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Long naps, snacks

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

AT 127 years, Leandra Becerra Lumbreras is not only the oldest woman in the world, she's reportedly the oldest person who has ever lived — only she's lost the piece of paper to prove it.

The Mexican great-grandmother to 73 has fought in the Mexican revolution, seen the beginning of World War 1 in her mid-twenties and was over 100 when the Berlin Wall came down.

But while she was busy collecting some great stories along the way, she managed to lose her birth certificate, dated August 31, 1887, while moving house around 40 years ago.

The former seamstress, who has outlived her five children and many of her 55 grandchildren, credits her long life to long naps, snacking and never marrying, The Telegraph reports.

Leandra's 43-year-old granddaughter Miriam Alvear told Mexico's El Horizonte's newspaper her big secret was chocolate.

"She's always had a good tooth, even at her old age," she said.

"She has no diabetes or hypertension so can eat as many chocolates and sweets as she likes."

An active life and commitment to work also seem to be part of the world's oldest woman's long life tactics.

"She was always a woman who fought. She was still sewing and weaving until about two years ago," her granddaughter said.

"She is entirely lucid. She blows your mind with her stories from the revolution."

But Leandra won't be recognised in the record books for her long life, the title of the world's oldest woman goes to Japan's Misao Okawa, who says learning to relax and sleeping for eight hours a night are the key to a long life, and has managed to hang on to her birth certificate over her 116 years.

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