Food & Drink

Want to eat your way to eternal youth? This doctor’s ‘Young Forever Cookbook’ has the answers

The man who said to eat fat to stay thin now has a recipe for eternal youth.

Longevity expert and functional medicine guru Dr. Mark Hyman published his latest tome, “The Young Forever Cookbook” this month, a companion cookbook to last year’s best-selling health guide, “Young Forever.”

The UltraWellness Center director views aging as a preventable disease, and “Young Forever” is his blueprint for staying disease-free and cognitively sharp well into those golden years.

Hyman’s recipe for anti-aging is about choosing the correct ingredients to keep the body — and soul — youthful into middle and old age. 

“The book is essentially a manual on how to live to be 100 and be healthy in your later years,” Hyman of the Cleveland Clinic told The Post. “It’s one thing giving nutrition guidance, but I wanted to create a cookbook people could use in their own homes that integrates all that.”

Hyman’s “The Young Forever Cookbook” hit bookstores this month. Dr. Mark Hyman

The New Yorker, who has lived in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, for 30 years, can’t guarantee who will live to that remarkable age, but he has developed recipes “optimizing all the right ingredients that create longevity pathways in the body.”

“Cutting the inflammation that drives disease also helps you look more youthful,” said Hyman, a youthful-looking 64-year-old.

There are 100 such recipes outlined in the cookbook, and with delicious dishes like roasted red-pepper and zucchini frittata, Thai turkey larb (ground meat) lettuce wraps, and rhubarb-and-strawberry coconut crumble, being healthy won’t seem like torture. 

Even more good news: Hyman’s “Young Forever” principles and those in his 2016 “The Eat Fat, Get Thin Cookbook” share common ground. So dropping the pounds and adding vitality — if not increasing lifespan too — may well go hand in hand. 

There are 100 recipes outlined in the cookbook, including roasted red-pepper and zucchini frittata. Kyla Zanardi.

Then there is vanity. “Cutting the inflammation that drives disease also helps you look more youthful,” said Hyman, an energetic 64-year-old. “It helps with good skin tone and less wrinkle formation.”

Hyman said the trick is adopting his inflammation-cutting, nutrition-dense Pegan diet, which sort of pairs vegan and paleo diets — it’s a plant-based regimen, really, with good clean protein, lots of colorful veggies and fruits, and seeds, nuts and whole grains.

“It’s foods that are high in omega-3s and anti-oxidants,” Hyman said. “It’s about maintaining hormone balance and maintaining healthy mitochondria.”

Hyman is the founder and senior advisor for the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine; founder and director of the UltraWellness Center and host of the leading health podcast “The Doctor’s Farmacy.” Getty Images for EWG

Processed food and many chemicals such as the PFAS found in plastic packaging are known hormone disruptors, affecting everything from mood to weight gain to low energy levels. 

Mitochondria, which live inside every living being’s cells and produce adenosine triphosphate, also known as ATP, provide energy to each cell to function and stay alive. Mitochondria also deal with unstable molecules — known as free radicals, which cause inflammation, cancers and even cell death — which is why they’re essential for healthy aging.

Almost a century of industrial food production’s nutrition-less convenience foods have normalized disease and unhealthy aging as par for the course. But Hyman said some of it is avoidable.

Kimchi egg avocado bowl Kyla Zanardi.

“They are convenient for a minute, and then inconvenient when that kind of diet leads you to the hospital and a lifetime of taking medications,” said Hyman. “Some processing is inescapable. I might use a can of tomatoes now and then. Yogurt is a processed food; even cooking is a type of processing.”

Rather, Hyman advised against “ultra-processed food that comes out of a factory and has no health benefits,” which has “created the modern-day dilemma of being overfed and undernourished.”

Hyman said it’s “pretty clear: Shift what’s in your pantry and you shift your diet.”

Roasted pepper medley with pine-nut aalsa Kyla Zanardi.

“Good habits begin at home. If it’s not there when you have those stressful times or have less willpower, you don’t end up putting toxic foods into your body,” Hyman advised.

“It’s easy enough once you know how, and it pays huge dividends.”

Here, Hyman shared a recipe with The Post, a “super simple yet satisfying salad” with smoked mackerel, which is “packed with vitamins B₁₂ and D and iodine, which can help regulate thyroid hormones.”

Summer tomato salad with smoked mackerel

Serves 4. Prep time: 10 minutes

Summer tomato salad with smoked mackerel Kyla Zanardi
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ lbs. mixed heirloom and cherry tomatoes, cut into pieces or halved
  • 1 (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 2 tbsp. capers, drained
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
  • 6 ozs. smoked mackerel fillet
  • 2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for serving
  1. In a small bowl, combine the shallot and sherry vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt to taste.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the artichokes, capers and dill. Remove the shallots from the vinaigrette and add to the salad, tossing to coat. Top with the mackerel fillets. Drizzle with the reserved vinaigrette and garnish with toasted pine nuts, a crack of ground black pepper and additional dill.
  3. Tip: Make sure you keep your tomatoes at room temperature. This ensures the best texture because tomatoes contain an enzyme that reacts with the cold, leaving you with mushy and mealy tomatoes.

Excerpted from “The Young Forever Cookbook” by Mark Hyman, MD. Copyright © 2024 by Hyman Enterprises, LLC. Photograph by Kyla Zanardi. Used with permission of Little, Brown Spark, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY. All rights reserved.