Matilda Curcia credits daily habits for thriving well into old age.

By Tim Nelson
Updated March 14, 2018
Credit: Photo by Tina Burdiashvili / EyeEm via Getty Images

What’s the secret to a long, healthy life? Is it nutritious eating and regular exercise? Is it keeping the mind active and engaged? Though science seems to provide conflicting answers on such a vexing and fascinating subject, the story of one Californian who just celebrated her 100th birthday suggests the secret to longevity may be hiding in your local pub.

According to San Diegan and newly-minted centenarian Matilda Curcia, regular consumption of beer and potato chips has kept her going strong over the years. "I've experienced good health," Curcia told NBC 7 San Diego. "I have no pain and do my exercises every day. And have my beer. Eat my potato chips. That's about all."

But before you buy a 30 rack and bags of chips to toast to how you’ll live forever, it’s worth pointing out that Curcia consumes merely 1 beer and 3 potato chips each night. With those figures, her health secret is more of a daily ritual and less of a debauched rager.

Still, science says that Curcia could be onto something. A study of those aged 90+ conducted by the University of California, Irvine found that “people who drank moder amounts of alcohol... lived longer than those who abstained.” Coffee consumption seems to promote similar health benefits during aging.

It may help to have a drinking buddy to join you in old age, too: Matilda Curcia’s longtime neighbor (identified only as Mickey) also celebrated her 100th birthday at a joint party for the women this week. There’s no word on whether or not the dynamic duo went ham and had 4 potato chips and 2 beers, but they certainly deserve to treat themselves.