Can We Live Well Past 100? Does Diet Make a Difference?

By Nancy Andrews

Hunza Diet Secrets

Feb 7th, 2013 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: Coach Nancy - The Way I See It..., Diet Reviews, Nutrition & Weight Loss

If you are a regular reader here, you know I’m highly interested (try to stay short of being obsessed) by the concept of anti aging and super healthy longevity.  Again, this may just be because at 54, I realize that our time here is short and I want to live as long as possible but in a happy, healthy manner.

hunza women Can We Live Well Past 100? Does Diet Make a Difference?I’ve been looking at the Hunzas lately whose ages may or may not be well over 100 for their elders but in all instances, appear to live long, super healthy and happy lives despite living in what can be a harsh environment.   And while the suggestion that the Hunzas’ have super longevity has been questioned, their health status has not.  While living in a largely isolated environment, the Hunzas seem to have none of the chronic diseases that seem to plague us who live in modern societies.

Looking at the Hunza lifestyle, it quickly becomes apparent how their diet is likely to be a huge contributor to their health.  First, they eat fewer calories than we do, only about 2/3′s of what we routinely eat in the US.  Secondly, their food is largely unprocessed (they’ll grind their own grain to make bread) and organic.  No pesticides, herbicides are ever used.

Now here’s where I’m going to part a bit with others who claim that the secret to their diet is their special bread and/or the number of apricot seeds they consume.  Sure these are interesting elements but are just part of the full picture of what makes their diet healthy.  So what is special about the Hunza diet?

  1. Clean glacial water with loads of minerals – especially silica.  The water is highly alkaline which helps keep their bodies in a balanced acid/alkaline state.
  2. Apricots, which are very high in a number of carotenoids, are a low glycemic fruit.  Much is made of the apricot pits without adequate focus on the fruit itself.
  3. Raw and fermented dairy – from goats more than cows.  Goat milk, and especially fermented raw goat milk is highly nutritious.  Full of probiotics and enzymes and, when made into a kefir, also healthy yeasts, goat kefir is a key element to building a strong immune system.
  4. Eggs.  If you aren’t eating eggs from pastured chickens,  you are missing out on natures most perfect food.  Really!

The Hunza diet is lower calorie but high in nutrition.  Another example of how CRON (calorie restricted optimized nutrition) diets work well.  The Hunza bread is made of buckwheat and millet ground into a flour.  These are low gluten (gluten free?) flour sources.  The bread is sweetened with honey.  I recently made my own version of this but I did use sprouted whole spelt (a gluten flour) along with ground flax seed and sprouted ground quinoa.  I can tell you the bread does fill you up and suppresses your appetite for hours.  And it does last a good week with no problems with mold when stored at room temperature.

The typical day is a long one of physical labor.  Yet the Hunzas take short breaks to meditate and are reported to be a very happy people.  Hard work and meditation seems to keep them stress free.

In the final analysis, the Hunzas have much to teach us about diet but just as much about how living a simple life may bring us more than less stress but also health and longevity.   Cheers to them!

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