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(코리아타운뉴스) Jjimjilbang Prolonging Country’s Life Expectancy

BBC reports on 5 countries with longest life expectancy

British TV network BBC has introduced South Korea as one of the five countries with the longest life expectancy and explained what makes the lives of its people longer than the average. The other four countries were Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and Spain.

“South Korea is expected to be the world’s first country to surpass life expectancy of 90 years old based on the findings of a study conducted by science magazine Nature,” BBC reported last week. “This could be attributed to economic excellence, health insurance and lower blood pressure compared to Western countries.”

BBC further explained that many of Korea’s fermented foods also contribute to lowering the cholesterol level of its people, which is also effective in preventing cancer.

“As a whole, Korean food is high in fiber and nutrient-dense,” said Camille Hoheb, founder of Wellness Tourism Worldwide.

Hoheb also added that the Korean bathhouse, commonly known as jjimjilbang, also contributes to the healthy lifestyles of its people.

“The jjimjilbang brings together people to recreate, to socialize and to help reduce stress,” Hoheb said. “In South Korea, there’s also an overall sense of mindfulness that comes with the Buddhist mindset and an overall attitude toward a culture of cooperation versus individualism.”

Regarding Japan, BBC reported: “Much credit for this has been given to the local diet, whichi includes plentiful tofu and sweet potato, and a small amount of fish. Active social circles among older residents and a strong community also contribute to lower levels of stress and a strong sense of belonging.”

For Spain, vegetable-based diet and the culture of siestas were chosen as the reason for prolonged life expectancy. For Switzerland, it was cheese and diary-based diet.

BBC also added that the reason behind Singapore’s successfully prolong life expectancy was largely thanks to its “miracle” healthcare system. “The country has one of the lowest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world, and makes preventative care a focus of its healthcare,” BBC explained.


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