The members of the Hunza Communtity, consisting of 87,000 people live in the mountains of northern Pakistan with an average life-span of about 120 years. In some rare cases they even live until the age of 160, often without experiencing problems for the first 120 years. In fact, Said Abdul Mobudu, a member of the Hunza community confused immigration officers in London a few years ago because his passport stated his birth year as 1832.
The history of these people is even more fascinating. The Hunzas claim to be the descendants of Alexander the Great. Their community came into being at the time of the conquest, as they settled into the village and consequently married among themselves.
A community rarely mentioned in mainstream discourse, the Hunzas are actually a perfect example of how following the healthiest form of a diet, can increase life-span and improve health conditions. It seems they are from another planet, but in reality they just have a different lifestyle.
They rarely fall sick. In fact, there hasn’t been a single case of tumours reported amongst them. Thanks to their healthy way of living, the Hunzas look very youthful even at an advanced age and most interestingly, the women give birth till they are 65!
Their diet consists of food they have grown themselves, including raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, a lot of dried apricots, a variety of cereals (mainly millet, buckwheat and barley), legumes and less cheese, milk and eggs.
Apricot seeds are rich in vitamin B-17, which explains why they are unknown to tumours. The vitamins in apricot seeds have anticancer properties and the Hunzas are known to use those seeds to make oil.
Meat consumption is not common amongst the Hunzas and they would probably indulge in it just a couple of times a year, mostly consisting of lamb or chicken generally consumed for breakfast or lunch. Reportedly, they also walk 15-20 kilometers a day, a far more grueling workout than the average 3 kilometers of cardio many of us resort to in gyms.
They also follow a religious tradition, where, for a period of four to five months they do not consume anything but only drinks juice from dried apricot. This takes place at the time of the year when they are waiting for their staple diet-fruits, to be ripe again.
Some doctors believe that their diet of raw, fresh food combined with exercise is the key factor contributing to their long and healthy life-span.
Unfortunately, the impact of globalization has managed to permeate through to their community thus introducing unhealthy industrial foods. This has also resulted in the appearance of caries and gastrointestinal problems, illnesses that never existed in the community before.