Today, we take a look at the Netherlands. Globally, the Dutch people are said to be among the healthiest people. The typical Dutch is tall and athletic, and this may be attributed to the gene pool from which the Dutch have descended. However, the Dutch have a lifestyle that promotes healthy living. They have a low prevalence of the major chronic diseases namely diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers.
The Dutch dishes are made from simple everyday ingredients that are readily available. There is growing popularity for traditional Dutch food even as foods influenced by other cultures are growing favorites. Vegetables of a wide variety are popular and used in soups and stews.
Whole grains are baked in the breads and are more eaten than white bread. Legume based soups also form a part of the everyday cuisine especially during the cold months. From the tuber group, the potato is a popular staple, baked, boiled or mashed. It is no surprise that the Dutch are among the world’s healthiest people.
Healthy Ingredients and herbs use in Dutch Recipes
- Licorice: glycyrrhizin may prevent the growth of prostate cancer
- Aniseed: promotes sleep and also used for digestive problems
- Cloves: used for upset stomach and as an expectorant
- Cinnamon: helps treat muscle spasm, vomiting, diarrhea, infections and the common cold. It also plays a role in normalizing the blood sugar and weight loss
- Ginger: has therapeutic properties and helps to treat vomiting and nausea, coughs and muscle pains.
- Nutmeg: aids sleep and helps to keep the immune system strong
Cancer fighting vegetables
Here are a few:
- Broccoli: indole-3-carbinol that can fight breast cancer
- Cauliflower: indole-3-carbinol that can fight breast cancer
- Cabbage: indole-3-carbinol that can fight breast cancer
- Kale: indole may help with estrogen-sensitive cancers
- Brussels sprouts: lutein and zeaxanthin may decrease prostate and other cancers
- Carrots: beta carotene may help to reduce a wide group of cancers
- Sweet potatoes: beta carotene may help to reduce a wide group of cancers
- Mushrooms: build the immune system and fight cancer
The Dutch simply love the veggies. Luckily for them these are also super foods to fight invading organisms and have strong antioxidant properties in addition to the nutrients and fiber.
Many Dutch enjoy the outdoors and sporting activities. Biking is a favorite pasttime. In the Netherlands families are frugal and not ostentatious in their lifestyle. There is much to emulate from the Dutch. Try incorporating a vegetable or two, herbs and spices in your daily meals.