Born on Christmas Eve day 1896 in Veracruz, Mexico, according to his birth certificate and other documents, Manuel Garcia Hernandez could be the world’s oldest man if the government paperwork is accurate.
The official world’s oldest man according to The Guinness Book of World Records, is Japanese lumberjack Masazo Nonaka, 112, who was born on July 25, 1905.
Mbah Gotho, an Indonesian man, died a year ago this month at a purported age of 146, but his birthdate was not independently verified.
Garcia Hernandez currently lives with his daughter on a family farm in northern Mexico. He and his late wife raised five children. The family now includes 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
The centenarian, who is described as being in remarkably good health and who began working the fields at age nine, AFP reports, revealed his longevity secrets, which includes a strong work ethic.
“The keys to a long life, he said, are sleeping well, waking up early, eating healthy, taking vitamins and work. He gets up every morning at 5:30 am and starts the day with a banana and apple smoothie, oatmeal and two eggs. Then he goes out to tend to his chickens.”
The 121-year-old man noted that he feels like he’s 80 and that he hopes to make it to his 125th birthday.
“He says he only has two regrets in his very long life: losing his father at a young age, and the fact he can no longer work.”
While describing himself as happy, but a little tired, he added that “I’d like to be able to work the way I used to, make my living in the fields. But I can’t anymore. That makes me sad. I was very hard-working as a young man.”
A Guinness spokeswoman said that Garcia Hernandez would need to submit his paperwork for the organization to verify his age in the context of a potential world’s record.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) May 18, 2018
The longevity secrets of Nonaka, 112, reportedly include eating sweets, taking hot baths, and minimizing stress. Gotho, who was reportedly a lifetime heavy smoker, apparently credited “patience” for his long lifespan.
In August 2016, a Hindu monk who then claimed to be 120-years-old, attributed his long life to daily yoga practice, no sex, and no spices. Orphaned at age four and grew up in poverty, the celibate and physically fit monk consumes a simple diet and lives very modestly, which includes sleeping on a mat on the floor.
Your mileage may vary
In addition to a healthy diet and a regular exercise regiment, other supposed approaches to life extension have been the subject of news reports, but should never be undertaken without the approval of a healthcare professional.
Also in August 2016, for example, a South Carolina woman who was turning 103 had a different recipe for a long life in addition to good genetics. At 4 p.m. every day, she has a glass of beer, with her doctor’s approval. Around the same time, a centenarian in Pennsylvania attributed her long life to “a lot of booze,” while a 110-year-old Nebraska man suggested that one can of beer every day was his secret elixir for staying young.
In the alternative, a Russian man who died in 2012, supposedly at age 122, claimed that abstaining from booze, tobacco, and women allowed him to enjoy such a long existence. His typical diet consisted of dairy products, fruits, corn, vegetables, whey, and wild garlic.
A Texas woman, then 104, started drinking three cans of Dr. Pepper each day when she was in her 60s and has never looked back. The unconventional Dr. Pepper consumption notwithstanding, the centenarian admitted that she has no particular longevity secret other than “you just keep living.”
Upon marking her 102nd birthday in May 2015, a Connecticut woman recommended an approach for achieving a long life: Consume only fresh food and avoid any food out of a can.