A centenarian named Jack Mansfield, who was believed to be the oldest man in the UK, passed away just a few weeks before his 109th birthday. Before he died, he revealed what he thought to be the secret to his long life: drinking vinegar.
“If you’ve got an ailment, drink some vinegar,” he used to say. And though he often smelled like potato chips, he lived a long and healthy life.
So what other bizarre rituals have centenarians credited for their lifespans? Here are some ‘clues’ for making it to your centenary.
Whiskey and Women
Henry Allingham survived the First World War and ultimately died at the age of 113 in 2009. He was the last surviving combatant of the war and earned the title of Britain’s oldest man. When he asked how he lived so long, he replied: “Cigarettes, whiskey, and wild, wild women.”
Henry’s record was challenged by Agnes Fenton, who made it to 110, thanks to “ a big tot of whiskey plus three beers a day without fail.”
Fresh Food (and Sex?)
If you’re determined to live past 100, you might want to consider relocating to the remote Japanese islands of Okinawa. They have the world’s highest proportion of centenarians. More than one in 10 of the village’s population in over 100 years old. The mayor credits the fish, seaweed, and fresh food. But he also notes that the sexual activity among the elderly “appears to be rampant.”
Having a Dog
We already know that petting a dog while making silly noises lowers blood pressure and produce serotonin—and another study found that those who walk their dogs daily live seven years longer than otherwise similar non-dog owners. If you’re not a dog person, a pet pig will also encourage long walks, promoting cardiovascular health.
Jeanna Calment, the oldest human to have ever lived, was born in 1875 and died in 1997 at the age of 122. Calment lived a life full of luxury, with a diet rich in olive oil and chocolate. She says her two secrets for longevity are riding a bike until she was 105 and her natural immunity to stress.
“Why flap, there’s nothing you can do about it?” she used to ask.
Eating Raw Eggs
Though we don’t recommend it, Italian Emma Morano, who died at the age of 117, is one of a rare few whose lives have spanned three centuries. She attributed her longevity to leaving her violent husband and eating three raw eggs a day for more than 90 years.
Change Your Name
Researchers at the University of California have revealed that having initials that spell out positive words (like ACE, WOW, or VIP) can add years to your life. Men with initials that spelled out negative words died an average of 2.8 years younger. There was an association between having negative initials and being more accident-prone.
Believing in a Higher Power
A study involving liver transplant patients revealed that those who had “strong religious connections” were up to three times more likely to survive.