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Elizabeth Francis

Source: Source: ABC 13 / Source: ABC 13

In Houston, a remarkable woman named Elizabeth Francis, age 114, has become the oldest living person in the United States, LongeviQuest reported Feb. 23. Her ascent to this distinguished position follows the passing of 116-year-old Edie Ceccarelli of California on Feb. 22, positioning Francis as the fifth oldest living person globally.

What’s her secret to living a happy and healthy long life you ask? Francis said that her steadfast faith in God has been the driving force behind her longevity.

“If the good Lord gave it to you, use it! Speak your mind, don’t hold your tongue,” Francis told LongeviQuest. She also jokingly mentioned that she indulges in whatever culinary delights her heart desires. On her 112th birthday in 2022, Francis told the News Center Maine that she never smoked and did not drink frequently except an occasional glass of wine.

Francis’ diet and lifestyle may have helped her achieve supercentenarian status.

Remarkably, it was not until nearly reaching the age of 108 that the supercentenarian found herself reliant on a wheelchair for mobility. The Houston resident’s granddaughter, Ethel Harrison, also believes that her grandmother’s healthy diet and lifestyle may have played a profound role in helping her reach 114.

“Her life basically was pretty simple,” Harrison — who helps to care for the supercentenarian — told Today. “She didn’t go out to parties and stuff like that. She was more of a homebody. She would go to church.”

During an interview with ABC 13, Harrison said her grandmother “always grew her vegetables in the backyard.”

She added, “I never saw her go to a fast food restaurant as much like Chick-fil-A and all the places I liked to go. She never did that. Whenever you went to her house, I don’t care what day of the week, she was cooking. So, I just think that had a lot to do with it, too. Just how she took care of her body and things like that.”

Elizabeth Francis, hailing from Louisiana, entered the world in 1909, a remarkable 11 years before women secured the right to vote in the United States. A legacy of longevity graces her family lineage; her sister Bertha Johnson lived a remarkable 106 years before her passing in 2011.

Last July, Ms. Francis was honored with a celebration marking her 114th birthday, held within the walls of her cherished home in Houston, where she resides with her 94-year-old daughter, Dorothy Williams.


How can you live to 114?

Geriatric Physician Dr. Holly Holmes applauded Francis for taking care of herself. According to the doctor, living until 114 is more than possible with a healthy and active lifestyle.

“Things that we know we need to do like moving more, eating better, having a more plant-based diet, having social connections, avoiding loneliness and isolation,” Holmes told ABC 13. 

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats could help to achieve longevity. Minimizing processed foods, sugar and excessive salt intake is also key. Stress is harmful to our health. Finding healthy ways to manage stress, whether through meditation, exercise, yoga or spending time with loved ones, can also help to live a longer life.


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