrus fruits are also used outside of the Italian kitchen as crucial elements in Italian skincare routines. Lemons and oranges are loaded with antioxidants and brighten and protect the skin naturally. It is clear that taking care of your skin and having a healthy skincare routine is just as important for the majority of Italian women as following a healthy Mediterranean diet.