No men and jelly babies: woman, 109, reveals the secrets of a long life

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Sarah Biddlecombe

What's the secret to living for a really, really long time?

We could try adopting a fish-based diet, like our 100-year-old friends in the Italian village of Acciarolli. We could tweak our daily habits to boost our wellbeing, or purchase a fancy gadget that promises to improve our health.

Or we could just follow in the footsteps of a 109-year-old woman from Yorkshire, who credits her longevity to avoiding men and eating jelly babies instead.


Nellie Wright, who has never married or had a boyfriend, shared her advice for living a long life at her 109th birthday party earlier this month. The centenarian told her guests, "I've stayed away from men all my life - full stop.

“That’s my secret, no men. And living off jelly babies - I eat a packet a day.”

Nellie was sent a celebratory card from the Queen

Nellie was sent a celebratory card from the Queen

Convincingly, Wright, who is originally from Leeds and used to work in her father's clothing business, isn't the only centenarian to suggest staying away from men is good for your health.

Last year, 109-year-old Jessie Gallan from Scotland recommended avoiding men because they are "more trouble than they're worth". Describing her three tips for living a long and healthy life, she told The Daily Mail she "made sure that I got plenty of exercise, [ate] a nice warm bowl of porridge every morning and have never gotten married.”

And for those who would rather live a life that includes members of the opposite sex, Wright also credited her love of walking for helping her reach her 109th year.

The centenarian celebrated her landmark birthday in style, with a champagne party and a visit from the mayor.

"I think it’s marvellous that I’ve been able to live this long," she said.

“I had a wonderful party and I’ve had a wonderful life.”

Nellie with her birthday cards and a tub of jelly babies

Nellie with her birthday cards and a tub of jelly babies

Images: SWNS 


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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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