Move to Panama To Get Healthy

farmers market in panama

Panama – a gorgeous paradise with tropical beaches, warm weather, and spectacular mountain scenery. What more can you ask for?

Destination-wise, it is a haven for expats looking to relocate for retirement. In fact, according to International Living Index, Panama has consistently ranked the #1 place to retire in the whole world.   Panama beat out 24 other countries vying for the #1 position thanks to its low cost of living, great climate, and easy visa residency requirements.

But another reason to move to this beautiful country is the benefit it brings to your health and wellness. So let’s discuss why you’ll get really healthy when you move to Panama:

1. Panama is abundant in fruits and vegetables

You can reap the rewards of living in this beautiful country through its abundant supply of local fruits and vegetables. When you move to Panama, you will certainly start eating a lot more fruits which are really good for your health.

banana transportion in panama

Fresh fruits are much more affordable in Panama so you’ll be more likely to eat them often.  These fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals that fight against inflammation and other illnesses. Here are some of the healthiest fruits available in Panama:

Bananas – Bananas are abundant in Panama. In fact, no discussion about Panama is complete without discussing their world-class and export-quality bananas. They are a staple in Panamanian diets and for a good reason too.

Aside from antioxidants, bananas contain nutrients that moderate blood sugar levels and promote heart health. They also improve your digestive health which can help you lose and maintain a healthy weight.

mamon in panama

Mamon or Rambutan – This fruit is related to the lychee and it has a red and fuzzy exterior which you need to peel off when you eat. In Panama, they are called Mamón Chino and you can find them overflowing in their street stalls at certain times of year

Rambutan fruit is often used in diabetes and hypertension treatments. It also has antiseptic, anti-parasitic, and anti-free radical properties.

Pineapple – Pineapple is an incredibly delicious and healthy tropical fruit. This popular fruit is packed with nutrients, antioxidants and other helpful compounds, such as enzymes that can fight inflammation and disease.

pineapple smoothie

Pineapple and its compounds have been linked to many health benefits, including aiding digestion, boosting immunity and speeding up recovery from surgery, among others.

Pineapples are low in calories but have an incredibly impressive nutrient profile.

One cup (5.8 ounces or 165 grams) of pineapple chunks contains the following (2):

Calories: 82.5
Fat: 1.7 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Carbs: 21.6 grams
Fiber: 2.3 grams
Vitamin C: 131% of the RDI
Manganese: 76% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDI
Copper: 9% of the RDI
Thiamin: 9% of the RDI
Folate: 7% of the RDI
Potassium: 5% of the RDI
Magnesium: 5% of the RDI
Niacin: 4% of the RDI
Pantothenic acid: 4% of the RDI
Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI
Iron: 3% of the RDI

Pineapples also contain trace amounts of vitamins A and K, phosphorus, zinc and calcium.  They are especially rich in vitamin C and manganese, providing 131% and 76% of the daily recommendations, respectively.Vitamin C is essential for growth and development, a healthy immune system and aiding the absorption of iron from the diet. Meanwhile, manganese is a naturally occurring mineral that aids growth, maintains a healthy metabolism and has antioxidant properties.

I love eating pineapple straight or making a pineapple smoothie with frozen pineapple. Yesterday I bought 4 large pineapples for $3 from a street vendor with a truck full of pineapple.

panama papaya

Papaya – Papaya is an anti-inflammatory fruit and can help in reducing heart disease, improving digestive health, lowering blood sugar level & healing wounds. The papaya fruit also contains Vitamins A, B, C, and E as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, choline and cancer-fighting lycopene

Papayas contain an enzyme called papain that aids digestion; in fact, it can be used as a meat tenderizer. Papaya is also high in fiber and water content, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract.

The health benefits of consuming papaya include a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, aiding in digestion, improving blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and improving wound healing.

I know a man who moved to Panama 15 years ago with liver cancer but cured it by eating papaya and a few papaya seeds every day.  Papaya seeds contain vital nutrients that help heal cirrhosis of the liver. Grind or crush 5–6 papaya seeds and have them with food or juice, especially lime juice. This should be done for 30 days. Moreover, eating small amounts of papaya seeds regularly helps in detoxing the liver and keeps liver diseases at bay.

guanabana soursop

Guanabana or Soursop – Soursop is popular in tropical countries but much more in Panama. Panamanians swear by this fruit because of its miraculous healing benefits such as tumor shrinking, parasite blasting, and cancer-fighting properties.

In a South Korean study, Guanabana was shown to be up to 10,000 times more effective than chemotherapy at stopping the spread of cancerous cells. Another study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, found that soursop can even be effective against tumors that are resistant to chemotherapy or other drug combinations.
Soursop has tons of vitamin C. It is high in antioxidants, B vitamins, calcium, and phosphorous. Soursop is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, which is invaluable to the body’s healing processes. Additionally, it demonstrates anti-cancer properties.

Mango – Mango is a low-calorie fruit that contain high level of vitamin C, fibre and pectin making it a perfect fruit that helps in controlling high cholesterol level. Another benefit of eating mangoes is that it cleanses your skin from deep inside your body. It treats pores and gives a glow to your skin.  Mango is a great source of vitamins A. It also contains folate, B6, iron and a little calcium, zinc and vitamin E. Mangoes are a good source of antioxidants, containing certain phytochemicals such as gallotannins and mangiferin which have been studied for their health benefits.

sandia watermelon

Watermelon – The cheery red color comes from lycopene, an antioxidant. Studies show it may help curb your risk of cancer and diabetes as part of a healthy lifestyle. Watermelon has more of this nutrient than any other fruit or veggie — even tomatoes. To load up on lycopene, choose a melon with bright red flesh rather than yellow or orange. And the riper, the better. Eating watermelon is a good way to get more water in to your body because they are 92% water.

These are just a few of the many fresh fruits available in Panama.

Needless to say, you can see how eating more of these fruits, which are readily available at affordable prices in Panama, will improve your health!

2. Panama boasts of world-class healthcare for a fraction of a price

According to US News & World Report, Panama’s health care is world class. You will not have to worry about hospital and checkup bills from a Panamanian doctor because it is relatively cheap. It can get as low as $15 without sacrificing the quality of service.

Most of the doctors at the hospitals in Panama were trained in the U.S so you will not have any language barrier issues. In fact, Punta Pacifica Hospital in Panama City is the only hospital in Latin America affiliated with Johns Hopkins International. And Hospital Paitilla is affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic in the United States.

3. Panama is teeming with fresh seafood

Because Panama flanked by the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, it has much to offer in terms of seafood. In fact, Panamanians have a long history of fishing and utilizing the ocean around them.

When you move to Panama, you’ll get healthy because you’ll adapt a diet which is rich in seafood. Seafood is a great source of lean protein, magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. These vitamins and minerals are essential in fighting against inflammation, heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer.

Seafood is affordable too!  Sea bass, called corvina, is about $3 a pound.  Fresh tuna is $4 a pound.  Pargo, or red snapper, is about $2 a pound.  With these prices, you’ll be eating healthy fish a lot more often.

4. Panama has organic farms

Organic farms are becoming more popular in Panama where you can buy a wide range of organic products such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, chicken and eggs. Organic foods have higher nutritional value. Some grocery stores carry a selection of organic foods and they can also be purchased at some farmer’s markets.

5. Panama’s charm will make you want to explore

Hiking Boquete Panama

As you know, walking is a form of physical activity and with Panama’s beauty; you’ll find yourself walking a lot more to explore this beautiful paradise. You will be motivated to move to enjoy what this country has to offer because of its alluring nature.

When you go and walk around, it helps lower your blood pressure, increase cardiovascular health, promotes stronger bones, improves balance, and reduces body fat.

You’ll also have opportunities to get involved in many social activities which help to boost your spirits.

Having said that, living in Panama is a good choice for you if you are looking for fresh produce, tropical delicacies, and sunshine.

Many people who have relocated to Panama have reported that they have been able to get off, or significantly reduce, the medications they take.

Many have also reported losing weight after moving to Panama which certainly helps you be more healthy too.

You’ll have LESS STRESS when you move to Panama because of the affordable relaxed lifestyle, fresh air and spectacular scenery.

You will get healthy when you move to Panama!

Learn how to move to Panama in an easy and affordable way with the Online Panama Relocation Guide. It will help you find the perfect place to live to fit your budget, teach you the right way to find a rental in Panama, has affordable immigration lawyer contacts, where to buy health insurance for 40% less, and much much more.

When you buy the Online Panama Relocation Guide you’ll be invited to our private community forum where we offer ongoing support before, during, and after your move to Panama.

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions


  1. Lyle Wall says

    Jackie, you are doing a good job explaining & promoting Panama. It is my favorite vacation spot. Took my grand kids ages 14, 16,. & 18 for the holidays for two weeks this past year. Stay safe, be happy & keep on keeping on.

  2. Tucker says

    I’m fruit focused and would like to move to Panama potentially if I can grow the trees I want. Are there any games that give tours or better videos that show off the farmers markets and the more exotic fruits available? Maybe the towns that are close?

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI Tucker

      We don’t have any videos specifically about farmers markets or exotic fruits. The elevation determines what can or cannot be grown in an area.

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