World's Oldest Person Reveals Secret to Longevity: Sushi and Sleep

Misao Okawa is celebrating her 116th birthday today

Misao Okawa, from Japan, is 116 years old and holds the title for the world's oldest living person. The Japanese supercentenarian turns 116 today and says that getting eight hours sleep a night and learning to relax are key to longevity.

The great-grandmather of six, who lives in Osaka, Japan, celebrated the occasion with a birthday cake and bunches of flowers. The woman says that, for her, the secret ingredients for a long life are sushi and sleep, although many think that taking exercise and eating greens are more helpful.

“Mrs Okawa eats three large meals a day and makes sure that she sleeps eight hours a night. She insists that her favourite meal is sushi, particularly mackerel on vinegar-steamed rice, and she has it at least once every month,” said Tomohito Okada, who runs the Kurenai retirement home where she lives, according to Daily Mail.

However, sport might have also played a key role in her longevity, as she tried to stay active for as long as possible. When she was 102, Misao was still doing leg squats to keep her body in shape.

Misao Okawa, born on March 5, 1898, has been a widow since 1931, when her husband Yukio passed away. She still has a surviving son, 94, and daughter, 92, as well as four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Last year, after celebrating her 115 birthday, Misao received a certificate signed by the Guinness Book of Records that officially recognized her as the world's oldest living woman.

She also became the world’s oldest person in June, 2013, after the death of 116-year-old Japanese man Jiroemon Kimura.

The woman says that the happiest moments of her life were her wedding in 1919 and the birth of her three children, while the saddest was the death of her husband.

Experts affirm that it's no coincidence that both record-holders are from Japan, as people in this country are known to have a healthy diet made up of fish, rice and fruit. Some studies also suggest that people who are outgoing, have a strong will and a sense of curiosity live longer than average.

The average lifespan for a Japanese woman is now 85.9 years, while Japanese men usually reach the 79.6 years old milestone.

Japan is now thought to be home to 54,397 centenarians, including 282 supercentenarians, who have achieved the impressive milestone of 110 years. Nevertheless, the record for the world's oldest ever person is still held by Jeanne Calment from France -  who passed away in 1997 at 122 years old.

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