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20 Most Peaceful Countries in the World to Live in

20 Most Peaceful Countries in the World to Live in

Imagine you could choose the most peaceful country in the world to live in. What a luxury! The first prize goes to Iceland, followed by Denmark and New Zealand. The Global Peace Index has issued a report which lists all 162 countries in the world according to how peaceful they are.

They used a wide range of respected sources such as The World Bank and some of the UN agencies before they drew up their list. Peace, according to their definition based on 22 indicators, is the absence of war, violence, low military spending, levels of policing, organized crime, and the application of democratic government.

Here are the 20 most peaceful countries in the world:

1. Iceland

Iceland

    Apart from dramatic scenery, Iceland has a 100% literacy rate in the 300,000 population  Living among an educated population which is tolerant towards minorities is a great bonus. The best thing of all is that murders (1.8 per 100,000 population a year) are practically non existent. Compare that with the US where you have a rate of 5.8 per 100,000.

    2. Denmark

    Denmark

      The Danes are said to be the happiest people in the world!  Figures for worker motivation are very high and there is a welfare system in place which is the envy of most of the world. Taxation is high but the money is well spent on making the Danish lifestyle really relaxed and well organized.

      3. New Zealand

      New Zealand

        One of the most unpolluted countries in the world where spectacular scenery abounds. 90% of  immigrants state that they would certainly recommend the land of the Kiwis to their families and friends. New Zealanders get generous leave benefits so they have plenty of time to enjoy the landscape and sports facilities.

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        4. Austria

        Austria

          Austrian teenagers get to vote when they are only sixteen years old but they can only drink alcoholic beverages when they are eighteen. Austria boasts a wonderfully clean environment where everything is spotless, great transport system and very low crime rates. It is also cheaper than many people believe. You can buy a bottle of drinkable wine for $4.

          5. Switzerland

          Switz

            The secret to Switzerland’s happy and healthy population is that the authorities have invested heavily in their people in providing them with excellent education, health services and employment benefits. They may be famous for their banking, cuckoo clocks and skiing resorts but they have wisely invested in their greatest asset.

            6. Japan

            Japan

              You need never worry about finding a clean restroom in Japan. They are spotless!  Combine that with great food, impeccably polite people and a transport system the envy of the world. Perhaps Japanese people work too hard but they have built a peaceful and technologically advanced nation in a relatively short time.

              7. Finland

              Finland

                If you do not mind the long, dark cold winters, Finland has plenty to offer.  There is practically no corruption and very little class distinction. It scores highly on gender equality as well.  It has practically the best education system in the world. Children are given plenty of recesses too in the fresh (cold!) air and there is a very low rate of ADHD.

                8. Canada

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                Canada

                  Did you know that the average household income in Canada is $28,000 annually? This is one of the highest in the world and certainly above OECD averages. In addition, there are excellent work opportunities where meritocracy is widely recognized. A peaceful country with a sound economy and beautiful landscapes make this a great place to live.

                  9. Sweden

                  Sweden

                    Another Scandinavian country in the top ten!  Sweden is fabulous for lots of snow and long winters so if you are into that, it is a great place to be. High standards of living plus generous parenting leave for mums and dads (15 months) plus a great welfare system justify its high place in the rankings.

                    10. Belgium

                    Belgium

                      If you love beer and chocolate and do not mind endless rainy days, then Belgium is another great location. There are wonderful old towns, castles and museums to visit. As regards transport, Paris and London are really near so you get the best of several worlds. You can be in Paris in 70 minutes taking the high speed train.

                      11. Norway

                      Norway

                        Norway is a really safe country and has an incredibly low prison population. It also comes out on top as regards health and happiness. Freedom to roam in a stellar landscape is enshrined in the Norwegian law known as ‘allemannsrett’ which means you can camp or trek anywhere you like. Add in fabulous lakes and fiords which make it one of the most beautiful and peaceful countries in the world.

                        12. Ireland

                        Ireland

                          I was born and grew up in Ireland so please turn a blind eye to the bias in this entry!  Yes, the people are really friendly and they have a wicked sense of humour which is great fun. Having a conversation with an Irish person can turn into an event! The scenery at times is breathtaking and it has some of the best golf courses in the world. The only problem is the weather but you can’t have everything.

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                          13. Slovenia

                          Slovenia

                            Slovenia scores highly as a great place to bring up kids and ranks higher than the UK, according to a UNICEF report. In addition to some wonderful trekking countryside, it has marvellous food and seems to have inherited the best from Italy and other neighbouring countries. You can feel very safe here as there are only 1,000 people in prison out of a total population of 2 million.

                            14. Czech Republic

                            Czech

                              The Czech Republic has a great musical tradition. Smetana, Dvorak and Janacek were all Czech citizens, just to name a few. It is also surprising to note that the last census revealed that 34% of the population consider themselves atheists. Marionette theater plus the traditional hearty food of soups and meat add to this country’s charm. The Czechs are very proud of their history, art, music and beer!

                              15. Germany

                              Germany

                                Another central European country where a fondness for the arts, history and music is not considered elitist. It is just a normal part of cultural life and tradition. High standards of living plus excellent organization in everyday life make Germany a great choice. Add in some great beer, trekkers’ paradise (with even trails for nudists), Christmas markets and beautiful fairy tale towns and you have a wonderful place to live.

                                16. Australia

                                Australia

                                  A great place to be young, healthy and in the fresh air because of such a pleasant climate. This may explain why life expectancy here is 82. The economy has benefited from mining and is resilient in spite of recession. Friendly people, amazing wildlife and spectacular scenery make Australia one of the most attractive countries on the planet.

                                  17. Singapore

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                                  Singapore

                                    Singapore is probably the most orderly city state in the world. Astonishing verdant city landscapes which are not just pretty and ornamental. Singapore is leading the way on green initiatives as regards energy, water conservation and the environment. Then you have great food, safe urban areas and the people are friendly and welcoming to foreigners.

                                    18. Portugal

                                    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

                                      A golfer’s paradise!  Boasting some of the most spectacular courses in the world and fabulous coastal scenery, Portugal is really very beautiful and has a great climate to go with it.  The crime rate is low and the pace of life is relaxed. Eating out is satisfying and inexpensive.

                                      19. Qatar

                                      Qatar

                                        One of the richest countries in the world where petrol may cost less than water. There are people waiting on you as you fill up with petrol, eat out and have your house cleaned. It is a great place to be spoiled. As Qatar prepares for the 2022 World Cup, (UN estimates 500 immigrants arrive daily!) there may be problems with disruption of services.

                                        20. Bhutan

                                        Bhutan

                                          Who invented ‘happiness’ as an indicator that you can live well? Probably the Bhutan government who coined the phrase GNH (gross national happiness) which was to highlight that material possessions such as a car full of petrol or cheap supermarkets cannot make people happy. Much better to concentrate on the health, well being and education of the people. What better place to do this than the tiny Bhutan Buddhist kingdom tucked away in the Himalayas between India and China. The country was a monarchy up till recently and faces challenges in increasing urbanization and establishing a truly democratic government.

                                          Featured photo credit: War and Peace/ Prasad Kholkute via flickr.com

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                                          Robert Locke

                                          Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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                                          Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                                          12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                                          12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                                          Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                                          But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                                          I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                                          Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                                          1. Nuts

                                          The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                                          Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                                          Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                                          Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                                          2. Blueberries

                                          Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                                          When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                                          3. Tomatoes

                                          Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                                          4. Broccoli

                                          While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                                          Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                                          Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                                          5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                                          Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                                          The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                                          Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                                          6. Soy

                                          Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                                          Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                                          Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                                          7. Dark Chocolate

                                          When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                                          Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                                          8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                                          Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                                          B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                                          Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                                          Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                                          To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                                          9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                                          Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                                          Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                                          Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                                          10. Gingko Biloba

                                          This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                                          It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                                          However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                                          11. Green and Black Tea

                                          Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                                          Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                                          Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                                          12. Sage and Rosemary

                                          Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                                          Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                                          When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                                          More About Boosting Brain Power

                                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                          Reference

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