In a lost kingdom high in the Himalayan mountains, at one of the extreme northern points of India, bordering Kashmir, China and Afghanistan live a people with incredible secrets for longevity – the Hunzas.
Pronounced hoon-zas, they are not a society of mythical legend, but real people living on ‘the roof of the world’ – often to the tender age of 145 years. Within this tiny, peace-loving society, comprised of just 30,000 people living in an inaccessible valley approximately 3000 meters above sea level, you can find women who give birth into their 60s and men who look like they’re in their 40s at twice that age. It is said that in addition to growing old – more than gracefully – they are also the happiest people in the world.
This is an important distinction to make of the Hunza people, for their health is not only defined by the lack of disease, but also their overall quality of life, and direct experience of joy. They seem to possess boundless energy and enthusiasm for every day activities. When you compare this state of living within the Hunza community with the American way of life; we’re known for being obese, spending more for pharmaceutical drugs than any other country in the world, and repeatedly fairing poorly on sociological tests to measure happiness – you might deduce we have a lot to learn from them.
Hunza vs. the Western Lifestyle
The Hunzas live almost twice as long as the average American – without taking copious pharmaceutical meds, without driving expensive new cars, and without a Whole Foods on every corner of suburbia. They have no suburbia. Just a mountain valley, which is pure, and uncontaminated by modern industrial chemicals, GMO foods, or contaminated water.
Their very lifestyle makes you question everything we hold ‘sacred’ in this country. Even at 100 years of age (the American average lifespan is only 70) a Hunza is not considered elderly. 90-year-old Hunza men often father children, and 80-year old Hunza women make Naomi Campbell look geriatric. So what’s their big secret? How do we live more like the Hunza, barring a move to a remote Himalayan village?
The Hunza Secrets to Longevity
1. Use Food as Medicine and Eat Frugally.
The Hunza’s climate is harsh due to its geographical location, so they eat frugally. Typically, the eat little meat and dine on only two small meals a day. They don’t eat their first meal until noon, even though they often engage in hard, physical labor starting at 5:30 AM. The ‘breaking-of-their-fast,’ or breakfast, combined with small, mostly vegetarian and whole grain meals likely keep their digestive systems healthy.
Evolutionary biologist Dr. Margo Adler, who led recent research to study how limiting food intake actually helps us to live longer, said that cutting back on food leads to increased rates of “cellular recycling” and repair mechanisms in the body. This means slower aging because our cells are ‘recycled.’
Comparatively, due to all the added refined carbs and sugars, Americans are often consuming many more calories in every meal than they really need – not to mention they aren’t getting any cellular regeneration from good nutrition. Six bodily tissues are regenerated entirely by the nutritious foods we eat.
Unlike most Westerners, Hunzas eat primarily for the establishment and maintenance of health rather than for pleasure.
2. Pristine Food, Water, Soil and Air Quality
Hunza food is completely natural, containing no chemical additives. The Western diet is full of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, genetically modified organisms, processing chemicals, sugars, fake sugars, MSG, artificial ‘flavors,’ and sometimes even formaldehyde – a chemical used to process the dead in a morgue!
The Hunza’s way to process fruit is to let it dry in the sun. They ‘process’ milk and cheese, but with no chemicals or hormones. It is against Hunza law to spray their gardens with pesticides.
Renee Taylor, in her book Hunza Health Secrets for Long Life and Happiness, ( Prentice-Hall 1964) says that the Mir, or ruler of Hunza, was recently instructed by Pakistani authorities to spray the orchards with pesticide, but the Hunzas refused. Instead, they spray their trees with a mixture of water and ashes, which protects the trees without poisoning the fruit.
The entire way of life for a Hunza is ORGANIC.
3. Eat Less Meat
Though the Hunzas do eat meat about once a week, primarily chicken or fish, it looks nothing like what we eat from factory farms in the West. They instead focus on organic fruits and vegetables, grains like barley, millet, and buckwheat, and most of what they eat is raw and fresh – so it still contains life force.
4. A Known Cancer Cure
The Hunza people also have a particular appetite for apricot pits. One of the biggest killers in the West is cancer, but an often shrouded method of fighting cancer is eating apricot seeds. These seeds contain Laeterile, or Vitamin B 17 which is known to kill cancer cells. Perhaps this is why cancer is practically unheard of in the Hunza village.
5. Protect Your Gut Health
The Hunza’s also typically consume yoghurt, which replenishes their healthy gut flora. Another country which consumes a lot of yoghurt is Bulgaria, and they have 1,666 centenarians per million people in their populace. The West is lucky if we have 9 per million. Our microbiome – our gut flora – is key to determining our immune health and longevity.
6. Daily Exercise Outdoors
The Hunzas spend most of their days in nature – outdoors, in fresh air. There are dozens of scientific studies which point to the health and mood boosting benefits of this practice, but they also typically walk up to 20 kilometers every day, in addition to doing other back-breaking physical tasks. Sure, we go to the gym, but nothing compares to hiking on uneven terrain for hours every day in a pristine, natural setting.
7. Eat Unprocessed Bread Containing All Needed Enzymes
The Hunza also eat lots of nuts and seeds, but their favorite addition to any meal is ‘chapatti’ a bread that is made of wheat, millet, buckwheat or barley flour – it is the whole flour though with the germ intact. Most processed flours in the West, especially wheat flours, have had the germ removed.
Leaving the germ intact makes storing flour-based products more difficult for the food industry, but Hunza women credit this bread for allowing them to give birth well into their 60s. Why? Germ-intact grains contain lots of Vitamin E and other phytonutrients which play an important role in our longevity, but also our sexual health. Our entire hormonal system relies on Vitamin E, and other nutrients for increased libido and vitality.
8. The Final Hunza Secret? Meditation and Frequent Breaks
In the West we work at stressful break-neck speeds, rarely taking a moment to focus on our breath, or to just feel gratitude for being alive. The Hunzas practice meditation and trust their instincts to know when it is time to rest. They spend alone-time looking within, and consider communing with the soul, paramount to their happiness.
I may not be able to jump on a jet plane to the Hunza kingdom tomorrow, but I’m certainly planning on adopting as many of their secrets as I can.
This article (8 Secrets to Living Beyond 100 from the World’s Healthiest People) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Christina Sarich and WakingTimes.com.
Biden to Ban Menthol Cigarettes, Citing Health Impact on Youth and Black People
The Biden administration is reportedly planning to propose an immediate ban on menthol cigarettes, a product that has long been targeted by anti-smoking advocates and critics who claim that the tobacco industry has aggressively marketed to Black people in the U.S.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the administration could announce a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes as soon as this week.
Roughly 85 percent of Black smokers use such menthol brands as Newport and Kool, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Research has also found that menthol cigarettes are easier to become addicted to and harder to quit than unflavored tobacco products, along with other small cigars popular with young people and African Americans.
Civil rights advocates claim that the decision should be greeted by Black communities and people of color who have been marketed to by what they describe as the predatory tobacco industry.
Black smokers generally smoke far less than white smokers, but suffer a disproportionate amount of deaths due to tobacco-linked diseases like heart attack, stroke, and other causes.
Anti-smoking advocates like Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, also greeted the move to cut out products that appeal to children and young adults.
“Menthol cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of youth smoking in the United States,” he said. “Eliminating menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars used by so many kids will do more in the long run to reduce tobacco-related disease than any action the federal government has ever taken.”
However, groups including the American Civil Liberties Group (ACLU) has opposed the move, citing the likelihood that such an action could lead to criminal penalties arising from the enforcement of a ban hitting communities of color hardest.
In a letter to administration officials, the ACLU and other groups including the Drug Policy Alliance said that while the ban is “no doubt well-intentioned” it would also have “serious racial justice implications.”
“Such a ban will trigger criminal penalties, which will disproportionately impact people of color, as well as prioritize criminalization over public health and harm reduction,” the letter explained. “A ban will also lead to unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.”
Pollution Is Making Human Penises Shrink and Causing a Collapse of Fertility, Scientists Say
With many still scoffing at the idea of rampant pollution posing a threat to humanity, a new study could drastically change the conversation: the chemicals across our environment could be the cause of shrinking human penises.
According to a new book by Dr. Shanna H. Swan, conditions in the modern world are quickly altering the reproductive development of humans and posing a threat to our future as a species.
The argument is laid out in her new book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race.
The book discusses how pollution is not only leading to skyrocketing erectile dysfunction rates and fertility decline, but also an expansion in the number of babies born with small penises.
While it may seem like good fodder for jokes, the research could portend a grim future for humanity’s ability to survive.
Swan co-authored a study in 2017 that found sperm counts had precipitously fallen in Western countries by 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. In her latest book, Swan blames chemicals for this crisis in the making.
“Chemicals in our environment and unhealthy lifestyle practices in our modern world are disrupting our hormonal balance, causing various degrees of reproductive havoc,” she wrote in the new book.
“In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” she also wrote, noting that men could have only half the sperm count of their grandfathers.
Swan blames the disruption on phthalates, the chemicals used in plastic manufacturing that also have an impact on how the crucial hormone endocrine is produced
However, experts note that the proper implementation of pollution reduction measures could help humanity prevent the collapse of human fertility.
Visualizing The World’s Deadliest Pandemics By Population Impact
Humanity has been battling against disease for centuries.
And while most contagious outbreaks have never reached full-blown pandemic status, Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang notes that there have been several times throughout history when a disease has caused mass devastation.
Here’s a look at the world’s deadliest pandemics to date, viewed from the lens of the impact they had on the global population at the time.
Editor’s note: The above graphic was created in response to a popular request from users after viewing our popular history of pandemics infographic initially released a year ago.
Death Toll, by Percent of Population
In the mid-1300s, a plague known as the Black Death claimed the lives of roughly 200 million people – more than 50% of the global population at that time.
Here’s how the death toll by population stacks up for other significant pandemics, including COVID-19 so far.
The specific cause of the Black Death is still up for debate. Many experts claim the 14th-century pandemic was caused by a bubonic plague, meaning there was no human-to-human transmission, while others argue it was possibly pneumonic.
Interestingly, the plague still exists today – however, it’s significantly less deadly, thanks to modern antibiotics.
History Repeats, But at Least We Keep Learning
While we clearly haven’t eradicated infection diseases from our lives entirely, we’ve at least come a long way in our understanding of what causes illness in the first place.
In ancient times, people believed gods and spirits caused diseases and widespread destruction. But by the 19th century, a scientist named Louis Pasteur (based on findings by Robert Koch) discovered germ theory – the idea that small organisms caused disease.
What will we discover next, and how will it impact our response to disease in the future?
Like this? Check out the full-length article The History of Pandemics
Republished from ZH with permission.