Top Ten Tips To Live Longer
Longevity And Why Some People Live Long Lives
I've been researching some of the people who seem to have lived exceedingly long lives like, for example, Thomas Parr who is said to have lived for 152 years before popping his clogs.
They make interesting stories. As to whether they are completely true is another matter.
My own family haven't done too bad. My Grandmother was 104 and my mother 92 before they moved on, hopefully to a better place. They don't compare though with the likes of Thomas Parr or people from the Bible: Adam 930 years, his son Seth 800 years. Then there's Methuselah who clocked out at 969 years and so on.
What I was trying to discover, which probably thousands have done before, is why these particular people lived so much longer than others.
Here are some of the human longevity stories followed by my Top Ten Tips To Live Longer. See what you think!
About Thomas Parr
Thomas Parr Lived for 152 years
Thomas Parr was a native of Shropshire in England. He is said to have lived for 152 years.
Thomas Parr, often referred to as Old Parr or Old Tom Parr was born in 1483 and his gravestone states that he died in 1635. So that was a good old stretch.
The story is that he never married until he was 80 (maybe that's the secret!) and at that age looked about 40. As all parts were functioning properly he had two children who, common with the times, died in infancy. His wife died before him so, still full of vim, he married again at 122.
At 145 he was still working as an agricultural labourer.
So bang went Old Tom's healthy ways. He was fed well and drank lots of wine. At the time it was quoted that:
"He fed high, drank plentifully of wines, by which his body was over charged, his lungs obstructed , and the habit of the whole body quite disordered; in consequence, there could not be speedy dissolution. If he had not changed his diet, he might have lived many years longer."
So that was the end of Old Tom Parr. Well not before they dissected him and peered inside. No doubt your dying (perhaps I should have used a better word) to find out what they found. So here we go:
"The heart was thick, fibrous and fat, his cartilages were not even ossified, as is the case of old people."
His death was officially attributed as 'a mere plethora, brought on by more luxurious living in London than he had been accustomed to in his native county, where his food was plain and homely'.
The lessons are there! Maybe.
Thomas Parr was buried in Westminster Abbey in London. His gravestone reads as follows:
As for Thomas Parr's diet there is a poem by John Taylor about the Old, Old, Very Old Man:
"He was old Pythagoras' opinion
That green cheese was most wholesome with an onion,
Coarse meslin* bread, and for his dail swig,
Milk, buttermilk, and water, whey and whig.
Sometimes metheglin**, and for fortune happy,
He sometimes supped a cup of ale most happy."
They don't make poems like that nowadays, that's for sure.
*Meslin Bread: A bread made in many parts of England from what is called meslin, which is a mixture of rye and wheat.
**Metheglin: A spiced mead - see recipe.
Thomas Parr put his long life down to:
a moral temperance and vegetarian diet.
About Henry Jenkins
Henry Jenkins lived for 169 years.
Henry Jenkins was born in Ellerton, Yorkshire, England and died way back in 1670. He is still remembered though for his very long life. He died at the age of 169.
His memory was good and he could remember - when he was alive of course - the battle of Flodden Field which took place in 1513 when he was a mere 12 years old..
His long life is said to be substantiated by the Chancery Court where he gave evidence and had an oath administered by him 140 years prior to his death - when he was 29.
A bit like with Thomas Parr all of his private parts were functioning because when he hit 90 years of age he became a father. At 160 he walked all the way to London to have an audience with none other than King Charles II. At 100 he was said to have been able to 'swim across rapid waters.'
Not too much is known about his diet other than it was 'coarse and sour' - not exactly too sure what the means and, not being medium or spiritualist, I can't really ask him now.
Henry Jenkins diet was:
coarse and sour.
About My Grandmother Lucy English
Lucy English lived to 104
I thought I'd include my own grandmother, Lucy English, who lived to 104 years old. She might not rank along with the other ages on this page but I know that this one is defintely genuine.
I remember there was great excitement as she approached her 100th birthday and on the day she received the following telegram from Queen Elizabeth II to mark the occasion. My grandmother didn't think much of it! "Is that it?" she asked, most disappointed.
The local newspaper missed her 100th birthday but they were there for her 101st.
I don't know what the secret was that kept my grandmother alive for so long. What I do recall is that she ate very little, never drank alcohol and was always knitting and reading - so her mind was quite active and alert.
She used to knit dozens and dozens of mens socks which she would hand out to the men of the family. I'm not sure though how many were actually worn and that was the same for the gloves which she also mass produced.
Grandmother had a great strength of mind. In her mid 80's she was standing on a chair putting up new curtains when she fell and broke a hip. The family thought that was the end of her as she also had pneumonia through laying on the floor for several hours.
She pulled through, started knitting and reading, lived for about another 20 years and hit her century in reasonably good condition. She died at 104.
My grandmother Lucy English
ate very little and kept her mind active with knitting and reading.
On the 5th of October 1780 the London Chronicle reported the death of Louisa Truxo at the ripe old age of 175. She was described as a negress living at Cordova in the Tucuman in South America.
When she died the local council for the city did their best to verify her age and issued this statement:
"On examination of the woman, it appeared she perfectly remembered having seen the prelate Fernando Truxo, her first master, who died in the year 1614; and that a year before his death he gave her, together with other property, towards a fund for founding the university of that place. As no registers of baptism existed so long back, care was taken to collect every circumstance that could be brought forward in corroboration of the woman's statements. One of these proofs was the deposition of another female negro, named Manuela, who was known to be 120 years old, and she declared that, when she was a child, she remembered Louisa Truxo was then an elderly woman."
So there you go what more proof could you possibly want!
About Miguel Solis
Miguel Solis lived over 180 years.
Miguel Solis hailed from Bogota, San Salvador and was seen by a Dr. Louis Hernandez when Miguel was 180 but it is unknown as to the full length of his life.
This is what was said about Miguel Solis in the well respected Lancet on September 7th 1878:
"We are told that he only confesses to 180 but his neighbours, who must be better able to judge, affirm that he is considerably older than he says. He is a half-bred named Miguel Solis and his existence is testified to by Dr. Hernandez, who was assured that when one of the 'oldest inhabitants' was a child, the man was recognised as a centenarian. His signature, in 1712, is said to have been discovered among the persons who assisted in the construction of the Franciscan convent at san Sebastian.
Dr. Hernandez found this wonderful individual working in his garden. His skin was like parchment, his hair as white as snow and covering his head like a turban.
He attributed his long live to his careful habits, eating only once a day, for half an hour, because he believed that more food than could be eaten in half an hour could not be digested in twenty-four hours. He has been accustomed to fast on the first and fifteenth of every month, drinking on those days as much water as possible. He chose the most nourishing foods and took all things cold." Lancet
Miguel Solis said he lived long because of
eating only once a day and fasting on the first and fifteenth of every month
This is the grandson of Thomas Parr and he died in 1763 aged 127. It is quoted about him, "He lived to the above great age by extreme temperance."
From Duleck in county Meath he died in 1764 aged 127. His secret: "By temperance and hard labour he attained so great an age."
She was from Caithness and died aged 117 in 1765. "Her diet was buttermilk and greens, she retained all her senses till three months before her death."
This guy was from Burythorpe, near Malton in Yorkshire and he clocked out in 1767 at the great age of 150. This is what is said about him: "He was very temperate in his living and used great exercise which, together with occasionally eating a raw egg enabled him to attain such an extraordinary age."
This was Dr. Mead who passed away in 1652 aged 148. He lived in Ware. About him: "He was distinguished for his great temperance and regular habits of life."
And so it goes on. I could quote dozens more but I realise they can all be disputed if so inclined to rubbish longevity.
Of the above five people the word temperate of temperance is mentioned in every case.
Verified Long Lives
Top 5 National Longevity Holders
The following are records of longevity that have been verified by the likes of the Gerontology Research Group or the . Guinness: World Records 2009
Jeanne Calment: 122 years, 164 days.
French, born February 21 1875, died August 4 1997
Shigechiyo Izumi: 120 years, 237 days
Japanese, born June 29 1865, died February 21 1986
Sarah Knauss: 119 years, 97 days
USA, born September 24 1880, died December 30 1999
Marie-Louise Meilleur: 117 years 230 days
Canada, born August 29 1880, died April 16 1998
MarÃa Capovilla: 116 years 347 days
Ecuador, born September 14 1889, died August 27 2006
My Personal Thoughts On Longevity
My Top Ten Tips To Live Longer
Okay, so I've done research on longevity but has it actually helped me to come up with the answer of how to live longer? The answer is: I'm not sure. Besides I can't really prove anything until I reach a ripe old age myself.
Nevertheless, see what you think of my Top ten Tips To Live Longer. I'm not saying they are right but perhaps they are simply things to think about.
1. Do not eat too much - eat frugally
I'll enlarge on this a little because I believe it to be the most important. The Daily Mail newspaper talks about longevity research by Dr. Steve Austad from the University of Texas who is 'confident that ... the first 200 year old person has been born.' The secret is a reduction of calories.
'There are trials worldwide using mice and primates where longevity has been prolonged. The general consensus is that within 10 years we will be cracking the 120 year barrier and from there a chance of living until you are 200 will be within reach.'
Experts believe a calorie restricted diet is successful because it reduces free radicals - a natural by-product of the body turning food into energy which, in excess, can damage cellular molecules such as DNA resulting in premature ageing, heart disease and arthritis. Convinced?!
2. Keep the brain and mind active
3. Retain a supple body
4. Have long living parents
5. Eat food in it's natural state so that it still contains the 'life force'
6. Fast on a regular basis
7. Eat mostly alkaline forming rather than acid forming foods
8. Be vegetarian
9. Drink pure, uncontaminated water
10 Take plenty of outdoor activity
Long life is really about keeping the mind and body active (use it or lose it) and eating and drinking the right foods. Oh, and I guess a number 11 for good measure:
11. Be happy and positive
So what do you think? Any better ideas or thoughts?
Less Food Boosts Longevity
There is an interesting article on the BBC website called Gene Clue To Longevity Uncovered.
This is all about how researchers are getting closer to the mystery about how eating less gives a boost to longevity.
They write: "The life-lengthening properties of reducing calorie intake were first discovered in the 1930s, when laboratory rodents fed a severely reduced diet were found to outlive their well-fed peers."
It seems that scientists have uncovered a gene linked to this unusual effect.
It's an interesting article and worthy of a read for those interested in longevity.