America's Oldest Woman Credits 2 Easy Habits for Reaching 116
Adding these to your daily anti-aging routine shouldn't be too big of a lift.
It's pretty impressive to hold any record, but being America's oldest-known person is certainly one to write home about. Today, that title belongs to Edith "Edie" Ceccarelli, who turned 116 on Feb. 5. A native of Willits, California, Ceccarelli was born in 1908, meaning she lived through both World Wars and saw the day when women got the right to vote. The supercentenarian is celebrated and beloved in her hometown, and she believes her longevity comes down to two simple habits.
According to Ceccarelli, living as long as she has is a credit to what she drinks, and how she conducts her life. When questioned about her secrets, she's told others they should, "Have a couple of fingers of red wine with your dinner, and mind your own business," per The New York Times.
While there probably isn't scientific evidence to support her point about nosiness, studies have linked red wine to longevity. In a Feb. 2021 study published in the journal Antioxidants, researchers found that moderate red wine consumption increased the expression of "key longevity-related genes" and improved metabolic health in humans.
A 2018 study published in the journal Diseases also bolstered this claim, linking one to two glasses of red wine with "human health promotion, disease prevention, and disease prognosis." (However, it's worth noting that other studies have had different results when studying alcohol and longevity.)
But beyond Ceccarelli's personal tips, those in her life believe other factors may have impacted her longevity. As reported by The Press Democrat, Ceccarelli is upbeat when it comes to her perspective on life—and she's always kept things in moderation and stayed active.
The outlet noted that Ceccarelli was an avid dancer who loved to take long walks through her hometown. The NYT also reported that Ceccarelli, who was born to Italian immigrants, played basketball and tennis—and took up the saxophone when her mother saved up to purchase the instrument.
"Edie embodies wellness, she has her whole life," Suzanne Picetti-Johnson, coordinator of the drive-by parade that celebrates Ceccarelli, told The Press Democrat.
Willits City Clerk Delores Pedersen also told the outlet, "When I started at the city almost 20 years ago, she would walk from her home to city hall to pay her water bill. She was so impeccably dressed. A hat and gloves. And she was always so nice. The whole community just loves her."
Ceccarelli has since outlived her entire immediate family, including six younger siblings, her high school sweetheart and first husband, her second husband, her adopted daughter, and her three granddaughters. Ceccarelli is also the second oldest person in the world: Maria Branyas Morera, who lives in Spain, is 11 months older, per the NYT.
While Willits continues to celebrate Ceccarelli, she does suffer from dementia, which recently progressed. Thankfully, she was still able to enjoy a bite of carrot cake at her birthday party this year, the NYT reported, and she got a chance to watch residents drive by, waving and singing to wish her a happy 116th.
"She's a local icon," Picetti-Johnson told the NYT. "She's always been just a total delight, and we're thrilled to celebrate her one more year."
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