Health

107-Year-Old New Yorker Partially Attributes Longevity to Med Diet

Bronx resident Louise Signore credits the Med diet, dancing and staying single with her longevity.

Signore enjoying her birthday. Photo courtesy of Jessica Layton
Aug. 6, 2019
By Isadora Teich
Signore enjoying her birthday. Photo courtesy of Jessica Layton

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Bronx res­i­dent Louise Sig­nore recently cel­e­brated more than a cen­tury of life. The spir­ited 107-year-old New Yorker was born in 1912, the year that New Mex­ico and Ari­zona became states.

Ital­ian food. Ital­ian food is very good for you. I was brought up with very good food. No soda, no cake.- Louise Sig­nore, cen­te­nar­ian res­i­dent of New York City

Along with never get­ting mar­ried and exer­cis­ing when she can, Sig­nore attrib­uted her con­sid­er­able longevity to fol­low­ing the Mediter­ranean diet, which is rich in unprocessed whole grains, pro­duce, seafood and olive oil. Recently, a panel of experts ranked the Mediter­ranean diet as the Best Diet Over­all due to its links to longevity, heart health, and dis­ease pre­ven­tion.

Sig­nore empha­sized that she is proud of her Ital­ian her­itage and cited her adher­ence to an Ital­ian diet as a fac­tor of her impres­sive health.

Ital­ian food. Ital­ian food is very good for you,” Sig­nore told a local CBS news affil­i­ate. I was brought up with very good food. No soda, no cake.”

See more: Olive Oil Health Ben­e­fits

Sig­nore was born in Man­hat­tan but has lived in the Bronx since she was a teenager. More than a hun­dred peo­ple gath­ered to cel­e­brate her birth­day at a local com­mu­nity cen­ter in the Co-op City dis­trict, which is in the north of the bor­ough.

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Sig­nore her­self, how­ever, did not seem to see the need for her birth­day to be an event.

She told reporters, I’ve had enough par­ties.”

Sig­nore is known for her vivac­ity, inde­pen­dence and mat­ter-of-fact humor.

She’s got no walk­ing cane, no wheel­chair. She does all her shop­ping. She’s awe­some,” her friend Deb­o­rah Whitaker said.

Sig­nore has also never been mar­ried, lives alone and dances reg­u­larly in addi­tion to fol­low­ing a Mediter­ranean-style diet daily. She believes these habits may have con­tributed to her long life.

I think the secret of 107: I never got mar­ried,” she joked. I think that’s the secret. My sis­ter says I wish I never got mar­ried.’ ”

Longevity may also run in the Sig­nore fam­ily. Despite being mar­ried, Louise’s younger sis­ter is cur­rently 102 and their mother lived to be 97 years old.

How­ever, despite her over­all good health, Sig­nore has faced some chal­lenges. She is legally blind and recently had pneu­mo­nia. Also, at 103 years of age, she expe­ri­enced a rob­bery and assault in her apart­ment build­ing.

Despite these chal­lenges, she still is full of life. Sig­nore said she dances reg­u­larly at the senior cen­ter to get her exer­cise.

If they have exer­cise, I do the exer­cise. If they have danc­ing, I dance. I still do a lit­tle danc­ing,” she said. After my lunch, I will play bingo, so I had a full day.”

At 107, Sig­nore con­tin­ues to live a fruit­ful sin­gle life full of danc­ing, friends, and Mediter­ranean cui­sine.

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