Doctors attribute longevity to a combination of diet, genetics, and environment, but they are yet to discover any one single factor that guarantees a long life, or even, for that matter, an early death. Substantial evidence exists that certain vices like cigarettes, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages are dangerous and have adverse health effects, but some of the worlds oldest people consume them regularly and live into their 100s.
While there are exceptions to every rule, there is more proof supporting the idea that a balanced diet, daily exercise routine, and strong social structures are the key to living a long life. The inhabitants of the so-called Blue Zones, as defined by Dan Buettner in his 2005 National Geographic cover piece, Secrets of Long Life, live in geographic areas with a population that has above-average life expectancies and one of worlds highest percentages of centenarians. Residents of Blue Zones often live well into their 90s and suffer fewer incidences of dementia, cancer, and heart disease than those in other areas.
But as mentioned, there are exceptions to every rule, and some of the oldest people in the world, whether in or out of Blue Zones, attribute their longevity to some rather bizarre and unexpected eating and drinking habits ranging from a shot of whiskey in their morning coffee to a daily breakfast of raw eggs.
Here are the weird diet secrets of some of the worlds oldest people.
Eggs are a healthy breakfast, but should anyone besides Rocky Balboa be gulping them raw? Meet Emma Morano, the 117-year-old woman who currently holds the title of the worlds oldest person. She says that at the age of 20 she started eating two raw eggs a day after her doctor prescribed them to counter her anemia deficiency.
Miso Okawa, the Japanese supercentenarian, born in 1898, once said that the key to a long life was eating delicious things. Her diet included foods such as ramen noodles and beef stew, but a majority of her meals involved raw fish, especially mackerel sushi.