Earlier this year, Mariam Amash of Israel filed for a new identity card. At first glance, all of the information she provided was normal; it matched everyone else’s, consisting of a first name, last name and address. But further inspection found something rather odd. Amash’s date of birth was listed as 1888, 120 years ago.
If the year is correct, as Amash and her rather large family attest, Amash is the oldest woman in the world. And if that’s the case, we all want to know her secret, which according to her, is olive oil. She drinks one glass of olive oil a day and cites the liquid as the reason for her long and healthy life. Is it possible that she’s right?While it’s certainly not the only reason for her longevity, the olive oil can’t hurt. It is loaded with monounsaturated fat – the kind we like – and polyphenols, allowing it to benefit the heart in ways other fat-based substances cannot. It’s been known to protect against cardiovascular disease, maintain normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and, as seen with Amash, lengthen lives. It is, although not a magic elixir, a healthful one. That, however, does not mean that you should start drinking olive oil by the glassful. You can ALWAYS overdo a good thing. Instead, work olive oil (extra virgin would be best) into your diet. Sprinkle it on a salad, mix it with your pasta or use it to cook vegetables. You have unlimited options and essentially every Mediterranean food ever made. Those recipes alone could last you for 120 years, if you’re lucky.