This section is from the book "The Natural Food Of Man", by Emmet Densmore. Also available from Amazon: How Nature Cures Comprising a New System of Hygiene.
"'He was of old Pythagoras' opinion, That green cheese was most wholesome with an onion Coarse meslin bread, and for his daily swig, Milk, buttermilk, and water, whey, and whig. Sometimes metheglin, and for fortune happy, He sometimes supped a cup of ale most nappy.'
"He was married a second time at the age of a hundred and twenty-one, and could run in foot-races and perform the ordinary work of an agricultural labourer when a hundred and forty-five years old. . . .
"Miguel Solis, of Bogota, San Salvador, who is supposed to be at least one hundred and eighty. At a congress of physicans, held at Bogota, Dr. Louis Hernandez read a report of his visit to this locally famous man, a country publican and farmer.
"'We are told that he only confesses to this age (one hundred and eighty years); but his neighbours, who must be better able to judge, affirm that he is considerably older than he says. He is a half-breed, named Miguel Solis, and his existence is testified to by Dr. Hernandez, who was assured that, when one of the "oldest inhabitants" was a child, this man was recognised as a centenarian. His signature, in 1712, is said to have been discovered among those of persons who assisted in the construction of a certain convent (Franciscan convent, at San Sebastian). Dr. Hernandez found this wonderful individual working in his garden. His skin was like parchment, his hair as white as snow, and covering his head like a turban. He attributed his long life to his careful habits; eating only once a day, for half an hour, because he believed that more food than could be eaten in half an hour could not be digested in twenty-four hours. He had been accustomed to fast on the first and fifteenth of every month, drinking, on those days, as much water as possible. He chose the most nourishing foods, and took all things cold.' - Lancet, Sept. 7th, 1878.
"From this and other sources we gather the following habits of this man : (1) He eats but once a day, and only for half an hour. (2) He eats meat but twice a month; from which we may justly infer that he is to a certain extent abstemious in his daily meal. (3) He drinks large quantities of water. (4) He fasts two whole days every month.
"From these habits it follows that, compared with the majority of mankind, he eats little, yet enough to support life; he therefore takes into his system a small amount of earthy compounds, which therefore take a longer period to accumulate, and produce the symptoms of decrepitude and old age at a far later period than they occur in most individuals who live upon an ordinary quantity of food, whose bodies become rigid, decrepit, and ossified, we will say, at about 'three-score years and ten.' Further, that his drinking large quantities of water, which, if not unusually hard, will tend to dissolve and remove those earthy compounds, which are not the effect but the cause of old age. We have not thought it necessary to make further inquiries concerning the diet and habits of this man. Our information is derived from numerous periodicals, and we only arrive at the above conclusions because we are convinced, from ascertained facts and experiments, that man may by diet alone attain the age which Miguel Solis is supposed to be."
My concluding quotations from Dr. Evans' erudite, logical, and remarkable book begin on page 176:
"Science dictates, and even the most casual observer who - for purpose or principle - attempts to comprehend the truths and phenomena of universal Nature, unhesitatingly admits, that 'every phenomenon has its reason, every effect its cause.' This is a fact established and indisputable; but how often are the laws of life and of death doomed to be overlooked by the deluded, and even removed from their legitimate situation, which they of necessity embrace in forming volumes in the library of the academy of Nature ! For the sake of method, we classify and arrange under many heads, which are but servitors to avoid a chaos of observations, descriptions and deductions; the confusions thus avoided obviously present themselves, but one branch of science is dependent upon another - each forms a part, all united a whole - for Nature is one. To recognise one and ignore another portion or an entirety - each part of which is dependent upon unity - is to break a rule which remains unbroken. To say that everything dies simply because it has lived - that the age of man is fixed irrespective of reason or cause - is not only presumption, but confessedly a want of conception, a disbelief in what is and therefore must be, and an assault on the fixed and immutable laws of natural phenomena.
"When we reflect or meditate on the progress of civilised man, we notice wonders and improvements in his surroundings, for his welfare and comfort; we discover a spirit of enquiry amongst men, a silent march of thought - a steady progress, impelled forward by an eternal law - Nature's law - experience. This law we may compare to a circle; the beginning we know not, the end we know not. This circle enlarges, expands - where is the limit? Opposition, reproach, threats and violence can only be a temporary check; they cannot control, abate, or arrest the progress of enquiry, the keenness of research, the results of experience. But amongst the varied and expanding objects of research, is not enquiry which appertains to the preservation of life the most important of all to humanity?
"What is man without health, even if endowed with riches? Take away the latter and their accompanying luxuries - only give him health; this accomplished, the first desire is a return of the riches. But with both a word remains which we hate to utter, a thought we dread to contemplate, a thing which gives sorrow, pain and grief. That word, that thought, that thing, is Death. Even in cases where life appears a burden, how tenaciously do men cling to it ! How the spirit recoils from a struggle with Death ! How fondly it retains its grasp of life ! Man's great desire is for health and long life on earth; to this there are but some few exceptions - the result of incidental impressions. 'Man clings to the world as his home, and would fain live here for ever.'