Nov 5, 2010

Apricots Are Hunza




Apricots Are Hunza Gold

Of all their organically-grown food, perhaps their favorite, and one of their dietary mainstays, is the apricot. Apricot orchards are seen everywhere in Hunza, and a family's economic stability is measured by the number of trees they have under cultivation.

They eat their apricots fresh in season, and dry a great deal more in the sun for eating throughout the long cold winter. They puree the dried apricots and mix them with snow to make ice cream. Like their apricot jam, this ice cream needs no sugar because the apricots are so sweet naturally. But that is only the beginning. The Hunzas cut the pits from the fruits, crack them, and remove the almond-like nuts. The women hand grind these kernels with stone mortars, then squeeze the meal between a hand stone and a flat rock to express the oil. The oil is used in cooking, for fuel,as a salad dressing on fresh garden greens, and even as a facial lotion ( Renee Taylor says Hunza women have beautiful complexions).


The Apricot Kernel Anti-Cancer Theorya onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_u31k8Wu4h5Q/TNQAdlA-ETI/AAAAAAAAAGg/Y9nUrhdA8Kw/s1600/hunza2.jpg">

Do these kernels have important protective powers which in some way play an important role in the extraordinary health and longevity of the Hunza people? The evidence suggest they very well might. Cancer and arthritis are both very rare among the Taos (New Mexico) Pueblo Indians. Their traditional beverages is made from the group kernels of cherries, peaches and apricots. Robert G. Houston told PREVENTION that he enjoyed this beverage when he was in New Mexico gathering material for a book dealing with blender shakes based on an Indian recipe. Into a glass of milk or juice, he mixed a tablespoon of honey with freshly ground apricot kernels (1/4 of an ounce or two dozen kernels) which had been roasted for 10 minutes at 300. It is vitally impotent to roast the kernels first. Houston points out, "in order to insure safety when you are using the pits in such quantities." roasting destroys enzymes which could upset your stomach if you eat too many at on time. In any event the drink was so delicious that Houston kept having it daily. On the third day of drinking this concoction, Houston says that a funny thing happened. Two little benign skin growths on his arm , which formerly were pink had turned brown. The next day, he noticed that the growths were black and shriveled. On the seventh morning, the smaller more recent growths had vanished completely and the larger one. about the size of a grain of rice, had simply fallen off.

Houston says that two of his friends have since tried the apricot shakes and report similar elimination of benign skin growths in one or two weeks. What is there in apricot pits that could produce this remarkable effect? some foods, especially the kernels of certain fruits and grains, contain elements known as the nitrilosides (also known as amygdalin or vitamin B 17) says Dr. Ernst T. Krebs, Jr., biochemist and co-discoverer of Laetrile, a controversial cancer treatment ( Laetrile is the proprietary name for one nitriloside) Nitrilosides, says Dr. Krebs, are non-toxic water-soluble, accessory food factors found in abundance in the seeds of almost all fruits. They are also found in over 100 other plants. Wherever primitive people have been found to have exceptional health, with marked absence of malignant or degenerative disease, their diet has been shown to be high in the naturally occurring nitrilosides, Dr. Krebs maintains.

"These nitrilosides just might be to cancer what vitamin C is to scurvy, what niacin is to pellagra, what vitamin B12 and folic acid are to pernicious anemia," says Dr. Krebs (Cancer News Journal, May/August, 1970).

There are other common foods (all seeds) which provide a goodly supply of this protective factor. Millet and buckwheat, both of which the Hunzakuts eat in abundance, are two. Lentils, Mung beans and alfalfa, when sprouted, provide 50 times more nitriloside than does the mature plant, Dr. Krebs points out. And the Hunzas, as you might expect, spout all of their seeds, as well as using them in other ways. Since other essential protective elements are increased in the sprouting of such seeds, young sprouts are excellent foods which give us more life-giving values than most of us realize.


Apricots Rich in vitamin A and Iron

Aside from whatever anti-cancer properties the seeds of apricots may offer, the fruit itself is exceptional in its own right. There is probably no fruit which is as nourishing as the apricot. When they are dried, and most of the moisture removed, the concentration of nutrients becomes even greater. A generous handful of dried apricots (3 1/2 ounces) is packed with nearly 11,000 units of vitamin A, or more than twice the recommended daily allowance. In fact, if this much vitamin A was put into a capsule the FDA would arrest the person selling it. Because they consider this amount both "useless" and "potentially dangerous." The Hunzas eat it every day. Dried apricots also contain a great deal of iron, potassium and natural food fiber.


The Style For Longer and Better Life

Besides apricots, the Hunzas also grow and enjoy apples, pears, peaches, mulberries, black and red cherries, and grapes. From these fruits, the Hunzas get all the vitamin C they need, as well as the other nutritional richness of fresh fruit, including energy from the fruit sugars. From the grapes, they also make a light red wine that helps make their simple fare into more of a real "meal".


The World's Freshest Bread

The bread which accompanies each meal enjoyed by the Hunzas, and sometimes forms the mainstay of the meal, is called "chappati" - and is quite different from any bread that we are used to. The grain is kept intact as long as possible, and is ground at the very last moment, the housewife grinds only as much as she needs for the next meal, and kneads again and again with water- no yeast! She then beats it into very thin, flat pancakes similar to the tortillas of the Mexican Indians, Chappatis can be made form wheat, barley, buckwheat of millet, So although chappati is something new to us, the ingredients are all familiar and easily available. Sometimes the flours are mixed together and baked in several shapes, small or large, depending on the occasion.

While bread baking at home in our country is practically a lost art because of the time involved, a surprising feature about chappatis is the incredibly short "baking time", if you can call it baking at all. The dough is simply placed on the grill for hardly more than a moment and it is finished.

"Just long enough to grow warm and no longer taste raw". Dr. Ralph Bircher noted in his book on Hunzas published by Huber in Bernie, Switzerland. "No more effective method of preserving the health value of the grain exists and the taste is excellent even without butter or jam, " Dr. Bircher notes.

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