Almost 99 years old

New Zealand woman credits good health to eating bananas

Joan Bowring from Tokoroa will celebrate her 99th birthday on Wednesday. While Joan, who lives at the Victoria Place Rest Home, doesn't know for sure why she's lived so long, every day she does have a little ritual. "I eat a lot of bananas," she said. "I don't like them green but I don't like them squishy, I like them firm. I have one every day and I just eat them whether they are good or bad for me."

But good they appear to be for Joan who has never had any major illness. "I have never been in hospital for anything besides getting a new hip," she said. She also still likes to get up every morning at 6.30am to make her bed.

"Getting dressed and showering is becoming a bit of an effort, I have to get help, but when I get up there are not many about and they are only just changing shifts. Walking is an effort; I don't walk, I waddle, but I do what I can," she laughed.

According to, Joan said she never thought she'd live as long as she has. Her father died when he was 51 and her mother in her 60's.

"I never thought about it actually, you just go on and on and on. It must be the bananas.”

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