As part of our 30th anniversary celebrations, Viva!, along with the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM), organised a talk by Dr Michael Greger at the London School of Economics on 21 January to launch his new book How Not to Age. The 450-seat venue was sold out and pretty soon, so were all the copies of Dr Greger’s book we had taken! Don’t worry, you can still order it from the Viva! shop…
When Dr Greger, founder of NutritionFacts.org, delved into the huge body of anti-ageing medical research, he realised that diet was the most promising strategy for combating the effects of ageing. We don’t need Big Pharma to keep us feeling young, Dr Greger says, we already have the tools! In How Not to Age, the internationally renowned physician breaks down the science of ageing and chronic illness and explains how to reduce your risk of the diseases most commonly encountered in our journey through life.
And the conclusion is clear – getting older does not have to mean getting sicker. Dr Greger identifies eleven pathways for ageing and tells us how we can slow or disrupt each of them. Senescent ‘zombie’ cells that drive inflammation and are linked to many age-related diseases may be eliminated with foods rich in quercetin (a potent flavonoid antioxidant) such as onions, apples and kale. Positive processes like autophagy – the upcycling of unusable junk in our cells – can be boosted with spermidine, a compound found in tempeh, mushrooms and wheat germ.
As in all his books, Dr Greger’s writing in How Not to Age is highly engaging and feels like he is taking you on a personal tour around your body. Peppered with humour, the Hard to Swallow section on spermidine will have you laughing out loud! His elegant explanation of epigenetics illustrates how one animal, with exactly the same genes as another, can live 50-times longer simply because of diet. But as Dr Greger says, it’s not just about genes: “Genes may load the gun but diet pulls the trigger”.
The Anti-Aging Eight checklist in the final section of the book complements Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen, providing the optimal diet and lifestyle for longevity. The great news is you can do all this without breaking the bank. A wholefood plant-based diet focussed on fruit, vegetables, wholegrain foods, pulses (peas, beans and lentils) nuts and seeds are the key ingredients. No silver bullets needed!
Inspired by centenarians in ‘blue zone’ regions of the world where people live the longest (see the last issue of Viva!life), Dr Greger presents simple, accessible and evidence-based strategies to keep you feeling youthful and shows you simple but effective changes you can make to help you achieve longevity.
But he provides even more help: “There was so much juicy research on the many aspects of ageing and longevity – more than 13,000 citations’ worth! – that I couldn’t even fit it all in. So, throughout the book, you will find links to special videos I made just for How Not to Age to provide you with even more life-changing, life-saving information.”
Buy your copy here.