The Science of Longevity

Why You Need to Clear Your Senescent Cells.

What are senescent cells?

As we age our cells die and our body dutifully clears them away. Or so we think. Research has shown that not all dead cells are flushed out and some hang around staying very stable, refuse to divide and cause mayhem such as sending chemical signals to other cells to join them in their damage party. They encourage inflammation which can lead to an increased risk of cancer and play a part in the development of age-related disease. Once we advance in years we have a notable number of these cells and need to take action to remove them from our bodies.

What do they have to do with longevity?

Of particular relevance is the role of senescent cells in the development of age related diseases . It is implicated as having a role in such conditions as osteoporosis , frailty, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disfunction to name but a few. Ridding of or reducing these senescent cells in our bodies is highly desirable for quality of life in our later years.

What can we do to reduce senescent cells?

It should be noted that as we age the likelihood of the presence of senescent cells increases and therefore if we are in our later years then we should be prudent and proactive when deciding to embark on a journey to increase our NAD+ levels. We have two options to do this – through drugs (senolytics) or by natural means. such as fasting, autophagy or increasing our resveratrol intake. One other natural way to reduce these cells would be to take tocotrienols combined with quercetin which is a powerful antioxidant in the form of a natural pigment present in various fruits, vegetables and grains. (Tocotrienols can be found in such foods as wheat germ, barley, oat, rye, certain nuts cranberries, blueberries, kiwi, plum, and coconut and are a form of Vitamin E)

A caution about fasting, resveratrol and NMN.

It is true that fasting/ autophagy, resveratrol and NMN consumption assist in the removal of senescent cells however there is a caveat. It has been noted that should cancer already be present in your body already then the NAD+ (descriptor) created by taking for example NMN protects the damaged DNA therefore our bodies cannot repair the DNA damage and stop the cancer growth. Therefore if you have cells which are not yet cancerous then NMN, fasting and resveratrol are friends but quickly turn to foes should cancer be present in your body. NAD+ appears to be a fair-weather friend favouring and feeding healthy cells and actually being involved in the prevention of cancer but on the other hand supporting the development of cancer should it be present . If we boost our NAD + levels when we are healthy then we get optimum results.

This remains to be a contentious subject with further research necessary.

Further viewing/reading

Dr Brad Stanfield explains it far better than I can!

Disclaimer-The information in my blog posts are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health care professional. There is no intention for the information to be  medical advice. 
Blue Zones Recipes Uncategorized

Blue Zones Recipes

The Blue Zones are 5  geographical areas which display similar attributes that can be assigned to longevity of a healthy and purposeful life. One of these is the consumption of a mainly plant based diet. If you are looking to change you diet to one which has been scientifically proven to add quality years to your life then read on for recipe inspirations.

Within the findings of the Blue Zone study, breakfast( and importantly  the amount of food within this first meal of the day) is an essential component to this lifestyle. Follow the links for delicious suggestions!





Cameron Diaz likes to wake up with a probiotic bowl filled with nutrients and healthy fats from avocado and sauerkraut. Try it for lunch today!



It’s time to get creative ! For most of us lunch provides a welcome break from a morning’s work and it needs to pack a punch to get us through the rest of the working day. Even if we are not working , the  Blue Zone’s lifestyle advocates activity so fueling this is essential.

White Bean Hummus


This meal should be light – having breakfasted like a king,  lunched like a prince and now you should dine like a pauper. The digestive system needs time to work its magic.


How to make Kitchari





The finale of the meal- not strictly necessary but life is too short (longer if you follow the Blue Zones tips!) 

FRUITY CHOCOLATE BARKFruity Chocolate Bark with Freeze-Dried Fruit

Fruity Chocolate Bark


If you loved mint chip ice cream as a kid, then you are going to freak out over this nutrient-dense but scrumptious dessert.



Snacking, following Blue Zone etiquette , is still healthful. inspiration follows below.


Want to know the secret to perfectly roasted chickpeas? Click to find out the recipe!

How To Roast Chickpeas


So there you have it, a starter for ten on healthy but delicious recipes that will nourish and extend high quality life. Please also see my Pinterest boards on ‘Vegan Vices’,  ‘Raw Recipes’  ‘Healthy Drinks’  ‘Blue Zone Lessons’ and ‘Perfectly Plant Based ‘ for further inspiration.

Disclaimer-The information in my blog posts are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.There is no intention for the information to be  medical advice. 

Blue Zones Blue Zones Introduction

Making it to 100 years old – Blue Zone Lessons


No time to read the full article?  Scroll down to the bottom  for an ‘In a Nutshell’ synopsis.

Most people would not harbor a desire to live to a hundred years old if that life was not one which was vibrant, healthy and independent  If the later years of our lives could be lived with physical and mental good health that desire to live on  to centenarian  status might become far more attractive .

In 2005 educator Dan Buettner wrote an article in National Geographic magazine entitled ‘The Secrets of a Long Life’.  In this article he shared the discovery of lifestyle and environmental similarities across  five geographic locations, which led to a significant rise in the life expectancy of the inhabitants. He labelled these ‘Blue Zones’. These were-

Okinawa- Japan, Sardinia – Italy, Nicoya (Costa Rica) , Icaria (Greece), Loma Linda (California)

It has to be noted that in Loma Linda the section of the population identified was Seventh- Day Adventists.

What lessons can we take forward from this research?

  1. Whole food, plant based diet

All of the identified zones had specific similarities in their food choices. Given prominence were, nuts and seeds, beans, vegetables, fruits, herbs, high quality fats such as olive oil, grass- fed goat milk and cheeses made at home, whole grains, fermented products such as kefir and yoghurt. These health promoting foods provide the consumer with the nutrients to boost their immune system , fight disease and tackle inflammation. The presence of fibre within this diet is also highly beneficial- eliminating toxins and cleansing the digestive system. The diet also interesting included regular,  moderate amounts of alcohol. Specifically red wine. 1- 2 glasses. This could not however be saved up and consumed in bulk over weekends! (Giving with one hand and taking away with another)

None of the diets included processed foods. Consumption amount was tied to the meal – ie breakfast like a king, lunch like a lord and dine like a pauper and most groups were found to stop eating when 80 percent full as such preventing unnecessary weight gain.

The amount of meat eaten too was found to be key to the success of longevity. Most of the groups ate this infrequently and in smaller portions.

Life Purpose

When you wake in the morning does you life have a clear sense of purpose? If it does then you are well on your way to living a good 7 years longer than those without this vision. An 11 year NIH study conducted by Dr Robert N. Butler and his colleagues showed a correlation between longevity of life and a pronounced understanding of why you are on this planet. They studied healthy people Having a positive outlook, taking time to express gratitude and surrounding yourself with like minded people all contribute to living a longer more satisfying life. Some Blue Zones  residents have even allocated words to name this with the Okinawans calling it “ikigai “and Nicoyans calling this purpose ” plan de vida. ”

It is also though that having this steadfast purpose may provide  preventative measures against arthritis, strokes and even dementia.

Moderate Physical Activity

Within these unique Blue Zones it has been found that attention to moderate physical exercise is another of the beneficial factors to living a long and healthy life. Most of the  the exercise is mindless in the sense that it is  integrated into the inhabitants daily lives. It is interwoven into their work and socialisation times. For example, walking a considerable to distance to visit a friend or working the land as part of their jobs. However the 7th Day Adventists make no secret of their time in the gym!

4  Stress Management, Spirituality and Importance of Family

Also noted was the Blue Zones inhabitants ability to manage stress. Stress has long been known as the ‘silent killer’. It inhibits our body’s immune systems and reduces our abilities to fend off disease and infection. The emphasis that the Blue Zones populations place on spiritual engagement, family interaction and socialising is seen as a major contribution in the battle to reduce stress.


The Blue Zones are 5  geographical areas which display similar attributes which can be assigned to longevity of a healthy and purposeful life.

Key areas to note are-
Plant Based Diet ( not necessarily vegan)
Having a purpose in life
Moderate Exercise
Moderate alcohol consumption (typically wine)
Effective stress management
Connections – spiritual, friends and family

Disclaimer-The information in my blog posts are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.There is no intention for the information to be  medical advice.