Violet Brown of Jamaica was the oldest living person for five months, until she died in September 2017.
In 2016, her son Harold told the Jamaica Observer that his mother had stayed healthy for so long by eating small meals and never eating pork or chicken. Her diet was made up of “fish and mutton,” sweet potatoes, breadfruit, oranges and the occasional “cow foot.”
She also didn’t drink.
“Really and truly, when people ask what me eat and drink to live so long, I say to them that I eat everything, except pork and chicken, and I don’t drink rum and dem tings. You know, sometimes I ask myself, ‘Am I really 110 years old?’ because I don’t feel like 110,” Brown told the Jamaica Gleaner in 2010.
She said she thought her longevity had more to do with her faith. The devout Baptist said in the interview that following the Ten Commandments helped her live a long life.
What the science says: A recent Ohio State University study did find that people who were religious typically lived four years longer than those who weren’t. Laura Wallace, the lead author on the study, told Newsweek that “religious affiliation had nearly as strong an affect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life.”
LiveScience reported that the study backed up previous research, but that the findings did need to be replicated.
Brown’s focus on vegetarian foods likely helped her longevity, as well.