Doctors have warned us that having an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle will not do our heart any good. In fact, this can result to clogged arteries, which means an increased risk in developing heart disease. Quite recently, scientists have discovered that they have found the healthiest hearts in the world and they were from the Tsimane people.
Tsimane is an indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia. According to the researchers, these people have been highly active, which is why they are looking into the habits of these people. The Tsimane live on hunting, fishing, and foraging and the scientists search for clues on how these habits can be used to improve our heart health.
The study published in The Lancet journal discovered the following:
- The Tsimane tribe has five times lower risk for developing coronary atherosclerosis – which is a condition that causes the hardening of the arteries – than people in the US.
- An 80 year old Tsimane member had comparable heart health with the Americans in their mid-50s.
- The tribe has the lowest prevalence of the artery disease of any heart ever studied.
The tribe members have a lifestyle that suggests the following:
- Their diet is high in carbohydrates that are rich in fiber and have not been processed. In fact, they mostly consumed corn, rice, plantain, nuts, fruits, and cassava root.
- The food they eat is also low in saturated fats.
- They also eat fish, along with other wild animals, which account 14% of their diet.
- They remain active by hunting their own food and performing other tasks.
- They do not smoke as well.
There are over 700 people in the tribe who were at least 40 years old and were asked to be studied by the researchers. The study, which was funded by the US National Institute on Aging and National Institutes of Health, found that almost nine out of 10 of the participants have clear arteries. This means that they have no risk of heart disease.
The Tsimane people are only inactive for 10% of their whole day. Compared to most of us who have sedentary lifestyles, they don’t spend more than half of their waking hours sitting, sleeping, or doing nothing. These lessons about the Tsimane community and their way of life can be used to help eliminate or at least reduce the risk of heart disease. While there are proposed medications and even home remedies to remove the blockages in the arteries, the best way to stop developing the atherosclerosis is to simply be active and eat healthy.