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Top Ten Tips To Live Longer

Updated on June 30, 2012

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.

He put his long life down to a moral temperance and vegetarian diet. He was led astray, however, not by women but by the Earl of Arundel who took him to see King Charles I (1600-1649).

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.

Longevity Clue

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.

Longevity Clue

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.

Longevity Clue

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

Longevity Clue

Miguel Solis said he lived long because of

eating only once a day and fasting on the first and fifteenth of every month

John Michaelstone

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."

Owen Carollan

From Duleck in county Meath he died in 1764 aged 127. His secret: "By temperance and hard labour he attained so great an age."

Elizabeth MacPherson

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."

Francis Confit

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."

William Mead

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.

Longevity Clue

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

María 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.

What are your thoughts on longevity or anything else?

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for this excellent and very interesting research. For what I could myself research I found out that one very important thing anbout living long is to eat good quality nourishing food in a very little quantity and being an active person. My great grandfather is turning 96 next year. He lives alone with his second wife of 88 of age, still drives every day and just last year stopped going to the supermarket by bike. My grandmother tells me that he always ate little quantity of food and drank a glass of beer almost every meal. He lives a very organised and active life, foght WWII and was kept prisoner for more than a year.

      Vittorio Rocchi from Italy

    • dexter yarbroug1 profile image

      dexter yarbroug1 

      8 years ago

      Enjoyable and interesting hub. Thanks!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      To get to Heaven as young as possible as late as possible.

      Pardon me, but...

      How old would we be if we did not know how old we are?


      Forever young! Carpe Diem!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi, I came across your site and have enjoyed reading it. I follow a raw vegan diet (3 years and strong) and in my research have learned that by eating less we allow our bodies to continually heal itself and rejuvenate its cells. I am in my late 40s and feel like I'm in my 20s.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing it to us.

    • CCGAL profile image


      9 years ago

      I've read recently that science has discovered part of why a frugal vegetarian diet may enhance longevity - it has something to do with the division of cells and a little bit breaking off each time, so when the little bits are used up, the body deteriorates. I forget what those little bits are called. I wish it was the other way around ... food is so good and so hard to eat just a tiny amount of. Very interesting lens - I especially enjoyed the part about your grandmother.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      [in reply to Michael Walsh] Then why do you drink and eat the body and blood of Christ at holy communion?

    • JuneMary LM profile image

      JuneMary LM 

      10 years ago

      Hi Mike,

      I really enjoyed reading your info.

      A number of years ago I heard about a Chinese man who lived for about 250 years, I'm motivated to find the tape it was on. According to Phillip Day, there are 12 cultures today whose members regularly live to 150. I was told that in Georgia (Russia) you had to be 100 to get onto the town council.

      I note that two of the men came from Yorkshire. It is "God's Own Country" you know!!!


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very informative!

      BTW, fasting is one of the best way to detoxify your body.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      To each his/her own. For me, 60 to 80 is enough, but with the health of a 39 year old. I'd rather live live to it's fullest, umm with a steak often, yes, bacon, a stew, meat veggies fruit everything. Jesus never said any crazy thing like I read above-he did not care if you ate meat or didn't eat meat. I like the idea of avoiding what the doctors and the experts say; they are forever changing their minds. Reading all the above, I guess, living in moderation, most of the time helps. Yeah, reviewgirl.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Gosh, some of those people you mention surely lived a very long time! I am not 100% sure I want to live past 100. I'll have to give that a lot of thought. ;)

    • ms-giggles profile image


      11 years ago

      Great Lens. If you were to study the foods of the Bible Pomegranate, Apple Aloe Vera Grapes, Leek, Onion Lentil,, Garlic, Almond, Juniper Berry Mulberry Wheat Grass and much more were mention over and over again in the Bible. These are the foods that gave longevity.These food are in my health drink Genesis that you so gracefully cut down.  People live long when they nourish and protect there bodies.I've lost 8 close family members to cancer, and the cure the doctors sell didn't work!!! We need to be proactive in are health and treat our bodies like temples.

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 

      11 years ago

      Interesting lens! 5*s! Live long!

      FREE Samples and Freebies

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Very interesting was enlightening...Thanks!

    • Nochipra profile image


      11 years ago

      Very interesting lens! My great grandmother lived to be 89, just a few days short of her 90th birthday and my grandmother is 88 years old now. So their may be some hope for me yet? I do believe the diets have changed over the yrs though with all the processed food now a days. My great grandmother and grandmother ate a lot from their own gardens which I think helps.

    • Snozzle profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago

      [in reply to Michael Walsh] . I'm not sure what the 'gospel of the twelve' is but I'm a vegetarian anyway. As for 'cursed is everyone who puts animal flesh in their mouths' I'm afraid I can't agree with this - even though I don't eat meat. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.


    • profile image


      11 years ago

      according to the gospel of the twelve, which contain the commandments of christ. we are not to hunt and kill animals for pleasure or gain. we are not to eat their flesh or drink their blood. animals are not for food. god provided the fruit of the trees and grass of the field for food to mankind. by eating animal flesh we destroy our bodies and shorten our lives. according to christ (cursed is everyone who puts animal flesh in their mouths. that they will suffer the plaques that will come with it, and their days will be shortened) . so we need to start obeying the true gospel.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image


      11 years ago from Canada

      Oh this is fascinating. I'm not sure I want to live that long unless I can feel and look as good, or as bad, depending on opinions, LOL, which, if negative, keep to yourselves, as I do now 5*!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Oh wow, I never knew there were people who lived THAT long. Personally, I think I would be done at 100! My grandmother lived to 106. She said that if she knew she would live that long, she would have smoked, ate more bacon and done everything the doctors told her not to.

    • Jack2205 profile image


      11 years ago

      Great lens. There are some good tips here to help people live longer.

    • Snozzle profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago

      [in reply to AlexandraHubbard] Breathing sure is useful for a long life! I understand what you mean though having done yoga for a lot of years. I've seen cases of yogis who claim to have lived for a very long time. You are right about the oxygen amounts and there is also that magical Prana ingredient which helps.

      Thanks for the comment.


    • AlexandraHubbard profile image


      11 years ago

      Hey, what a great lens! You know a lot of eastern figures are said to have lived hundreds of years as well. I'd also like to add that breathing is an important factor to long life. A lot of people end up breathing too shallowly most of the time, causing tissues to not get as much oxygen as they need to remain young and healthy.

    • Snozzle profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago

      dc64: Delusional or not, I'm sure that we don't have to accept the normal pattern of ageing. Too often what people expect happens. Can't buy alcohol without identification in your 40's - wow, now that must be cool. Wishing you as long as you want in this life.

      Thanks also for your comment SammySpam and everyone else I might not have acknowledged here.


    • dc64 lm profile image

      dc64 lm 

      11 years ago

      Attitude has a lot to do with it. I plan on living until I want to die, even if it means I'm 500 years old! Actually, I'm in my mid 40's and still get carded when I try to buy alcohol. That's pretty cool. I refuse to get all those old-age maladies, and it seems to work. Maybe my brain has convinced my body that it isn't as old as it thought it was, or perhaps I'm just highly delusional!

    • SimilarSam profile image

      Samuel Franklin 

      11 years ago

      Very interesting lens you've created!

    • Snozzle profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago

      Many thanks for the interesting comments. Looks like not too much disagreement as yet but I can partly go along with Ramkitten's doubt about some of the quoted ages.

      A good point I think also from Ramkitten about 'attitude being a huge factor.' This seems very true as I know people in their 80's who are definitely 'old' whereas a couple of others are walking, laughing and still having a fun life.

      Thanks again everyone for the comments - appreciated.


    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      11 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Okay, so I'm rather skeptical about the 152 years and up :) ... Methinks some gravestones are bit "off" in those cases, but I certainly do believe those that have been verified, and I believe such numbers will become more common. My grandparents-in-law are in their 90's and are still going strong--living on their own, driving, active, vibrant. I do think some of that is genetic, though, because I can't see that they've done anyting extraordinary. In fact, one used to smoke and the other certainly likes to drink. They both eat meat and neither has ever been extraordinarily active. Interesting how some of the 70 and 80 year-olds I know are SO much older in many ways. I think attitude is a huge factor, too.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      11 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Great long-life tips! I like #8 because I'm already vegetarian... it is a great way to eat. I wish more people would safeguard their health and get away from meat eating habits.

    • Aquavel profile image


      11 years ago

      GREAT lens! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. 5* s and favorited!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      11 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Very interesting lens! Keeping active seems to be key. Also, eating little....I'm not sure about that though. Enjoying food seems to be part of life. Might be better to enjoy it more and live a few years less???


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