The Amish people are associated with the notions of simplicity and convention.
The community is synonymous with the unwillingness to conform to mainstream society.
You may believe their insular policy compromises their health. Get ready for a surprise because the Amish community is one of the healthiest around. A look at some facts and figures shows that illness is rare among Amish folk. Learn some of their best practices, and boost your health.
Who are the Amish?
The Amish are a Swiss Anabaptist community with fundamental Christian beliefs. They have links with Mennonite churches but are distinct from them. They are descendants of a group of Alsatian Anabaptists led by Jakob Ammann.
The Amish speak a variety of West Central German known as “Pennsylvanian Dutch.” Groups of them flocked to Maryland, Illinois, Virginia, North Carolina and New York from Switzerland in the 19th century.
What makes them stand out is their philosophy of simple living. You can tell an Amish person from their everyday, fuss-free garb. The men wear pants with buttons. Women wear long skirts and white headdresses.
The Amish Philosophy
The Amish community bases its regulations on a set of strict rules they call the Ordnung, A literal interpretation of the Bible is a premise for their beliefs.
Ther community values humility, and it extols the need to be patient with others. Yielding to others is a hallmark of maturity. They place community needs above their own, and keep work and play within the Amish sphere of influence. Individualism and pride threaten community harmony; the Amish adopt a culture of sharing and a minimalist lifestyle.
Perhaps the most important hallmark of Amish culture is its resistance to modern cultural influences. You will not find telephones or microwaves in an Amish household. The Amish people travel using physical means of transport, often going about on horses.
Notably, many older Amish folk refuse to visit doctors or hospitals, preferring to rely on traditional herbs and remedies when they fall ill.
The Top 10 Health Secrets of the Amish
You may think that such a philosophy has adverse effects on their health. However, the Amish people seldom fall ill. Research has shown that Amish children have fewer incidences of allergies compared with the kids who grew up on European farms.
Their secrets to good health are straightforward and accessible, yet people of the secular, modern world rarely tap on them.
1. The Amish Shun Vaccines
For a start, they do not get vaccinated, despite pressure from the government. The absence of vaccines may explain why there are few people with disabilities or autism in the community.
2. The Amish Eat Organic Food
One important hallmark of Amish culture is farming. The community is self-sufficient and grows produce that is free of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). The toxins in GMO products cause inflammation. The Amish people are robust, thanks to their preference for natural foods.
Amish people processed foods, which are high in fat, sugar, and artificial ingredients. Because they avoid these harmful excesses, many of them have trim and fit figures.
3. The Amish Diet Consists of Many Healthy Fats
The Amish eat high-fat diets, but the fats they consume are healthy. They take in grass-fed dairy, packed with vitamins A, E, and K2. The incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease in this community is negligible.
4. The Amish are a Physically Active People
The Amish community boasts a small, 3% obesity rate. Amish people take an average of 18000 steps a day. According to Professor David R Basset of the University of Tennessee, the Amish show people of the modern era how far they have fallen behind regarding physical activity.
5. The Amish use Physical Forms of Transport
This community relies on physical forms of transportation. Many of them are expert horsemen and do not rely on tractors to do farm work. The exertion keeps them physically fit.
6. The Amish Have Little Stress
The Amish live stress-free lives. You will find few incidences of fatigue and heart disease within this community because it bases its existence on cooperation and harmony. Because they do not compete, their lives are relatively stress-free. Stress elevates cortisol, which triggers heart disease in the long-run.
7. Emphasis on Calmness
What also helps to lower stress levels in this community is serenity. The Amish people focus on patience, tolerance and waiting for others. This mindset encourages calmness and a pressure-free life.
8. A tech-free Life Removes Health Hazards
The Amish community’s complete rejection of technology explains why many of its people are in perfect health. Radiation from television sets, computers, and mobile devices emit an odorless gas known as radon, which may trigger cancer in the long run. Their back-to-basics lifestyles prolong their lives.
9. More Exposure to Nature
As farmers, the Amish folk have constant contact with nature. They have immediate access to fields and other natural environments. Amish people have less exposure to smoke and other pollutants associated with urban living.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows why a natural setting keeps the Amish healthy. Researchers compared Amish people with the Hutterites, another farming community which shares similar ancestry. They found that Hutterites were more allergic than the Amish because they lived further away from their cowsheds and livestock.
10. Sense of Community
The Amish take care of themselves. Many of them devote themselves to caring for the elderly and other members of the community with chronic illnesses.
Though they may rely on natural remedies and avoid conventional health practices, many of them do compromise and see doctors when there is an absolute need.
Check Out This Video to See How The Amish Live:
You may not be able to embrace the Amish lifestyle fully, but you can adopt some of its best practices. Eating healthily and being active, as the Amish folk are, will keep you in the pink of health.
By Michelle L.