The Hunza people are legends in the true sense of the word. They have mastered the secret of old age, for which the rest of the world has sought so long in vain. They have evolved a way of living, thinking, and eating that has substantially lengthened their life span. They don’t have much money, yet they are not poor! Nestled in an isolated corner of the Himalayan Mountains, HUNZA has been a land of mystery for more than two thousand years. The stories that have come to the outside world in the early ’60s told of a valley of eternal youth, capturing the imagination of every man and woman.
How is it that a tribe in north India and Pakistan, can live free of disease, reaching ages of 115 or more? How is it that these same men can father children at the age of 90? Can we explain Hunza women being just as energetic at 80, as Australian women age 40? How does that happen? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that their life in the tiny valley they call home, has remained untouched by civilization for more than 2,000 years!no jails or crime and no juvenile delinquency, yet the children of the Hunza Valley are not restless. They are the healthiest longest-lived people in the world today.
Tucked between towering mountain peaks in the Himalayas, the valley of the Hunza lies only eighteen miles from the point where Russia’s border meets that of China and Pakistan. Approximately forty thousand inhabitants of this tiny valley trace their lineage back to several soldiers who deserted the army of Alexander the Great. Taking Persian wives, they isolated themselves in this fertile valley, safe from the turmoil and bloodshed they had come to hate. The habits and customs of these people have changed little since those ancient times.
The Hunzas work very hard from sunrise to sunset, six days a week, and burn up a tremendous amount of physical energy. Despite this rigorous life, they eat only two meals a day. The first meal they have in the morning and the second meal in the evening. Wherever they go, they always carry a few Chapattis to renew their strength and energy during the day. Their meals are very simple, consisting for the most part of Chapattis, raw or dried fruits and vegetables. They rarely eat meat, and when they do it is in the form of a soup or stew, together with vegetables and grains
Compared with the average Australian’s diet, the Hunza diet is extremely frugal. Excess weight is unusual among the people of Hunza, and good teeth, sturdy bone structure, excellent eyesight, normal digestion, sound hearts, and a general condition of perfect health are the rule rather than the exception in Hunza.
I believe the most obvious reason for these people living beyond 100, is they don’t have the stress that more civilized parts of the world endure. Hard work never hurts anyone, and I think longevity is linked to movement, and being involved with food harvesting. But there is another clue, the Hunza people are big on apricots, they grow an abundance of these magnificent fruits, which can be enjoyed dried, fresh or stewed.
Thanks to their high amount of vitamins, flavonoids, and potassium, apricots have significant health benefits.
Flavonoids work to protect and strengthen your blood vessels while reducing signs of inflammation. Potassium, an important mineral for nerve and muscle function, is also crucial for helping nutrients move around the body. Plus, it supports healthy blood pressure and heart health.
Conditions in the mountains can be very extreme, so it makes sense that these people would have ways of protecting their skin. Apricots are full of antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C, both known for their skin-boosting properties. They can help to protect skin cells from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, reduce signs of early wrinkles, and improve skin elasticity. Beta-carotene is another antioxidant that helps to protect your skin from sunburns and additional UV damage. Since apricots have high water content, they’re also a good way to hydrate your skin. One cup of apricots offers about 2/3 of a cup of water.
Rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids, apricots are excellent for promoting eye health. Lutein helps to support retina and lens health, while carotenoids and vitamin E support overall vision. Apricot nutrients also help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
The dietary fiber in apricots helps your digestive tract, provided you drink adequate water. Apricots’ total fiber content is about half soluble fiber and half insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps your digestive tract retain enough water and encourages good bacteria to thrive. Insoluble fiber is also good for healthy gut bacteria levels.
So, hard work, Apricots, Extreme highs, and lows in temperatures, all add up to keeping you vital and alive longer.