{Gifted} The Healthy Hundred- Book Review

With my 40s fast approaching, I wanted to start taking more control over my health and wellbeing, not just from a nutritional point of view, but from other areas too, such as sleep hygiene and mindfulness. As a busy single mum, I often find that my nervous system suffers from the chaos, my cortisol levels rise, and then I feel close to burnout. I needed a guide or a supportive hand to guide me in the right direction, and I found just that in The Healthy Hundred by Dr Peter A. Larkins.

Dr Peter Larkins is one of Australia’s most trusted physicians. In The Healthy Hundred, he draws on his many years of experience to share 100 tips and lifestyle decisions that can influence your rate of biological aging. The aim of this book is to empower you to take control of your health and live a longer and more productive life.

The chapters cover an intensive range of health topics, such as:

  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Habits
  • Mindset
  • Connection

Part 1 takes a look at aging and good health, before moving on to how we define what a healthy lifestyle is. This is summarised as being.

  • Behaviour choices that promote wellbeing
  • Regular physical activity and exercise
  • Healthy nutrition
  • Optimal sleep
  • Social integration and connectivity
  • A healthy mindset with emotional stability
  • A positive environment
  • Lack of dangerous risk taking
  • Work-life harmony
  • Time for self-prioritising wellbeing

From a personal point of view, it’s difficult to prioritise all these, but I can do is take elements of each one to work towards improving my overall health. One tip that the book gives is to understand what health span means to you and to focus on what lifestyle changes you might need to take. I chose to focus on social integration and connectivity, behaviour choices that promote wellbeing, and healthy nutrition.

I found the section on boosting your immunity interesting. This covered the impact of COVID-19, and went into detail about the immune cells and how to support your body’s natural immune system. The healthier our immune system is, the less likely we’ll be to pick up infections which can lead to a longer and more productive life.

My favourite section in the book was nutrition. This section goes into great depth, with the focus on gut health being of particular interest to me. The gut brain axis is often discussed, and the book covers ways to balance your food intake for body and brain, and how to choose foods that are best for your brain and body.

Foods that are mentioned as being beneficial for brain health include:

  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Dark chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Fatty fish (omega 3)

Foods for benefiting heart health and for supporting the immune system are also mentioned. As well as foods for fighting inflammation. Other nutrition topics mentioned include, avoiding processed foods, good carbohydrates and how to build and repair with protein.

As someone who has insulin-resistance, I found the topic around the connection between insulin and diabetes helpful.

I found The Healthy Hundred to be an empowering and helpful guide for me in finding the tools to support my health in my 40s and beyond.

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