Francisco Nunez Oliviera, the world’s oldest man, died this week in Spain at the age of 113. Whenever a person nears a 100th birthday, people always start asking how they did it, as though one centenarian’s diet habits could help the rest of us live as long. The diets of the world’s oldest people do not necessarily adhere to what one might think of as “healthful,” though. 96-year-old Betty White, for example, says she owes her long life to vodka and hot dogs. Francisco Nunez Oliviera’s diet sounds much more likely to get a thumbs-up from one’s doctor, though, because he said he lived 113 years eating mainly vegetables, with a daily glass of red wine. [related]
According to the Daily Mail, Oliviera was born in Bienvenida in Badajoz, in southwest Spain, in 1904. He lived there his whole life, and his many relatives credit his astonishing longevity to the fact that his diet was based mostly on vegetables he grew on his own land. He also enjoyed a daily glass of red wine.
According to Oliviera’s family, he had the same breakfast every day: a slice of sponge cake made with olive oil, and a glass of milk.
Oliviera was the oldest man in the world, but his town reportedly has a very large number of very long-lived people. Oliviera’s hometown has a population of just around 2,200 people, and 31 of those are currently over 90 years old. In addition to many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, Oliviera is survived by two younger siblings, who are 95 and 93 years old.
Oliviera’s family says he was in good health throughout his life, too. Even though he lived to 113 years old, they say he was only in the hospital twice, and one of those times was for cataract surgery. His daughter said he was in good health and did not have any pain or illnesses, in spite of his advanced age.
100-year-old French barmaid Marie Lou Wirth also passed the century mark recently, but she credits her long life with never eating fruit or dairy, though she said she does enjoy a glass of wine sometimes, in moderation. And 102-year-old Eunice Modlin from Indiana credits her own lifespan to chocolate and naps, which is just one of the many reasons to eat dark chocolate every day.