The oldest woman in the world turned 117-years-young today, and she doesn’t plan on dying anytime soon. Emma Morano’s diet isn’t exactly the stuff a health and nutrition guru would suggest, but according to the Independent, Emma has her own system for staying alive, and she’s been sticking to it since she was young.
For Morano, it’s all about doing it her way; on her own and without interference.
Dr. Carlo Bava is Emma’s physician, and he was there to celebrate with his elderly patient. He said that when Morano was young, she seemed to be fragile, and none of her friends expected she would outlive them.
“Who would have said it?! When you were young everyone used to say you were weak and sick.”
Happy 117th Birthday Emma Morano, oldest person and last alive born in 1800s! Her longevity secret: not eating much - 'I have no teeth'. ????❤️ pic.twitter.com/M2s4StfZhj— Ulrich J van Vuuren (@UlrichJvV) November 29, 2016
But “weak and sick” young Emma has carried on despite what most people would consider terrible eating habits. According to CBS News, Morano’s diet is pretty simple, and not all that attractive.
Bava says that Emma had improved her diet since last year, when he insisted that she had to make some changes from the “raw eggs and cookies” diet that she’s preferred ever since she was young. Sometimes, Emma broadened her menu to include “occasional banana and grapes in season.”
“I eat two eggs a day, and that’s it. And cookies. But I do not eat much because I have no teeth.”
Now, Morano’s diet is a little more adventurous, but she still sticks almost entirely to animal protein, and the cookies that have always been a favorite since Emma was young.
At her doctor’s urging, Emma’s added “100 grams of raw steak a day” to held fend off another bout of anemia. Applesauce is part of the new diet regime too since her elderly nieces make their own and bring it to their aunt.
Emma has been following the raw-egg diet since she was only 20 years old, back in 1919. That was when she was first diagnosed with anemia, and the two raw eggs, along with a cooked one, were a way of keeping strong. Morano didn’t indicate whether her raw egg diet had anything to do with Rocky.
Raw eggs for breakfast make me strong like rocky— shay boy (@shayboynton) December 23, 2015
Morano was going to need all her strength to get through the next decades. She hasn’t had a very happy life, though you’d never know it to see her big smile. Morano’s doctor describes her as “always a very serene.” He says that she smiles a lot, but that she is also “very decisive” when faced with difficulties.
Emma Morano, world's oldest living person and last link to 19th Century, celebrates her 117th birthdayhttps://t.co/RGc0G53QiC— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) November 29, 2016
Sadly, Emma has had more than her share of tragedy and difficulties, and according to the doctor, her longevity is due to genetics and nothing else.
“She is a person who from a young age had a difficult life that would have sapped the energy out of anyone.”
Before the Second World War, Emma fled an abusive husband who”beat her,” and she had to make that decision in a time and place when women were supposed to be submissive. Morano left her husband in 1938, during the Fascist era in Italy. Around the same time, she “lost an infant son to crib death at 6 months.”
“I don’t want to be dominated by anyone.”
However, Emma kept on smiling as she fiercely guarded her independence, working full-time jobs first in a jute bag factory, and later in a hotel. She carried on working “well past retirement age,” and lived alone in her Verbania apartment until last year.
New post: "Emma Morano, world's oldest and likely last living person born in 1800s, celebrates 117th birthday - CB… https://t.co/d1g1laSJju— debra (@idebrat) November 29, 2016
Morano still lives in the same apartment on Lake Maggiore, but finally took on a full-time caregiver last year.
Happy Birthday, Emma Morano! May you stay young forever.
[Featured Image by Antonio Calanni/AP Images]