The Foods The World's Oldest Person, Kane Tanaka, Ate Until 119 Years Old
Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest person, passed away on April 19th, as confirmed by her daughter today. Tanaka, who turned 119 earlier this year, was three years shy of the record for oldest person ever, Jeanne Louise Calment, who passed at 122 years of age in 1997. (To put her age in perspective, Tanaka was born in 1903: the same year that the Wright brothers flew the world's first successful flight.)
It almost always comes with the territory that the longest-living people in the world are begged for their secrets: What does a typical day look like? How do you keep busy? But perhaps the most common question posed to centenarians is, "what do you eat in a day?"
Luckily, we have the answer to that thanks to the Japan National Tourism Organization, which interviewed Tanaka in 2020.
"My favorite things are fizzy drinks (especially Coca-Cola), but also coffee and chocolate," she told the organization when asked to introduce herself to their readers. "There isn't actually really anything I don't like," she added.
When asked about the things that she, as the oldest living person in the world, can't resist, the supercentenarian couldn't help but underscore her love for sweets, again mentioning, "that would be fizzy drinks, coffee, and chocolate for me!"
She certainly practices what she preaches! When Guinness World Records certified her as the world's oldest person in 2019, Kane was given a box of chocolates during the presentation ceremony, which she immediately opened. After the ceremony when she was asked how many chocolates she wants to eat today, she replied "100." Kane also enjoyed a cake with cream and strawberries at the ceremony.
And Tanaka's love of fizzy drinks was on full display on her birthday this past year. Coca-Cola sent her commemorative bottles of their bubbly beverages for her 119th birthday that were personalized with her name and age on them, her daughter tweeted.
Although sweets top the list of Tanaka's go-to foods, the takeaway here shouldn't be to load up on sugary foods if you want to live to be over 100. Rather, it's to enjoy the things you like.
When asked what she thought the secret to a long life is, Tanaka said it was "to do the things that you like," continuing, "eating the things I like, doing the things I like, I've been able to enjoy each and every day." She also attributed her long life to playing Othello, the board game, doing maths puzzles, and talking to lots of people.
If you ever want to visit Tanaka's home region of Fukuoka, she recommends feasting on countless delicious foods including, "Hakata ramen, motsu nabe (offal stew), mentaiko (fish roe), mizutaki (chicken hotpot), the yatai food stalls — the list goes on and on."
Japan is known as one of the nations in the world with the longest average life span, with people living in Okinawa being the most famous. Okinawa is considered to be one of the five "Blue Zones:" the regions of the world with the highest concentrations of centenarians.
Want to eat to live to 100? Consider adding any of these 6 Breakfasts Enjoyed By The Longest-Living People in The World to your daily diet.