What makes Pereira's longevity all the more fascinating are the humble conditions in which she lives. The centenarian, who will turn 121 years old on Saturday, lives in a remote corner of the Amazon, in the Brazilian state of Acre, where she practices a traditional way of life that stretches back for centuries, free of many modern amenities many people half her age often think they cannot live without.World's Oldest Person Found Thriving in the Amazon (Treehugger)
Pereira credits her long-life to an active, healthy lifestyle, in addition to a diet rich in locally grown meats, fruits, and vegetables gathered in the forests around her home -- free of the extra salt, sugar, and preservatives so commonly found in foods around the world. Her all-natural diet, along with frequent walks around town, has allowed Pereira to thrive while others, many years her junior, do not.
With so many fads and gimmicks aimed at promoting a 'healthy' alternative, Pereira's example seems to suggest that looking to past dietary habits may be the best way to ensure a thriving life stretching far into the future.
Incidentally, the world's oldest verified person, Jeanne Calment of France, walked everywhere, rode a bicycle until age 100, ate two pounds of chocolate a week, treated her skin with olive oil, and didn't have to work. ''I think she was someone who, constitutionally and biologically speaking, was immune to stress,'' [Jean-Marie Robine, author of a book about Mrs. Calment] said in a telephone interview. ''She once said, 'If you can't do anything about it, don't worry about it.' ''