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The World’s 10 Best Cities to Call Home

The World’s 10 Best Cities to Call Home

Looking for a change of pace and want to upgrade the city you call home? Try any of these top ten most livable locals in the world and you won’t be disappointed! These rankings are from the Economist Intelligence Unit and are driven by data regarding a host of livability factors for 140 cities across the globe, so you can be sure these really are the 10 best cities around.

10. Auckland

auckland

    New Zealand’s biggest city is also its most livable! With 32% of the country’s people packed into one place you’d think things would get claustrophobic, but not in Auckland. When the hustle and bustle gets to be too much, just take a stroll along the world famous harbor front and find out why Auckland is nicknamed the “City of Sails.”

    9. Perth

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      The world’s most isolated large city is also no slouch in the livability department. It may be more than 2,100 kilometers (1,300 miles) away from any other city with more than 100,000 people, but Perth knows how to party all on its own. With an average daily temperature in the comfortable mid-60s Fahrenheit (19° Celsius), Perth won’t sweat you out like most Australian locals, either. Just keep an eye out for sharks if you hit the beach.

      8. Helsinki

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        One of only two European cities to find its way into the top ten, Helsinki is where to live if you want to take advantage of everything winter has to offer. Being the northernmost city on the list you might expect bitter cold and blizzards in Finland’s capital, but the average temperature in the winter months only sits around 23° F (-5° C), thanks to the Baltic Sea. That makes Helsinki the perfect place to do some cross country skiing before heating back up in one of Finland’s famous saunas.

        7. Sydney

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          If cold really isn’t your thing, maybe Sydney is the place for you. The world’s seventh most livable city sits on what is arguably the world’s most beautiful natural harbor. Rent a boat and explore some of Sydney Harbor’s 317 kilometers (196 miles) of coastline before taking advantage of the nightlife in Australia’s most populous city.

          6. Adelaide

          adelaide

            If you’re looking for a slightly slower pace while still enjoying many of the great benefits of Sydney, why not give Adelaide a try? With a little more than a quarter the population of its larger cousin, Adelaide hosts a terrific arts scene and a great food and wine culture. Explore the Art Gallery of South Australia before heading to either the Adelaide Festival of Arts or the renowned Fringe Festival.

            5. Calgary

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              Number five on the countdown is a winter wonderland to rival even Helsinki. If you can brave the coldest days in Calgary, the largest city on Canada’s prairies, your reward might come in the form of a warm chinook wind from the mountains raising the mercury to spring temperatures in the middle of winter. Use the summer months to check out the Calgary Stampede rodeo, or explore the Rocky Mountains a short drive west of the city center.

              4. Toronto

              toronto-77536_640

                If you’re more into arts and music than cowboy culture, maybe Canada’s largest city would be a good fit. Toronto sits on the shores of Lake Ontario and boasts some of the best galleries, shopping, and music in the northern hemisphere. Don’t miss the great recreational opportunities on the islands that protect the city’s harbor, the only group of islands in the western section of Lake Ontario.

                3. Vancouver

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                  If Canada seems like your kind of place but parkas don’t flatter your figure, move to Vancouver! The crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest boasts dramatic mountains, incredible ocean views and a thriving arts scene. Vancouver is also Canada’s most environmentally minded city, with an extensive network of rooftop gardens and the beautiful Stanley Park, which allows residents to walk or bike along the city’s famous seawall for all 12 snow-free months of the year.

                  2. Vienna

                  vienna-228943_640

                    Europe’s most livable city may be famous as the setting for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but it is so much more than romantic monster stories. Austria’s capital and largest city has history in heaps, having been lived in continuously since 500 BC. Castles, cathedrals, museums, and wine will greet you when you arrive and make you want to stay forever.

                    1. Melbourne

                    melbourne-169810_640

                      To find the world’s most livable city, however, we must head back to Australia to explore the streets of Melbourne. Boasting some of the country’s highest ratings for education, entertainment, healthcare, tourism, and sports, Melbourne has a lot to offer, no matter what you’re into. Take in a match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground or wander the halls of the Royal Exhibition Building, the world’s most livable city will keep you coming back for more.

                      Featured photo credit: Mariamichelle via pixabay.com

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                      Last Updated on July 28, 2020

                      14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

                      14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

                      Diet trends may come and go, but a low-GI diet remains one of the few that has been shown to include benefits based on science. Low GI foods provide substantial health benefits over those with a high index, and they are key to maintaining a healthy weight.

                      What is GI? Glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the carbohydrate content of a food is broken down into glucose and absorbed from the gut into the blood. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.[1]

                      The higher the GI of a food, the faster it will be broken down and cause your blood glucose (sugar) to rise. Foods with a high GI rating are digested very quickly and cause your blood sugar to spike. This is why it’s advisable to stick to low GI foods as much as possible, as the carbohydrate content of low GI foods will be digested slowly, allowing a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels.

                      Foods with a GI scale rating of 70 or more are considered to be high GI. Foods with a rating of 55 or below are considered low GI foods.

                      It’s important to note that the glycemic index of a food doesn’t factor in the quantity that you eat. For example, although watermelon has a high glycemic index, the water and fiber content of a standard serving of water means it won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar.

                      Like watermelon, some high GI foods (such as baked potatoes) are high in nutrients. And some low GI foods (such as corn chips) contain high amounts of trans fats.

                      In most cases, however, the GI is an important means of gauging the right foods for a healthy diet.

                      Eating mainly low GI foods every day helps to provide your body with a slow, continuous supply of energy. The carbohydrates in low GI foods is digested slowly, so you feel satisfied for longer. This means you’ll be less likely to suffer from fluctuating sugar levels that can lead to cravings and snacking.

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                      Let’s continue with some of the best examples of low GI foods.

                      1. Quinoa

                      GI: 53

                      Quinoa has a slightly higher GI than rice or barley, but it contains a much higher proportion of protein. If you don’t get enough protein from the rest of your diet, quinoa could help. It’s technically a seed, so it’s also high in fiber–again, more than most grains. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it excellent for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

                      2. Brown Rice (Steamed)

                      GI: 50

                      Versatile and satisfying, brown rice is one of the best low GI foods and is a staple for many dishes around the world. It’s whole rice from which only the husk (the outermost layer) is removed, so it’s a great source of fiber. In fact, brown rice has been shown to help lower cholesterol, improve digestive function, promote fullness, and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots. Just remember to always choose brown over white!

                      3. Corn on the Cob

                      GI: 48

                      Although it tastes sweet, corn on the cob is a good source of slow-burning energy (and one of the tastiest low GI foods). It’s also a good plant source of Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, all of which are required for the healthy production of red blood cells in the body. It’s healthiest when eaten without butter and salt!

                      4. Bananas

                      GI: 47

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                      Bananas are a superfood in many ways. They’re rich in potassium and manganese and contain a good amount of vitamin C. Their low GI rating means they’re great for replenishing your fuel stores after a workout.

                      They are easy to add to smoothies, cereal, or kept on your desk for a quick snack. The less ripe they are, the lower the sugar content is! As one of the best low GI foods, it’s a great addition to any daily diet.

                      5. Bran Cereal

                      GI: 43

                      Bran is famous for being one of the highest cereal sources of fiber. It’s also rich in a huge range of nutrients: calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and a host of B vitamins. Although bran may not be to everyone’s tastes, it can easily be added to other cereals to boost the fiber content and lower the overall GI rating.

                      6. Natural Muesli

                      GI: 40

                      Muesli–when made with unsweetened rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, and other sugar-free ingredients–is one of the healthiest ways to start the day. It’s also very easy to make at home with a variety of other low GI foods. Add yogurt and fresh fruit for a nourishing, energy-packed breakfast.

                      7. Apples

                      GI: 40

                      Apple skin is a great source of pectin, an important prebiotic that helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Apples are also high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, and contain a good amount of vitamin C. They are best eaten raw with the skin on! Apples are one of a number of fruits[2] that have a low glycemic index. Be careful which fruits you choose, as many have a large amount of natural sugars[3].

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                      8. Apricots

                      GI: 30

                      Apricots provide both fiber and potassium, which make them an ideal snack for both athletes and anyone trying to keep sugar cravings at bay. They’re also a source of antioxidants and a range of minerals.

                      Apricots can be added to salads, cereals, or eaten as part of a healthy mix with nuts at any time of the day.

                      9. Kidney Beans

                      GI: 29

                      Kidney beans and other legumes provide a substantial serving of plant-based protein, so they can be used in lots of vegetarian dishes if you’re looking to adopt a plant-based diet[4]. They’re also packed with fiber and a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. They are great in soups, stews, or with (whole grain) tacos.

                      10. Barley

                      GI: 22

                      Barley is a cereal grain that can be eaten in lots of ways. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium. It also contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that can support gut health and has been shown to reduce appetite and food intake.

                      Please note that barley does contain gluten, which makes it unsuitable for anyone who is Celiac[5] or who follows a gluten-free diet. In this case, gluten-free alternatives might include quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.

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                      11. Raw Nuts

                      GI: 20

                      Most nuts have a low GI of between 0 and 20, with cashews slightly higher at around 22. Nuts, as one of the best low GI foods, are a crucial part of the Mediterranean diet[6] and are really the perfect snack: they’re a source of plant-based protein, high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Add them to smoothies and salads to boost the nutritional content. Try to avoid roasted and salted nuts, as these are made with large amounts of added salt and (usually) trans fats.

                      12. Carrots

                      GI: 16

                      Raw carrots are not only a delicious low GI vegetable, but they really do help your vision! They contain vitamin A (beta carotene) and a host of antioxidants. They’re also low-calorie and high in fiber, and they contain good amounts of vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for those monitoring their weight as they’ve been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

                      13. Greek Yogurt

                      GI: 12

                      Unsweetened Greek yogurt is not only low GI, but it’s an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, as well. Probiotics help to keep your gut microbiome in balance and support your overall digestive health and immune function. Greek yogurt makes a healthy breakfast, snack, dessert, or a replacement for dip. The most common probiotic strains found in yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus[7] (found naturally in yogurt) and Lactobacillus acidophilus[8] (which is often added by the manufacturer). You can also look into probiotic supplements for improving your gut health.

                      14. Hummus

                      GI: 6

                      When made the traditional way from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is a fantastic, low-GI dish. It’s a staple in many Middle Eastern countries and can be eaten with almost any savory meal. Full of fiber to maintain satiety and feed your good gut bacteria, hummus is great paired with freshly-chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery.

                      Bottom Line

                      If you’re looking to eat healthier or simply cut down on snacking throughout the day, eating low GI foods is a great way to get started. Choose any of the above foods for a healthy addition to your daily diet and start feeling better for longer.

                      More Tips on Eating Healthy

                      Featured photo credit: Alexander Mils via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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