When it comes to life advice from our elders, there are few better placed to dole it out than Emma Morano, who has just been declared the world’s oldest known person.
Born in Italy in 1899, Morano will celebrate her 117th birthday on 29 November, and according to her physician, she’s likely to celebrate several more yet, thanks to her impressive state of health and sharpness of mind.
So with the eyes and ears of the global media currently fixed on her, Morano has taken the opportunity to dish out what she believes have been the secrets to her wellness and longevity.
Spoiler: it’s got nothing to do with juice cleanses.
Una italiana es la persona más vieja del mundo con 116 años VERBANIA, Italia. Rodeada de familiares y vecinos, la italiana #EmmaMorano recibió con una sonrisa la noticia de que, a los 116 años de edad, es la persona de mayor edad en el mundo ....leer Más en notinotas.net #notinotas
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Following an unhappy and often violent marriage, Morano left her husband in 1938 after the death of her infant child.
Despite separation being very rare at the time, and divorce not being legalised in Italy until 1970, the 116-year-old believes that the empowering move has continued to bolster her throughout her life.
While enjoying the attentions of ‘many suitors’ over the years, the self-declared feminist has remained single ever since, and believes that enjoying her freedom has contributed heavily to her longevity.
Talking to the New York Times last year, Morano said: “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone.”
When you meet the eldest woman in Europe what can you say? I think the best conversations are those that require no words at all. #EmmaMorano has been alive for over #115Years. Almost 4 times my age. Our meeting was brief but in the short moments that we shared, I learned more about myself than I would have ever imagined. "Life is short. Do not waste it on meaningless things" I first learned of Emma while #researching and #sourcing #CleanSources of eggs for my trip through #Italy. Once I decided to go to #Novara to find my father's #BaseballCoach, I saw on the map that #Varbania was on the way to #Venice. It couldn't have been more clear to me what I should do. After several hours of asking the town's people if they could help me find her I met two young boys that were eager to assist what I'm sure to them seemed like a couple crazy Americans. They led me to a man who was at first very concerned and against the idea of the meeting. But low and behold he connected us with Giuseppe, Emma's nephew. We met in the early morning hours on sunday morning outside his small and humble villa. Accompanied by a Senigallia man named Yōu, for translations, we were then led to meet Emma. What an incredible experience. It is one I'm sure to never forget. #Centurian #italian #OnceInALifeTime #Reivent #KablamoFarano #TheItalyGuide
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Although she now finds it tiring to walk and hasn’t left her small apartment on the shores of Italy’s Lake Maggiore, near the Swiss border, for nearly 20 years, Morano is none the less independent.
She only conceded to having a full-time carer in the past year, and still dictates her own schedule (lots of napping and snacking) and eating regime, which incidentally, is the second component of Morano’s secret to longevity.
Along with milk and cookies for breakfast, she says she drinks two raw eggs every single day, and has done since her 20s following advice from doctor who was treating her for anaemia.
Given that she’s been as strict with the regime as she suggests, that means Morano has put away around 100,000 eggs over the course of her life—Rocky Balboa style.
Of course, genetics has a role to play, and Morano has noted how her mother lived to see her 90s, while two of her siblings passed away just shy of their 100th birthdays, with another making it to 102.
If her current state of health is anything to by though, we may be celebrating Morano’s birthday with her for some time yet.
“We’re all thinking Emma is eternal because despite everything she always recovers, and quite easily might I add, including when she’s quite unwell,” says her doctor Carlo Bava.
“But when she is well, she is really well.”
Lead image: Instagram/@agenzia_ansa