Sister André, a 118-year-old nun, a Covid-19 survivor, admitted that her long-life secret are two eating habits …
While there is no fountain of youth or (only) secret to becoming centenarians, those interested in the mechanics of longevity certainly have a thing or two to learn from. Sister André, the longest-lived living person in the world, especially when it comes to the concept of indulging in “everything in moderation”. In a recent interview with CNN, Sister André, a 118-year-old nun, survivor of Covid-19, who lives in the south of France, surprised the interviewer by revealing that she has two secrets that help keep her prosperous. Which?
The 2 vices of the longest-lived woman in the world
Sister André confessed that can’t live without chocolate and wine. Two small vices that he allows himself often, but in moderation. Given his age, many have wondered if his food preferences and surprising longevity are random. Or if chocolate and wine really protect it from aging.
The story of Sister Andrè
From the Guinness Book of World Records we learn that Sister André, aka Lucile Randon, was born in France on 11 February 1904. In her youth she worked as a teacher, tutor and took care of children during the Second World War. In 1944, she took the vows and the name of Sister Andrè. She spent 28 years working with orphans and the elderly in a hospital in Vichy, France. A noble purpose that seems to have strengthened her spirit, making him resistant to stress, to the point of making her reach the supremacy of the longest living person in the world, after the recent death of the Japanese Kane Tanaka.
Sister Andrè’s diet of longevity
When asked what he eats on a daily basis, the managers of the nursing home where he lives revealed that Sister Andrè has simple tastes and eats everything, but she particularly loves sweets and the chocolate is hers guilty pleasure. Every now and then he also sips a glass of red wine which, according to health workers, would be “his long-life secret”.
But do chocolate and wine really have to do with longevity?
Chocolate and wine friends of longevity?
The answer is … Yes, at least in part. In fact, science tells us that the antioxidants present in cocoa help fight oxidative stress, which causes inflammation in the body and brain. But it does not apply to every type of chocolate: since cocoa has these positive effects, the higher its percentage, the more the chocolate will prove to be beneficial for health, if taken in moderate quantities. For this reason nutritionists invite you to choose dark chocolate from 70% upwards and eat in moderation.
Even when it comes to wine, moderation is important. Several studies have shown that wine’s high antioxidant content, when consumed in small quantities, helps protect against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some forms of cancer. Dan Buettner, National Geographic reporter, longevity expert and discoverer of Blue Zoneswho has conducted in-depth research on the lifestyles of the world’s longest-lived people, explains for example that the inhabitants of the blue zone region of Sardinia “are famous for their daily consumption of a red wine called cannonau”, which has levels of higher antioxidants than other types of red wine.
But according to Buettner there is also another reason why wine has to do with longevity. Its consumption in the blue zones often takes place in social contexts, surrounded by loved ones, which can also have beneficial effects on health in the short and long term. So, perhaps, the real secret of long life, in addition to indulging in small pleasures such as chocolate and wine, lies in sharing them with others, just as Sister Andrè did in her long life, dedicated to others.
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