Hunzaland is a tiny country located high in the foothills of the Himalayas in Pakistan. The first group of Westerners to reach Hunzaland was the British army, which among them a medical practitioner and researcher, Dr. Robert McCarrison. |
Dr McCarrison was fascinated by the health and temperament of these people. They lived isolated from the outside world and depending entirely for survival on what they could produce themselves.
After 10 years studying the Hunzas, McCarrison – later to become Sir Robert McCarrison – spent a further seven years studying nutrition in the capacity of Director of Research on Nutrition in India. He later became a Major General in the British army and also chairman of the Post-Graduate Medical Education Committee at the University of Oxford.
McCarrison summerised the Hunzas with the words: “These people are surpassed by any other race in perfection of physique. They are long-lived, vigorous in youth and age, capable of great endurance and enjoy a remarkable freedom from diseases in general.”
In their natural, primitive state, the Hunza people exhibited perfect mental and physical health – vibrant health, in fact, with many of the population living to over 100 years of age, even to 150 or more. Men at 90 years of age were known to have fathered children, while women at the age of 80 looked like Western women of 40.
Sickness was rare. Virtually unknown were ulcers, appendicitis, colitis, high blood pressure, heart disease or childhood illnesses. It appeared that there was not a single case of cancer in the entire population.
The people were friendly, hospitable and religious, free of fear, hatred and jalousy. Divorce was rare and their was no juvenile delinquency. There were no jails, police or army.
Medical studies have identified the Hunza’s natural way of eating as the major factor in their physical and mental health and well being. They lived on fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes, whole-grain foods and goats’ cheese and butter. Meat was eaten only on ceremonial occasions, so it was a rarely in their diet. They did indulge in a strong grape wine. Everything was organically grown on mineral- rich soils.
In their way of life there was no refined sugar, no pasteurisation of milk, no hydrogenation of oil, no chemical fertilizers, no chlorination or fluoridation of water and no vaccination.
They were a people of great intelligence, grace and charm, and were one of the healthiest races the world has ever seen. They still live in the same part of the world but are no longer isolated from Western influence.
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