While there is certainly no source of youth or a unique secret to becoming age-old, those interested in longevity can certainly learn one or two things from Sister André — the oldest living person in the world. NBD-especially when it comes to the whole meaning of “everything in moderation”. In a recent interview with CNN, sister André, an 118-year-old nun and the oldest survivor of COVID-19 living in southern France, revealed two of the must-have snacks that keep her prosperous: chocolate and wine.
Like all of us, Sister Andre told the reporter that she “enjoys chocolate and wine – and drinks a glass every day at her nursing home” at Résidence Catherine Labor. This of course leads us to wonder: Are her tastes for food and drink and her amazing longevity purely coincidental? We definitely hope not! To get to the bottom of it, we spoke with a registered dietitian to determine if there is a correlation between her eating habits and living a longer, healthier life. Spoiler Warning: Of course, we can all consume these two pleasures, but there is a (you guessed it) balancing act that you need to keep in mind when doing so.
More on the well-balanced lifestyle of André’s older sister
According to Guinness World Records, André’s sister, formerly known as Lucile Randon, was born in France on February 11, 1904. In her younger years, she worked as a teacher, governess and cared for children during World War II. In 1944, Randon got her new name, Sister André, when she became a nun. He then spent 28 years working with orphans and the elderly at a hospital in Vichy, France.
Sister André has now been named the world’s oldest living person after her predecessor, Kane Tanaka, died recently. Tanaka’s loved ones attributed her longevity – she lived to the age of 119 – to focusing on the present instead of dwelling on the past and maintaining a strong sense of purpose. According to her family members, she did math, calligraphy and remained curious about the nuances of life until the day she passed away.
Although Tanaka and sister André shared these values - mainly, the importance of maintaining purpose in life and appreciating opportunities to develop their knowledge and relationships at any age – together, their daily habits and routines obviously different. When asked about her eating habits, David Tavella, André’s nursing home manager, said she “likes everything; it tastes very simple”. Tavella goes on to explain that she especially loves sweets and calls chocolate a “guilty pleasure”. Along with drinking chocolate regularly, Sister Andre also drinks a daily glass of red wine that Tavella believes is “perhaps the secret to her longevity.”
Chocolate can indeed contribute to longevity
“It’s no surprise that one of Sister André’s snacks that helps her thrive is chocolate, as this food is packed with antioxidants and minerals that can help support our overall health,” said registered dietitian Lauren Manaker. , MS, RDN. LD, CLEC, he says. “The antioxidants in cocoa can help fight oxidative stress that can be caused by factors such as stress. [and] our environment. “Too much oxidative stress can have adverse effects on health and inflammation in our bodies, including our brains, which can ultimately affect our quality of life.”
When considering any of the health benefits associated with chocolate, keep in mind that cocoa in particular is associated with positive effects — the higher the percentage of cocoa, the more active compounds there are to provide the benefits of health. This comes as great news for dark chocolate lovers. “The data show that dark chocolate has more antioxidant activity than milk chocolate, because it has a higher percentage of cocoa. “The flavonols in dark chocolate can help support healthy blood pressure, and consuming dark chocolate in moderation has also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and improved cognitive health,” says Manaker.
One study actually found that people who consumed any type of chocolate two or more times a week had 32 percent less calcification of their arteries than those who never ate chocolate. But keep in mind this mantra which is the measure, as it is important to note that the percentage decreases by 32% the more chocolate people ate. Manaker also recommends snacking on dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70 percent or higher and looking for cocoa-rich delicacies with a lower sugar content, such as UNREAL dark chocolate snacks (up to 51 percent less sugar than other sugars). .
Wine is a key ingredient in the world’s longest-lived people
When it comes to wine, maintaining moderation is also important. “People who drink a little, up to two drinks a day, are actually less likely to die than those who do not drink at all,” said Dan Buettner, a National Geographic journalist, longevity expert and founder of the Blue Zones. previously said Well + Good. Studies have shown that the high antioxidant content of wine can help protect against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers when consumed in small amounts.
Buettner, who has conducted extensive research on the routines, values and lifestyles of the world’s longest-lived people, says that in the Blue Zone of Sardinia, Italy, “[Residents] They are famous for their daily consumption of a strong, local red wine called cannonau ‘, which has higher levels of antioxidants compared to other types of red wine. Buettner also points out that wine consumption in the Blue Zones often occurs in social environments, surrounded by loved ones, which can also have beneficial effects on health in the short and long term.
To get the most benefit from this drink, the American Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming one ounce drink five times a day (and of course, if you are not already an alcoholic, none of the above is a reason to start). That said, as Sister André does, here it is fine to relax and grab some of the things we love most!
Learn more about why the Mediterranean diet is linked to longevity by watching this video:
Oh Hello! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts on modern wellness brands and exclusive Well + Good content. Join Well +, our online wellness community and unlock your rewards right away.