The Hunza Valley is on the border of India and Pakistan, also called the «oasis of youth.
Why? The life expectancy of the locals is 110-120 years. They almost never get sick and look young. Their longevity still puzzles researchers.
The inhabitants of the Hunza Valley, unlike the neighboring nations, look very similar to the Europeans. According to legend, the dwarf mountain state was founded by the soldiers of Alexander the Great’s army during his Indian campaign.
The Hunzakuts settled near the famous «mountain meeting place,» the point where three of the world’s highest systems converge: the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, and the Karakoram. Today, Hunza is managed by Pakistan’s Ministry of Kashmir and Northern Territories. One of the main attractions of Hunza is the glacier, which descends into the valley in a wide, cold river.
They have their own language, Burushaski, which is still not related to any of the languages of the world, although everyone here knows Urdu and many know English. They practice Islam, but not the Islam to which we are accustomed, but the Ismaili Islam, one of the most mystical and mysterious in religion. Therefore, in Hunza you will not hear the usual calls to prayer. It is everyone’s own business and time to turn to God.
The Hunza bathe in icy water even in 15-degree frost, play in active games till they are a hundred years old, 40-year-old women look like girls, at the age of 60 they keep their slim and graceful figure, and have children at the age of 65. In summer they eat raw fruits and vegetables, in winter — sun-dried apricots and sprouted grains, sheep’s bryndza.
Another interesting thing is that during the «hungry spring» (the period when the fruit is not ripe; it lasts 2-4 months), they eat almost nothing and drink a juice of dried apricots only once a day. Such fasting is elevated to a cult and is strictly observed. The Scottish doctor Mac Carrison, who first described Happy Valley, stressed that the consumption of proteins there is at the lowest level of the norm, if at all it can be called a norm. The daily caloric intake of Hunza averages 1,933 kcal and includes 50 g of protein, 36 g of fat, and 365 g of carbohydrates.
In the book «Hunza — the people who do not know disease,» R. Bircher emphasizes the following very significant advantages of the food model in this country:
First of all, it is vegetarian;
a large amount of raw foods;
vegetables and fruits prevail in the daily diet;
foods are natural, without any chemicalization, and cooked with the preservation of all biologically valuable substances;
alcohol and delicacies are consumed exceptionally rarely;
very moderate consumption of salt;
foods grown only on native soil;
regular periods of fasting.
In 1984, a Hunzakut named Sayyid Abdul Mobud arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport. He puzzled the immigration officials when he presented his passport. According to the document, Hunzakut was born in 1823 and was 160 years old. The mullah who accompanied Mobud noted that his ward is considered a saint in the Hunza country, which is famous for its long-livers. Mobud has excellent health and sound judgement. He remembers events dating back to 1850 very well.
About their secret of longevity the locals say simply: be a vegetarian, always work physically, move constantly and do not change the rhythm of life, then you will live to 120-150 years.