Three Ways to Live 120 Years

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By Yardley Messeroux
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from New York

Three Ways to Live 120 Years | Olive Oil Times
Jeanne Calment on her 122nd birthday (Jean Pierre Fizet / Sygma / Corbis)

Jeanne Calment was born in 1875. She had one daughter with her husband Fernand Nicolas Calment, and they all lived in Arles, France.

Mariam Amash was born in 1888. She has 10 sons, 1 daughter, 120 grandchildren and 250 great-grandchildren. Amash currently lives in Jisr az-Zarqa, Israel.

There are two things that these women have in common. They lived past the age of 120 and both have attributed their longevity and youthfulness to olive oil.

For centuries, olive oil has been highly regarded for its nutritional, medicinal and cosmetic value. According to Calment and Amash, additional attributes are longevity and the enhancement of aesthetic beauty.

Perhaps living to the age of 120 is not a goal that all aspire to achieve. However, living a reasonably long and healthy life while appearing youthful doing so is something most of us deem quite desirable.

Calment and Amash have tapped into the olive oil ‘fountain of youth’ and they’ve shared their regimen.

Three Ways to Live 120 Years | Olive Oil Times
Mariam Amash

1. Sip two tablespoons of quality extra virgin olive oil daily.

This practice may help increase arterial elasticity and decrease vascular stress to the arteries, reducing the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. Sipping a little olive oil daily can help control blood pressure levels and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Although Amash claimed that she drank 1 full glass of olive oil every day, this may not be a realistic routine for even the most avid olive oil consumer. Just two tablespoons each day will suffice.

2. Pour it on.

The monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) in olive oil are associated with lower levels of total cholesterol and LDL “bad cholesterol.” It will also control insulin levels and blood sugar — especially helpful for individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Begin and finish all meals with extra virgin olive oil as Calment was known to do. Drizzle the cooking pan or pot prior to cooking, and conclude by dressing with extra virgin olive oil.

3. Apply extra virgin olive oil to the skin.

The largest organ of the body is the skin, and it requires care by way of moisture. Olive oil has been used for thousands of years as a moisturizer and wound healing. It also appears that it may protect against DNA damage of the skin after exposure to UV light.

After showering, apply olive oil directly to damp skin as a moisturizer. The water will help the oil penetrate the layers of the skin.

Other Tidbits on Calment and Amash’s Diet

Wikipedia said “Calment ascribed her longevity and relatively youthful appearance for her age to olive oil, which she said she poured on all her food and rubbed onto her skin, as well as a diet of port wine, and she ate nearly one kilogram of chocolate every week.”

Jeanne Calment died in 1997 at the age of 122.

Also according to Wikipedia, Amash said the key to longevity is a healthy diet abundant in vegetables. “In particular, she attributes her own longevity to drinking olive oil every day, avoiding alcohol, and eating a local herb Palestinians often used in salads. She also stated that she expected to live another ten years,” according to the article.

Mariam Amash is still living in Israel today.

 

Sources:

Mayo Clinic
Wikipedia
The New York Times


This article was last updated February 27, 2012 - 6:23 PM (GMT-5)

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  • Mikalra

    Olive oil is a healthy food, but isn’t producing a rash of centenarians in Crete or anywhere else. Calment liked to entertain herself by telling different reporters different things in response to the inevitable “To what do you attribute your longevity?” She could have fingered the booze or the cigarettes. And Mariam Amash’s age was never actually verified. Until someone invents an anti-aging pill or advanced regenerative medicine, he only intervention that might, plausibly, slow down aging in humans is calorie restriction. 

  • Mikalra

    Olive oil is a healthy food, but isn’t producing a rash of centenarians in Crete or anywhere else. Calment liked to entertain herself by telling different reporters different things in response to the inevitable “To what do you attribute your longevity?” She could have fingered the booze or the cigarettes. And Mariam Amash’s age was never actually verified. Until someone invents an anti-aging pill or advanced regenerative medicine, he only intervention that might, plausibly, slow down aging in humans is calorie restriction. 

    • Chris G.

      Party pooper. :)

    • Russell DeDoming

      There are tons of people exercising ‘calorie restriction’ and all it accomplishes is making you more susceptible to infection. The rodent studies were crap quite frankly; about as realistic as living in a perpetually cold climate, yes it slows down metabolic rates but you pay for it in spades on the other end.

  • http://casa-giardino.blogspot.com/ Elisascreations

    I used olive oil daily….but let’s not get carried away about olive oil and longevity.

  • Prangsta

    i would not want to live to be 120 years old

    • OliveChirper

       I doubt very much that that would be your judgement if you were 119 and in good health. Would you rather be around to have the choice at the time, or would you rather spend five years in a nursing home at age 80 and die on schedule in order to avoid changing your mind?

  • Guest

    Nice article. Speaking of applications– I actually use EVOO to shave.  It’s a top-notch lubricant, and doesn’t dry your skin like some shaving creams. 

  • Dguerra

    Olive oil is a wonder food. I have started using 2 tbsp. a day in salads and vegetables.
    I also use it as a moisturizer for skin and for after shaving my legs…It’s great!!!!

  • Zain Khan

    So the benefits of Olive oil are seen! I am sure we as Indians will adapt more to such healthier alternatives. Way to go!

  • Nem

    Why is she smoking a cigarette in the picture, or better yet, why was this not addressed???