The Health of the Kuna

photo.php  ( click photo link to the right- to see a Photo of one of the Kuna Children)

The Kuna ( most of them) live off the cost of the San Blas Islands and Panama, and some parts of  Columbia! The economy of Kuna Yala is based on agriculture, fishing and the manufacture of clothing with a long tradition of international trade. Plantains, coconuts, and fish form the core of the Kuna diet, supplemented with imported foods, a few domestic animals, and wild game.Coconuts, called ogob [IPA: okˑɔβ] in the Kuna language, and lobsters skungit (skuŋkˑit) are the most important export products. Migrant labor and the sale of molas provide other sources of income.

The Kuna are one of the healthiest cultures in the world! Their staple food is Cacao ( chocolate). The Kuna study from 1999 looked at documentation from doctors who did research on the Kuna back in 1940-1990’s. The research found that even though the Kuna had a salt intake comparable to that of  the United States, they seemed to be free of Coronary Heart Disease.


After the study was finalized, it was demonstrated that the indigenous Kuna enjoyed lower:

* Blood Pressure
* Lower Weight and body mass index ( proper weight for a person’s height)
* Lower plasma Cholesterol

Urine tests showed they had Higher Urinary Calcium, magnesium, and potassium

Their freedom form Coronary Heart Disease seems not to be genetic, but rather
influenced by environmental exposures, because higher blood pressure has been documented among migrant Kuna.

What’s the Difference?

The Indigenous Kuna have adhered to their sacred practice of drinking at least 3 10-oz servings of cocoa beverage per day! Also noted that their fruit intake
was 2x higher than that of the migrant Kuna.

Robert Kyes ( shared by CocaWell and the Kuna)


May 8, 2013Permalink Leave a comment

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