We’re obsessed with the interaction of genes and diet.
That interplay keeps us mentally and physically fit, right into old age. So we decided to spotlight three supercentenarians (age 110 or older), who are living long, healthy lives…very long, healthy lives.
A disproportionate number of supercentenarians live in Japan, along the Mediterranean Sea in France or Italy, or northeast of Madrid. Many enjoy not only longevity, but a high quality of life, healthy in mind and body. We call these people The Mindspan Elite.
You may attribute longevity just to good genes, but we believe a distinguishing characteristic of The Mindspan Elite is their diet. The typical diet in The Mindspan Elite regions interacts with inhabitants’ genes to play a key role in healthy aging. That diet includes “fermented” foods (such as vinegar or moderate amounts of alcohol with meals), “fermentable” foods (such as many vegetables), foods low in absorbable iron (such as non-fortified white rice, pasta, or bread grains), and foods that hinder iron absorption (such as coffee, tea, cocoa, and dark chocolate).
Meet Emma, Maria-Giuseppa, and Hatsuno, three members of The Mindspan Elite and click here for more insights on healthy aging:
Born November 29, 1899, Emma Morano of Italy’s Piedmont region (near the Mediterranean Sea) is the world’s oldest living person whose birth date is verified. Emma lives independently and prepares her own meals. What’s on the menu? Eggs, white pasta and a daily dose of her homemade brandy. (died: April 15, 2017)
Born March 20, 1903, Maria-Giuseppa Robucci-Nargiso lives near the Adriatic Sea in the Italian town of Apricena. She likes to play cards, sing, and stroll by the shore. She eats only healthy food, she says, especially bread, olive oil, and tomatoes. (died: June 18, 2019)
Born September 1, 1903, Hatsuno Goto of Tokyo took up painting at 73 to prevent dementia. At 111, she published her autobiography, which includes samples of her art. Hatsuno’s ethos: “Anyone can start something new at any point in life.” She visited the U.S. at 103 and 106, and though currently taking a break from painting, she maintains several hobbies, including reciting traditional poetry.
Her breakfast comprises a bowl of rice porridge, “natto” (fermented soybeans) and steamed vegetables. She keeps her lunch and dinner relatively light and likes to snack on Castella sponge cakes and bananas.