Blessed with the snow capped mountains piercing through the sparkling blue sky, verdant green patios, glistening blue glacier rivers, the beauty of Hunza is truly captivating and utterly inspiring.
In yesteryears, because of its treacherous mountain paths, it was really difficult to reach Hunza. Not only humans but even animals use to fail in making their way into the valley because of the rocky deathtraps; only the residents of Hunza new the art of making through the tough and rough surfaces of the region. The residents of Hunza, also known as Hunzakuts, are super-fit and healthy because they practice healthy lifestyle habits. Presently, many of the roads get frequently blocked by boulders which have rolled down the steep slopes above, to enable conveyance to enter and bring in modern/ updated goods which has started altering the healthy lifestyle of Hunza.
Acknowledging the healthy lifestyle practices on Hunza, exaggerated reports were published during 1960s and 1970s. The reports claimed that the Hunzakuts live upto 150 or 160 years of age, but these overvalued reports were disregarded and as a result of which the media lost interest in the beautiful valley of Hunza. On the flip side, no one can deny the fact that it is certainly a Life Longevity Hot Spot where people follow healthy lifestyle habits and the Hunzakuts are practically strangers to chronic diseases. The people remain active and vibrant until very old age.
One of the most healthy lifestyle habits of Hunzakuts is that they live a very peaceful life. The region is blessed with zero crime rate, and mental illness. There is no police or hospitals in the area, barring one medical center which usually remains empty. As per the physicians from the Western who have visited Hunza, issues related to digestion do not exist and chances of having cancer in Hunza are almost zero.
American cardiologists Dr. Paul Dudley White and Dr. Edward G Toomey visited Hunza in 1964. They conducted a research on heart diseases in Hunzakut men and found out that out of 25 men they studied who aged somewhere between 90 and 110 years old, none of them exhibited a single sign of coronary heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. On average the Hunzakuts live until their 80s if not until their 90s or 100s that too without needing to visit any doctor.
Another doctor researched on the healthy lifestyle based diet of Hunzakuts on rats. They were given pieces of whole grain chapattis, legumes, farm fresh raw carrots, raw cabbage, unpasteurized fresh milk, a but of meat (once a week), and plenty of water, fresh air, sunlight, and exercise. On the 27th month of the experiment, the rats were killed and examined. The astonishing result was that there were no detectable signs of pathology in any of the rats. The doctor noticed them to be alert and cheerful and to live in harmony with each other when they were alive. Later, McCarrison tested English and Bengali diets on rats and found out that the rats then tested other as expected developed diseases of every organ and behaved cruelly with each other.
In Hunza, the healthy lifestyle diets remains in harmony with the principles of long living, hence it is merely astonishing that the Hunzakuts enjoy such lively, first-class health and happy, long lives.
As a part of their healthy lifestyle regime, the Hunzakuts eat many vegetables which are grown by them. They have it either raw or cooked in just a little water for a short time; this practice does not kill the nutritional value of the vegetables. The regular components of the daily diet includes: tomatoes, onions, garlic, spinach, turnips, carrots, pumpkins, cabbage, and cauliflower.
To maintain healthy lifestyle they have foods which are loaded with micronutrients. The food they eat are ultra organic because of their methods of fertilizing their soil with carefully-nurtured organic compost. Moreover, they do not use pesticides.
They prefer high intake of natural whole foods, untreated and unharmed by additives to uphold a healthy lifestyle.
They do not eat more than they require, the primary reason being that they do not have excessive amounts of food available. They intake approximately around 1,900 calories, on average, daily. With this they also successfully maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The Hunzakuts obtain useful fats from apricot kernels, flax, and walnuts as well as other plant foods and use them for eating purposes to have a healthy lifestyle.
For promoting healthy lifestyle in the region, they grow apricot trees everywhere, so that apricots, apricot kernels grow in larger quantities. Apricot kernel oil is an important feature of their diet. They eat fresh apricots, dried apricots, use it in soups, use its pulp and mix it with glacier water, and they also combine it with snow to make ice cream.
One of the healthy lifestyle practices of the people of Hunza is that they eat plenty of fruit, especially during the summer season. Most of the people have mulberry, cherry, apple, peach and pear trees right outside their houses. They pick fresh fruits and eat them up right from the trees.
Hunzakuts grow their own organic whole wheat which is later converted into flour for chapattis. They also make sprouted wheat bread, this helps in keeping up with a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
The use of millet, buckwheat, barley and maize remains popular in Hunza for the development of healthy lifestyle.
The intake of vegetable protein from beans and lentils remains high among Hunzakuts. Lentils are transformed into dhal while beans are used to make flour or are simply added to curries. Gram flour is made from the chickpeas. Beans are often sprouted and used in salads for having nutritional yet light food and for managing a healthy lifestyle.
It is important to eat small amounts of meat from the cows, yaks, sheep and goats they keep for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In Hunza, the meat is lean and organic and usually boiled which keeps saturated fat level very low and keeps heart away from the risk of catching diseases.
One of the unique food related healthy lifestyle habits of the people of Hunza is that they drink and bathe in immaculate glacier water flowing down from the mountains and they drink herbal tea made from boiled glacier water and a herb called Tumuru.
All these above mentioned healthy lifestyle habits associated with food help the Hunzakuts to live a happy and healthy life.