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7 Health Lessons From The Irish

The Huffington Post   Posted: 03/16/2012 1:06 pm EDT

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, a holiday that's earned itself an unhealthy rap by encouraging binge drinking and over-eating. But at the root of the March 17th celebration is an opportunity to honor the history of Ireland -- whether it's part of your heritage or not. It's a day to spend time with friends and acknowledge our own histories. And believe it or not, there are also great health lessons to be learned from the Irish.

When we asked around the Huffington Post newsroom, one editor (who estimates she's, well, 15/16ths Irish) told us she remembers a tradition of using garlic to ease an earache. Another editor, born in Ireland, says there was no hangover a raw egg and some water couldn't cure (don't try this one at home -- raw eggs can be a health hazard.)

Here, seven pieces of advice we gleaned from our Irish friends. Enjoy the tips and share your own from the Emerald Isle.

Eat Breakfast
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A full 90 percent the Irish report starting their days off with breakfast, according to one 2007 survey. Compare that, on the other hand, to the whopping 56 percent of Americans who say that they don't eat breakfast every day.

Turns out, the Irish have the right idea on this one -- breakfast really does live up to its reputation as the most important meal of the day. A nutritious breakfast can help control weight and stave off diabetes, heart disease and stroke, Harvard Health Publications reports. But don't think a Shamrock shake subs in for a green smoothie -- a balanced meal should include items such as high-fiber cereal, nonfat milk and fruit.