Eat like centenarians

By Vestnik Kavkaza
Eat like centenarians

Everyone who has visited the Caucasus at least once will remember the picturesque regions of Arkhyz and Dombai, Mount Elbrus majestic snow-white peaks, healing mineral springs of the Caucasian mineral waters and the Kabardino-Balkarian mountain lakes. Cordiality and hospitality, kindness and responsiveness, beauty and strength of local residents, as well as varied and unique cuisine, each dish of which is the story of a family or a whole nation, will always be remembered.

The Caucasus ranks first in the number of Russian centenarians. As Hippocrates said, "You are what you eat." What is Caucasian centenarians' secret of longevity and what is on the table of century-old mountaineers? Today at the Caucasian table there are dishes enhancing longevity!

The stories about centenarians should start with the Nart heroic epic. There are legends about a 900-year-old groom and his 600-year-old bride; about the kuryzhi family, whose representatives lived for 200 years; about the ancestor of the Abkhazian clan Bganba, who lived as long as the roots of an oak tree grew in his yard.

But let's move on from folk tales to modern realities. More than half of all Russia's long-livers live in the Caucasus. Doctors have quite logical explanations for this. First of all, various fermented milk products: all kinds of starters and cheeses, rich in lactobacillus acidophilus and lactobacillus bulgaricus. They have anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects and prevent the formation of tumors. Perhaps that is why the Caucasian centenarians live so long and do not know what cancer is. Caucasian starter cultures, which they use in many dishes, help to digest and improve skin condition.

Another obligatory element of the "long-livers diet" is red pepper and adjika. Honey, raisins, nuts rich in unsaturated fatty acids, natural meat, onions, garlic and greens form a natural culture of healthy eating.

One of the main requirements of traditional Caucasian cuisine is to eat just after the food is cooked.

In the meantime, healthy food can seem very peculiar. For example, fat tail, or mutton fat. Its valuable properties have been known since the time of the ancient Sumerians; it is also mentioned in the Bible. Fried fat tail is served as a snack, is added to most dishes of Caucasian cuisine, sweets and soap are also made from it.

However, longevity in itself is not a great achievement, because it is important for a person not only to step over a certain age barrier, but also to remain healthy, and food secrets alone will not be enough here. Caucasian longevity is not a phenomenon, but a way of being in peace with yourself and the world around you. Living in harmony and love, working hard and observing folk traditions are considered the basis of Caucasian longevity, while the generosity and wealth of the Caucasian feast only complement this rule of long-livers.