Food & Cooking

Three Ways to Live 120 Years

Jeanne Calment lived more than 120 years and accredited her longevity and youthfulness to olive oil. Here are three tips that might help you live longer too.
Jeanne Louise Calment
Feb. 27, 2012
Yardley Messeroux

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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.

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.

Mariam Amash

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.



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