The top 15 longevity books you need to read

Life is not a destination, but a daily journey. And health is the one companion that will help you feel alive till your 90s or 100s.

In an era where longevity isn’t just a desire but a tangible goal, the quest for a healthier, longer life has to begin with the right knowledge.

Longevity books

This Avea article curates a list of 15 must-read longevity books for anyone passionate about extending their lifespan and improving their health span.

We delve into the realms of science, psychology, and philosophy to provide a comprehensive guide for understanding and achieving longevity.

So, grab your cup of tea, find a cosy corner, and prepare to be inspired by these transformative reads.

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What is longevity?

Longevity means more than adding years to your life – it’s about extending the number of healthy years of your life. Modern medicine allows us to live longer lives. But unfortunately for many of us, our health declines during those added years.

Advances in scientific research have begun to unravel the intricate web of factors influencing ageing, from the genetic blueprint of our DNA to the impact of our daily lifestyle choices.

Understanding these elements offers a window into maximising not just our lifespan but our healthspan as well. This is what longevity is all about.

But before we dive into this curated list of books, it’s essential to first grasp the fundamentals of ageing itself.

What is ageing?

Life is all about the fluid state of ‘’becoming’’, a concept  that cannot be caged. Ageing is a human attribute that should be understood to encounter inevitable changes of life more efficiently.

It is predicted that the number of centenarians is also rising—from 20,000 in 1965 to a projected 19 million by 2100.

At its biological core, ageing is a process marked by the gradual decline of bodily functions, stemming from cellular and molecular changes.

These changes encompass the hallmarks of ageing. They are biological processes that leads to the natural decline in resilience over time, leading to the familiar signs of ageing.

Discover the 12 hallmarks of ageing.

The hallmarks of ageing don’t operate alone; they are profoundly influenced by our daily habits and environmental interactions. Lifestyle choices like diet, exercise, stress management, and exposure to toxins directly impact these biological processes, accelerating or decelerating the ageing mechanism.

This interplay highlights the significant role of our everyday actions in shaping not only the rate of ageing but also the quality of life as we age, underlining the importance of conscious, health-oriented choices.

Read on to discover the top 15 longevity books you need to read to optimise your ageing process.

Top 15 longevity books

1. Lifespan: Why we age – and why we don’t have to by David Sinclair

Lifespan: Why we age – and why we don’t have to.

Harvard professor David Sinclair presents his groundbreaking research of the ageing process in ‘Lifespan’. The book discusses scientific advancements that could not only delay ageing but potentially reverse it.

Sinclair delves into the mechanisms of ageing at a cellular level and presents a persuasive argument for viewing ageing as a disease—one that can be targeted and treated.

His research on sirtuins, NAD, and Resveratrol, ingredients familiar in the longevity supplement space, makes this book particularly relevant for those interested in the scientific underpinnings of anti-ageing supplements.

Explore David Sinclair’s supplements stack.

Explore What is NAD+ and why it is important?

2. Outlive: The science and art of longevity by Peter Attia, MD with Bill Gifford

Outlive: The science and art of longevity.

In “Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity,” author and physician Peter Attia combines his medical expertise with practical advice to help readers optimise their exercise, nutrition, sleep, and mental health for enhanced longevity.

Attia moves beyond conventional medicine, which often focuses on treating diseases, to emphasise the importance of preventing conditions like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and type 2 diabetes.

The book presents practical strategies for living a fuller, healthier life, highlighting the significance of disease prevention as a key component of longevity.

It’s an essential read for anyone seeking to understand how everyday choices can profoundly impact their long-term health and lifespan.

3. The telomere effect: A revolutionary approach to living younger, healthier, longer by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel

The telomere effect: A revolutionary approach to living younger, healthier, longer.

Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn and health psychologist Elissa Epel collaborate in ‘The Telomere Effect’ to explain how our telomeres, the protective ends of our chromosomes, play a crucial role in ageing.

They explore how factors like stress, diet, exercise, and even psychological outlook can affect telomere length and, consequently, our health and longevity.

The book offers practical advice on how to protect these vital parts of our DNA, providing a fascinating insight into the molecular level of ageing and how we can influence it.

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4. The glucose revolution: The life-changing power of balancing your blood sugar by Jessie Inchauspé

The glucose revolution.

Biochemist Jessie Inchauspé delivers an eye-opening account of how blood sugar levels impact our health and longevity in ‘The Glucose Revolution’.

Inchauspé explains the science behind blood sugar fluctuations and their effects on the body, linking them to a range of health issues, from fatigue to chronic diseases.

The book is filled with practical tips for stabilising blood sugar levels, such as dietary changes and lifestyle adjustments, making it an essential read for anyone looking to take control of their health through the power of nutrition.

5. Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles

Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life.

Authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles explore the Japanese concept of Ikigai, or the reason for being, in their book ‘Ikigai’. They travel to Okinawa, Japan, to uncover the secrets of their longevity.

It is one of the world’s Blue Zones where people live extraordinarily long and fulfilling lives. The book combines their insights with practical advice, encouraging readers to find their own Ikigai as a path to a longer, happier life.

It’s a blend of philosophy, psychology, and lifestyle guidance, rooted in the real-life experiences of people who have mastered the art of living well.

Read a shorter version of the Blue Zones on our blog.

6. Why has nobody told me this before? by Julie Smith

Why has nobody told me this before?

Clinical psychologist Julie Smith’s ‘Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?’ is a treasure trove of mental health insights. The book emphasises the importance of psychological resilience and emotional well-being as crucial components of a long, healthy life.

Smith offers a range of practical tools and techniques, from managing anxiety to building self-esteem, that are essential for navigating life’s challenges. The book is a reminder that mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to longevity.

7. The longevity diet: Discover the new science behind stem cell activation and regeneration to slow ageing, fight disease, and optimise weight by Valter Longo

The longevity diet: Discover the new science behind stem cell activation and regeneration to slow ageing, fight disease, and optimise weight.

Professor Valter Longo, a leading expert in ageing, presents ‘The Longevity Diet’, a book that combines two decades of research into the relationship between nutrition and longevity.

Longo provides a diet plan and also advocates for periodic fasting-mimicking diets to promote stem cell regeneration, reduce inflammation, and slow the ageing process.

The book is a blend of scientific research and practical dietary advice, making it an essential read for anyone interested in the nexus between diet and longevity.

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8. Don’t die by Zero, Bryan Johnson

Don’t die.

Bryan Johnson’s personal journey shapes this narrative. After a decade battling chronic depression and cognitive struggles, he introspected, finding that these challenges had impacted every aspect of his life.

This realisation sparked a transformation, leading him to pen “Don’t Die.” The book explores social and philosophical strategies for resilience, both personally and collectively.

Johnson’s ideas, at once controversial and innovative, have drawn global attention, sparking debate and garnering a diverse following. His work is a call to action, challenging readers to rethink their approach to life and humanity’s future.

Discover Bryan Johnson’s Blueprint simplified.

9. The longevity paradox: How to die young at a ripe old age by Steven R. Gundry MD

The longevity paradox: How to die young at a ripe old age.

In ‘The Longevity Paradox’, Dr. Steven Gundry, a cardiologist and heart surgeon, challenges conventional beliefs about ageing and longevity.

He argues that the key to living a long, healthy life lies in the gut microbiome. Gundry provides a wealth of information on how to nourish and protect our microbiome, linking it to a variety of age-related diseases.

His approach combines dietary changes, lifestyle adjustments, and specific supplements to enhance overall health and extend lifespan.

10. The science and technology of growing young by Sergey Young

The science and technology of growing young; an insider’s guide to the breakthroughs that will dramatically extend our lifespan.

Sergey Young, a longevity investor and visionary, provides a captivating glimpse into the future of anti-ageing technology in ‘The Science and Technology of Growing Young’; an insider’s guide to the breakthroughs that will dramatically extend our lifespan.

The book covers a range of topics from gene therapy and regenerative medicine to AI and beyond. Young not only discusses future technologies but also offers practical advice on what we can do today to extend our healthspan, making it a must-read for those interested in the cutting edge of longevity science.

11. Why we sleep: Unlocking the power of sleep and dreams by Matthew Walker

Why we sleep: Unlocking the power of sleep and dreams.

Neuroscientist Matthew Walker’s ‘Why We Sleep’ delves deep into the science of sleep and its profound impact on our health, brain function, and longevity.

Walker explores how sleep affects everything from our mental health to our susceptibility to chronic disease, and provides actionable advice on how to improve sleep quality.

His research highlights the vital role of sleep in maintaining health and extending our lifespan, making this book an essential guide for anyone looking to enhance their overall well-being.

12. Women rowing North: Navigating life’s currents and flourishing as we age by Mary Pipher

Women rowing North: Navigating life’s currents and flourishing as we age.

Mary Pipher’s ‘Women Rowing North’ is a poignant and empowering guide for women approaching their later years. Pipher combines personal stories with practical advice to explore the challenges and opportunities that come with ageing.

She addresses topics such as changing family dynamics, physical health, and the search for meaning, providing a roadmap for women to thrive in their later years.

This book is a celebration of the wisdom and resilience that come with age, and a valuable resource for anyone looking to navigate the later stages of life with grace and vitality.

13. The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest by Dan Buettner

The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest.

National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner’s ‘The Blue Zones’ is a fascinating exploration of the world’s longest-lived cultures. Buettner identifies and examines regions known as Blue Zones, where people live significantly longer than average.

He distills the lifestyles, diets, and outlooks of these communities into nine key lessons for longevity. The book is a blend of anthropology, nutrition, and lifestyle advice, providing a unique perspective on how simple changes in our daily lives can lead to a longer, healthier life.

Discover the Blue Zones diet.

14. The Emperor of all maladies: A biography of cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Emperor of all maladies: A biography of cancer.

Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘The Emperor of All Maladies’ provides a compelling history of cancer, from its first documentation to the modern era of research and treatment.

Mukherjee, a cancer physician and researcher, weaves a narrative that is part science, part history, and part memoir. The book offers an in-depth look at the complexities of cancer, a disease intrinsically linked to ageing, and the ongoing efforts to understand and combat it.

It’s an enlightening read for anyone interested in the science and history of one of humanity’s greatest medical challenges.

15. Power, sex, suicide: Mitochondria and the meaning of life by Nick Lane

Power, sex, suicide: Mitochondria and the meaning of life.

In “Power, Sex, Suicide,” Nick Lane reveals the critical role of mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells, in life and longevity. He delves into how these tiny organelles influence everything from energy production to ageing and disease.

With engaging prose, Lane unpacks complex scientific concepts, linking mitochondrial function to key life processes. This insightful read offers a unique perspective on the microscopic factors that shape our health and lifespan, making it a vital addition for anyone interested in the deeper biological aspects of longevity.

By Aishani Rajarai

Aishani Rajarai is a scientific writer and neuroscience enthusiast. She holds a BSc in biochemistry and cell biology, and a minor in medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. Her mission at Avea is to bring the science of longevity through blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, and social media content to the public, so people can live a healthier, longer, and happier life.

Aishani Rajarai is a scientific writer and neuroscience enthusiast. She holds a BSc in biochemistry and cell biology, and a minor in medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. Her mission at Avea is to bring the science of longevity through blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, and social media content to the public, so people can live a healthier, longer, and happier life.