You might have occasionally wondered what the record is for the oldest person in the world, who it was and what their secret was.
Well you might find it quite astonishing to find out that the person who currently still holds this record, although already passed, was a lady who smoked two cigarettes a day from the age of 21 to the age of a 116, but still lived to the grand old age 122!
Jeanne Louise Calment, born 21st February 1875 passed on 4th August 1997, lived to the age of 122 years, 164 days old, that’s an incredible 44’724 days on this planet in total.
Outliving not just her daughter but also her grandson, it was her invitation to the centenary of Vincent van Gogh’s visit to Arles in France that at the age of 113, she became well known, as she claimed she had once met the artist.
It was at this time and perhaps influenced by Jeanne Louise Calment, that during the late 1980’s, the term the “French Paradox” came to light, which was questioned overseas in the west as to why the French in particular lived so long, whilst consuming quite a heavily laden diet of dairy products, notably cheese, which is known for being non beneficial to the health of the arteries.
It has since been well documented that the moderate consumption of wine on a daily basis plays a large part in uncovering this paradox.
With regards to Jeanne Louise Calment, her diet was scientifically documented in detail but the details have not been released publicly so the following foods are what this lady stressed in her own words were as to why she felt she reached such the impressive age of 122.
Jeanne Louise Calment’s Longevity Diet:
1. Exercise: She was born and married into a family of wealth so never had to work. Instead she focussed her hobbies on running, cycling, riding and swimming, even taking up fencing at the age of 85, whilst continuing to ride her bicycle into her early hundred’s.
2. Olive Oil: She ascribed her youthful appearance and longevity diet to olive oil. She stated that she would pour this all over her food and also rub it into her hands and body.
The greatest exponent of monounsaturated fat, Olive oils health benefits, the prime component of the Mediterranean diet, is its natural juice which preserves the vitamins, taste, aroma and properties of the olive fruit.
Olive oil is unique in that it is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed naturally as it is freshly pressed from the fruit, therefore no additional ingredients should be added to dilute its longevity benefits.
Quite simply, Olive oil is the only naturally produced oil that has the largest amount of monounsaturated fat, this being oleic acid.
Olive oil offers protection against heart disease raising HDL levels, (the “good” cholesterol) whilst controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.
Extra virgin Olive oil as it is sometimes coined is the least processed of its varieties, comprising the oil from the first pressing of the picked olives and is therefore considered the most effective.
It should be kept in a cool and dark place and tightly sealed as oxygen promotes rancidity.
3. Port of Wine: A Portuguese fortified wine, produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal, is mostly served as a sweet dessert wine.
The Port is produced from grapes grown and processed in the demarcated Douro region, which is why this may also have contributed to Jeanne Louise Calment becoming the oldest person in the world.
Fortified with Resveratrol, that well now known polyphenol, that was at the heart of the French Paradox, helps scrub the arteries whilst also providing the rejuvenation of your skins collagen, the tissue cells that keep your skin firm, tight and glowing.
Unlike most wines, which undergo considerable processing and only retain a very mild volume of natural Resveratrol, the fact that this lady consumed this daily, from her early 20’s, whilst the alcohol percentage is approximately 20%, is argued to have played a role in her reaching her undisputed superior age.
On Jeanne Louise Calment’s 122nd birthday in 1997, as her health seriously deteriorated, she announced that she would make no more public appearances. She passed on 4th August that same year, making her The Guinness Book of Records official oldest person in the world.