High in the mountains of northern Pakistan lies the Hunza Valley, a beautiful and ancient strip of land occupied by the Hunzakuts, or Hunza people, that is described as “heaven on earth.” The Hunza have lived in the area since the times of Alexander the Great and their feats of physical endurance have made them famous warriors and assassins. The Hunza Valley’s natural beauty and the long lifespan of its inhabitants have led to rumors that this is the site of the long-lost kingdom of Shangri-La. But why is the Hunza lifespan so long? The reasons below might shed some light on this mystery.
While the claims that Hunza live for 130, even 140 years are likely exaggerated, they still live an average of over 90 years. Compare that to the Western world’s lifespan of about 80 years, which is lower despite our obsession with youthful appearance and long lifespans. Although some aspects of Hunza life are a result of economic necessity, the Hunza, who have a high literacy rate and promote gender equality, may have something to teach us. Health Fitness Revolution conducted thorough research to determine why the Hunza’s idiosyncratic lifestyle has led them to lead longer, healthier lives. Here are 10 Tips we can learn from the Hunza people:
- Physical Activity: Average 15+ walking miles a day and going on long hikes in rough, mountainous terrain on a daily basis.
- Winter Diet: Cheese, yogurt, dry fruits, whole-meal bread, fresh butter, raw vegetables
- Summer Diet: Everything in their diet is fresh
- Heavily Mineralized Glacier Water: Drink an abundance of water that has a high mineral content
- Low Meat Consumption: Hunza rarely eat any meat and exist on mostly a vegetarian lifestyle
- Low Alcohol Consumption
- Apricot Kernel Juice: The Hunzas consume plenty of apricot kernel juice, which is high in vitamin B17. Their vitamin B17 levels are 200 times higher than the average American.
- Meditative Breathing and Relaxation: Meditation and stress-management are common parts of the Hunza’s lives. They regularly take the time to meditate and breathe, living in the present, thinking very little of the past or future.
- Caloric Intake Under 2000Kcal: The Hunza’s consume less than 2000 calories a day and use most of that for energy.