Susannah Mushatt Jones, 1899-present.
That’s no clerical error: Alabama-born Jones had been living and breathing on this hunk of floating rock we call earth for three different centuries before dying late last year, a feat we’ll allow you to process for a second...THREE CENTURIES, we know!
Having given Highlander a run for his money (though there can't 'only be one' as Jones is one of two living people who were alive in the 1800s) this wise woman named the diet she attributes to her long life: a breakfast of several strips of bacon, scrambled eggs, and ground corn, every day.
And now following the death of the world's oldest man, 112 year old Japanese native Yasutaro Koide, who claimed he lived so long because he didn't eat, drink or smoke, here are the alternative diet plans of the world’s oldest folk.
CHOCOLATE BETWEEN MEALS
Reaching the grand old age of 127 before clocking out last year, Leandra Becerra Lumbreras left 74 great-grandchildren and 55 great-great grandchildren. She also fought in the 1910-1917 Mexican Revolution. But if you thought that was revolutionary, try her diet: the woman claimed her elongated existence was down to snacking between meals on chocolate, along with exercise and never getting married.
THE MACK ATTACK
Another big loss to the world last year was Misao Okawa, popping her geta (the Japanese equivalent of clogs) just weeks after her 117th birthday. When quizzed on her key to life, she claimed it was down to a steady diet of sushi, eating three big meals per day and sleeping for at least eight hours. Speaking to The Telegraph, she said she was particularly keen on mackerel on vinegar-steamed rice. And didn't she just know it?
REPTILE SOUP ANYONE?
Forget an apple a day to keep the doctor away, try lizards. For 125-year-old Bolivian senior citizen Carmelo Flores Laura, this, along with fox and skunk meat, are his dish of choice. On top of this, he says the bulk of his good health comes down to taking long walks and never eating pasta or sugar. Oh and he also eats quinoa. So pretentious.
The next time you’re in a bar and your worse-for-wear mate implores you to have another shot of vodka, raise that tiny glass to Antisa Khvichava. The Georgian villager, aged 132 when she passed away in 2012, said she reached her lofty milestone because she quaffed a shot of chacha, a spirit also known as Georgian vodka, every day. Not that anyone in that area of the world needs further excuse to glug the clear stuff.
LEAN, GREEN AGING MACHINE
Vegans. General veggies. People who once tried being vegetarian but only lasted two and a half days. Give yourselves a round of applause - Premsai Patel, still with us and widely considered the world’s oldest living man at 117, credits his innings so far as largely down to a lifelong diet of vegetables and pulses. So you’re clearly doing something right.
EYES SMALLER THAN YOUR BELLY
One man who clearly never went to Nando’s during his life was the late Jiroemon Kimura, born in 1987 and deceased in 2013 at the age of 116. Kimura, you see, once claimed he lived to such a big number because of a) plenty of sunlight and b) only eating until he was 80 per cent full, normally on rice, pumpkins and sweet potatoes. It’s cheeky, just not Nando’s cheeky.
Bin the evening meal
Shortly after becoming a supercentenarian – the name given to somebody who lives passed their 110th birthday (and possibly may be suspect of being an actual superhero) - Minnesota-born Walter Breuning, who died aged 114, stated he ate just two meals a day, limiting himself to one big breakfast and a solid lunch. "You get in the habit of not eating at night, and you realize how good you feel. If you could just tell people not to eat so darn much," he told USA Today. Someone clearly watched a little too much Gremlins.