Cover Image: Growing Young

Growing Young

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Member Reviews

Great, science based, insights on aging and the importance on how our social life and mindset not only affects the quality of our lives, but also influences how long we may live.
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Growing Young is a great book if you're looking for ways to live a long and happy life. It offers readers loads of research and scientific studies on how to extend longevity. And it also focuses on ways to approach your health. Don't ignore the things that matter the most; longevity is about relationships, emotions and the psyche, according to Marta Zaraska.

The gist is that to stay young we need to connect with others. We should talk to our neighbors more and worry less about our red meat consumption. Zaraska encourages us to take a look at how we spend our time... and who we spend our time with.

"Caring for others, contributing to the community, and living meaningfully help us reach old age, stave off disease and make us happy all at the same time." 

Another key is to find happiness. "Those full of joy and those who have found meaning in their existence are the very same people who are most likely to escape the Grim Reaper. On the flip side, in excess, worrying, rumination or negative emotions kill us slowly yet steadily."

Tips to growing young:
--Beat loneliness.
--Find a committed romantic partner, a few best friends and caring neighbors.
--Practice empathy.
--Hug a lot.
--Get your steps in daily!
--Volunteer.
--Eat your veggies.
--Go on adventures and continue to try new things.
--Stay away from pesticides.
--Be kind to your gut.
--Also, eat only until you're about 80% full.


I think one of the biggest reasons I didn't give this book more stars was that it was a bit TOO science-based. I prefer more of a storytelling approach, so it was a bit slow for me. That said, the content is great ... especially for those who like research and facts!

Special thanks to the publisher--Appetite by Random House--for an electronic copy of Growing Young, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
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Very timely for the covid world as relationships have become more difficult to maintain and even more important to strengthen.
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This book offers such an interesting perspective - we as humans are after all very social creatures, we crave social interaction and human connection. Yes eating healthy and exercising is important, but I think many health guides have been missing something very important that this book touches on. Worth the read, definitely.
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‘Growing Young’ is an ambitious attempt at fighting back reductionist wellness news and misinformation regarding aging. The subject at hand is made more interesting by the fact that, even though longevity as a concept been extensively researched, it remains a grey area for a lot of people. Zaraska sets out to demystify this (or at least get to the bottom of what’s true and what’s not) for which alone she deserves a big thumbs up.

The science journalist (& ghostwriter) leaves no stone unturned; Zaraska delves into a plethora of scientific fields so as to offer a comprehensive, holistic overview, examining the matter at hand from different perspectives. I’m a keen non-fiction reader so the abundance of scientific examples and data definitely drew me in while working my way through the book.

On the other hand, even though she starts off by outlining the structure of her research, along the way it feels as if she keeps on hopping back and forth in an attempt to remind the reader that what matters most for longevity are human relationships & psychological health – even in chapters where she’s deliberately focusing on biological mechanisms and so on. This is reflected in her writing style as well; she goes from a sober and descriptive journalistic style to an upbeat tone that is more common on personal blogs and social media. 

This is probably an attempt to avoid the often flat language used in non-fiction, pop science books and to make the content of the book more engaging and approachable, but it can be a bit distracting – at least for me. I think she needed to trust her audience more when it comes to science-related parts of the book. She could use more complex terms that might require a more in-depth explanation, striking the balance between becoming overly technical and avoiding expressions like ‘unleashes a soup of hormones’.
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The author's research on why people live to be 100, along with personal tidbits makes this an interesting read.  Many of us have wondered why some people live longer lives and the author gives the reader a lot to think about .
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Growing Young by Marta Zaraska is one of those science books that make people fall in love with science thanks to a great mix of research-driven information, anecdotes, personal narrative and insight and how-to. The topic is one a lot of us think about - growing old, or in this case, growing older, much older. The author sets out to determine once and all what factors make it possible for humans to live to be 100, and the result is educational, insightful, unexpected, well-researched and funnier than I would have imagined - did you know that eating baby poop could extend human life expectancy from age 78 to age 107? 

Yeah, good stuff.

In the end, the author's research suggests longevity is really more about relationships and attitude than about half-marathons and low-carb diets. 

I really enjoyed this book. If you're a fan of Mary Roach, I think you'll love Growing Young by Marta Zaraska, as well. It's a fun read that provides practical tips on living longer and making the most of every year!
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This book is SO MUCH FUN! It's smart, interesting, and contains some of the answers you always hoped were true about wellbeing and longevity. In Growing Young, Marta Zaraska travels the globe and examines some of the leading research on the things we humans do in the hope that it will bring us closer to immortality (or at least top notch health while we're here). What she discovers is that kale & keto don't help much, supplements have a high chance of messing up your system, and exercise is great but not nearly as important as we believe, just to name a few.

The best way to lengthen the number of our days? Cultivating our relationships. 

Zaraska shares rich research from a variety of cultures (internationally as well as across species) that look at how a focus on improving our connection to community enhances both the quality and quantity of our time. I came away inspired. I'd rather make a new friend than drink another kale smoothie!

I appreciated the author's writing style, subtle use of humor, and relaxed perspective. Her focus on the research is intense, but the way she presents it isn't, and that made this book a fun, useful & memorable read.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Growing Young is an incredible book, which takes on the current health trends, debunks them, and then replaces the mythology with the actual science of wellbeing. I was engrossed in this book from the second I opened it, even though it was ultimately a deep dive into the science of nutrition and wellness, it read almost like a novel. 

I learned so much from the book, which offers a plethora of meta-analysis and large data collection, which shows the best kind of data practice out there. Many of the pseudoscience around concepts like superfoods, turmeric, supplements,  and green tea being filled with magic powers result from one poorly done study, or research that has since been debunked but never publicized which Zaraska unpacks. Even exercise, the health trend of the 2010s, has been shown to not be as promising as we're lead to believe for increasing longevity. 

In short, I loved this book and learned many valuable lessons about the actual science of living a long and happy life.
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