Hunza Valley (the border between India and Pakistan), called “an oasis of youth“.
It is believed that among these people centenarians are a common occurrence, and that it is not unusual for elderly persons to reach the venerable age of 130. It has even been reported that a significant number have survived to the incredible age of 145!
These people are not the product of legend, they live on the mountain peaks of the Himalayas, is situated at the extreme northern point of India, where the borders of Kashmir, China, India and Afghanistan converge.
It is said that this tiny group of people, residing in an inaccessible valley about 3000 meters (9000 feet) above sea level, are more or less completely cut off from the outside world. It is also said that they are the happiest people on earth.
The Hunzas seem to possess boundless energy and enthusiasm, and at the same time are surprisingly serene. At one hundred years old, a Hunza is considered neither old nor even elderly. According to a number of sources, it is not uncommon for 90 year old Hunza men to father children. Hunza women of 80 or more look no older than a western woman of 40 – and not only any woman, but one who is in excellent shape.
Is there some secret technique that allows these people to live so long, and stay so healthy?
The answer is yes – the Hunzas do know something we don’t. But there isn’t just one secret, there are many.
The first, and certainly the most important of these secrets concerns nutrition – the food you eat is your best medicine. So what do the Hunzas eat? Well, the basis of the Hunza diet, which to a large extent is dictated by the rather harsh climatic and geographical conditions of their home country, can be summed up in one word: frugality.
Hunza food is completely natural, containing no chemical additives whatsoever. Everything is as fresh as it can possibly be, and in its original unsalted state. The only “processing” consists of drying some fresh fruits in the the sun, and making butter and cheese out of milk. The Hunzas eat as they live – organically.
They also eat fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. For the most part, these are consumed fresh and raw, although some vegetables are cooked for a short time. Their preferred fruits and vegetables include potatoes, string beans, peas, carrots, turnip, squash, spinach, lettuce, apples, pears, peaches, apricots, cherries and blackberries. They also have a particular fondness for apricot pits. Almonds are eaten whole, or used to make oil through a process that has been transmitted from generation to generation.
Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, beechnuts, etc. also comprise an important part of the Hunza diet. Along with fruit, or mixed into salads, nuts often constitute an entire meal!
Milk and cheese are important sources of animal protein. Meat, although not completely eliminated, is consumed only very rarely, reserved for special occasions like marriages or festivals. They generally eat meat only once a week, if that often, and live longer and stay healthier than we do.