Bizarre secrets of world’s oldest people – ‘raw eggs, pigs’ feet, olive oil massage and avoiding men’

By Staff

As the world’s oldest man, Juan Vicente Perez Mora, dies aged 114, The Mirror takes a look at the secrets to longevity from some of the oldest people across the globe – from unique diet staples to relationship advice

You might think the answer to living past 100 is ‘eating well and exercising’ – but according to some of the world’s oldest people, it’s not as simple as that.

How to live longer is one of life’s great mysteries and living to 100 is very rare, but it is becoming more common. The UN expects 3.2 centenarians across the world by 2050. Just this week, the world’s oldest living man died aged 114, just two months before his 115th birthday.

Venezuelan Juan Vicente Perez Mora is survived by a whopping 11 children, 41 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren. The former farmer became the oldest man in Venezuela in 2020 and was officially recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest man in the world in May 2022.

So what can we learn about the world’s oldest about the secrets to longevity? While watching what you eat and keeping active were obvious answers, some suggestions from centenarians were downright rebellious and often strange. Emma Morano was the world’s oldest living person until her death at age 117 in 2017. Born in 1899 in the Piedmont region of Italy, she told the BBC that while she believed her old age was partly down to good genetics, she also put it down to her diet of eggs.

She ate three eggs a day, two of them raw, for more than 90 years. She also believes leaving her abusive marriage contributed to her extended life. She told the New York Times: “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone.” Another woman who credited her old age to avoiding men was Jessie Gallan, who was Scotland’s oldest living person at 109 before her death in 2015. In an interview with STV News, Jessie put it down to three key things: “I made sure that I got plenty of exercise, ate a nice warm bowl of porridge every morning, and have never gotten married.”

She added: “They’re just more trouble than they’re worth.” Faith can come into it, as the oldest living nun, Inah Canabarro Lucas, from Brazil, credits the power of prayer. She is 115. Jeralean Talley, who was named the world’s oldest person before her death in 2015, from Michigan, US, was a hugely religious, living her life treating others how she wanted to be treated. Aside from her devout faith, she told Time that the secret to longevity is a diet rich in pork, including pigs’ feet and ears. She made it to 116.

Other centenarians who have pinpointed specific foods as the answer to their old age is Richard Overton, a World War II veteran who lived to 112, who said ice cream helped increase his lifespan, along with cigars, while Jeanne Calment credited olive oil, wine, cigarettes and chocolate for helping her live longer.

French supercentenarian Ms Calment was the oldest woman ever before her death in 1997 at 122. She drank port every day and smoked her whole life, only stopping five years before her passing. Meanwhile, Olive Edwards, a 110-year-old grandmother from North Yorkshire, says it’s down to eating three meals a day, mainly a diet of salmon and asparagus, but also admitted it’s down to her ‘stubbornness’.

Ethel Caterham, the oldest person in the UK aged 114, revealed to the Telegraph that she has ‘everything in moderation’ but does indulge in the occasional chocolate eclair. On the other hand, Bernardo LaPallo, from Brazil, swore by daily olive oil massages and lived to 114.

In an interview with National Geographic, he shared his daily routine: “I get up at 3:30 or 4 in the morning, go for my walk, take my shower, rub my body down with olive oil, make my breakfast. Stress is a killer, my daddy told me that. It’s important to take time to relax and exercise your brain, such as by doing crossword puzzles.”

Japanese Jiroemon Kimura, who was declared as the oldest living person at one point before his death in 2013 aged 113, said he rose with the sun each morning, read a newspaper every day, and made sure to stop eating when he was 80 per cent full.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *