Hunza Valley is located at 7,999' in northern Pakistan and
is the home of the longest lived people on the planet. The high mountain
valley is surrounded by the Himalayan mountains with the mountain in the
photo to the left rising to 25,551'. Northern Pakistan is blessed with
the greatest mass of high mountains on earth where the Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir's, and Hindukush all meet!
As much as the valley is famous for its beauty, the people of Hunza are noted for their friendliness and hospitality. The
local language is Brushuski but most people understand Urdu and English. The literacy rate of the Hunza valley is believed to be above 90%,
virtually every child of the new generation studies up to at least high school. Many pursue higher studies from prestigious colleges and
Universities of Pakistan and abroad.
The Hunza People are uniquely healthy and free of disease. Many
studies have been done and it is believed that their simple healthy diet
of carefully grown organic food and the glacial, living water is their
secret to health and long life. Hunza drink directly from glacial
streams in the high Himalayas. It is fresh, invigorating, life
enhancing, free radical scavenging and delicious.
The Hunza have the longest lifespan in the world and this has been
traced as related to the water that they drink and their natural diet.
Hunza water is an example of perfect natural water. Hunza has people who
routinely live to 120-140 years, in good health with virtually no
cancer, degenerative disease, dental caries or bone decay. Hunza people
remain robust and strong and are also able to bear children even in old
age. Research has proven conclusively that the major common denominator
of the healthy long-living people is their local water.
Dr. Henri Coanda, the Romanian father of fluid dynamics and a Nobel Prize winner at 78 yrs
old, spent six decades studying the Hunza water trying to determine what
it was in this water that caused such beneficial effects for the body.
He discovered that it had a different viscosity and surface tension. Dr.
Patrick Flanagan and others continued the research. They found Hunza
water had a high alkaline pH and an extraordinary amount of active
hydrogen (hydrogen with an extra electron), with a
negative Redox Potential and a high colloidal mineral content. The water is living and
provides health benefits that other types of drinking water cannot.
Similar natural water properties and longevity are found in other remote
unpolluted places such as the Shin-Chan areas of China, the Caucasus in
Azerbaijan, and in the Andes Mountains.
What kind of exotic, ill-tasting grub do these Hunza people eat, you
are wondering. Strange as it may sound, virtually everything the
Hunzakut eat is delectable to the western palate, and is readily
available in the United States - at least if your shopping horizons do
not begin and end at the supermarket.
Not only is the Hunza diet not exotic, but there's really nothing
terribly mysterious about its health-promoting qualities, Everything we
know about food and health, gathered both from clinical studies and the
observation of scientists who have traveled throughout the world
observing dietary practices and their relationship to health, tells us
that it is to be expected that the Hunza diet will go a long way towards
improving the total health of anyone, anywhere. The Hunza story is only
on of the more dramatic examples of the miraculous health produced by a
diet of fresh, natural unprocessed and unadulterated food.
Maybe you're wondering: are the Hunzas really all that healthy? That
was the question on the mind of cardiologists Dr. Paul D. White and Dr.
Edward G. Toomey, who made the difficult trip up the mountain paths to
Hunza, toting along with them a portable, battery-operated
electrocardiograph. In the American Heart Journal for December, 1964,
the doctors say they used the equipment to study 25 Hunza men, who were,
"on fairly good evidence, between 90 and 110 years old." Blood pressure
and cholesterol levels were also tested. He reported that not one of
these men showed a single sign of coronary heart disease, high blood
pressure or high cholesterol.
An optometrist, Dr. Allen E. Banik, also made the journey to Hunza to
see for himself if the people were as healthy as they were reputed to
be, and published his report in Hunza Land (Whitehorn Publishing Co.,
1960). "It wasn't long before I discovered that everything that I had
read about perpetual life and health in this tiny country is true," Dr.
Banik declared. "I examined the eyes of some of Hunza's oldest citizens
and found them to be perfect."
Beyond more freedom from disease, many observers have been startled
by the positive side of Hunza health. Dr. Banik, for example, relates
that "many Hunza people are so strong that in the winter they exercise
by breaking holes in the ice-covered streams and take a swim down under
the ice." Other intrepid visitors who have been there report their
amazement at seeing men 80, 90, and 100 years old repairing the
always-crumbling rocky roads, and lifting large stones and boulders to
repair the retaining walls around their terrace gardens. The oldsters
think nothing of playing a competitive game of volleyball in the hot sun
against men 50 years their junior, and even take part in wild games of
polo that are so violent they would make an ice hockey fan shudder.
Apricots Are Hunza Gold
Of all their organically-grown food, perhaps their favorite, and one of
their dietary mainstays, is the apricot. Apricot orchards are seen
everywhere in Hunza, and a family's economic stability is measured by
the number of trees they have under cultivation.
They eat their apricots fresh in season, and dry a great deal more in
the sun for eating throughout the long cold winter. They puree the dried
apricots and mix them with snow to make ice cream. Like their apricot
jam, this ice cream needs no sugar because the apricots are so sweet
But that is only the beginning. The Hunza cut the pits from the fruits,
crack them, and remove the almond-like nuts. The women hand grind these
kernels with stone mortars, then squeeze the meal between a hand stone
and a flat rock to express the oil. The oil is used in cooking, for
fuel, as a salad dressing on fresh garden greens, and even as a facial
lotion ( Renee Taylor says Hunza women have beautiful complexions).
Besides apricots, the Hunzakut also grow and enjoy apples, pears, peaches,
mulberries, black and red cherries, and grapes. From these fruits, the
Hunzakut get all the vitamin C they need, as well as the other nutritional
richness of fresh fruit, including energy from the fruit sugars. From
the grapes, they also make a light red wine that helps make their simple
fare into more of a real "meal". Observe the apricots drying in the sun
in the photo to the right.
Hunza Chapatti Bread typically is made fresh each day from stone ground grains, primarily,
wheat, barley, buckwheat and millet. These delicious flat unleavened
breads are an important part of a nutritious diet of grains, fruits,
dried fruits, and veggies. They drink substantial amounts of "Glacial
Milk" which is milky colored water fresh melted from base of
glaciers, rich in rock flour and minerals.
Another great Hunza health secret concerns the considerable amount of time each day
devoted to physical exercise. Most exercise is done outdoors in order to take advantage of the pure mountain air, which in itself has a
beneficial effect on health. Although a large part of their day is spent outdoors, working the fields, the Hunzakut do a lot more than that.
For one thing, they take regular walks and a 15 or 20 kilometer hike is considered quite normal. Of course they don’t
walk that distance every day, but doing so does not require any special effort.
You should also keep in mind that hiking along mountain trails
is a lot more demanding than walking over flat terrain.Of course we’re not suggesting that you move to the mountains and become a farmer to stay fit and add years to your life! You
don’t have to change your way of life completely in order to stay healthy and live longer. But one thing the Hunza life-style does prove
is that exercise is very important for health and longevity.
Walking for an hour each day, something most people can manage, is excellent for both
your body and your mind. In fact, walking is the simplest, least costly
and most accessible form of exercise there is. And contrary to what you
may think, it also provides you with a complete workout. So get in step
with the Hunzakut and start walking!