Spermidine is a naturally occurring polyamine. It’s found in all living tissues of plants and animals. Research points to the fact that spermidine can help induce a process in your body known as autophagy. This process can help you live a longer, healthier life! Fortunately, there are many different foods that are high in spermidine content.
Where Spermidine Comes From?
Spermidine and Your Diet
Humans naturally take in spermidine when they consume organic matter as part of their diet. So, The easiest way to increase the amount of spermidine in your body is through what you eat.
The amount of spermidine, however, varies depending on the food you're consuming.
Fortunately, this doesn’t require too much of a change to your diet considering you eat a balanced, nutritious diet. In fact, many of these foods may already be in your pantry or refrigerator.
9 Spermidine-Rich Foods
While most foods probably contain some spermidine, early research shows that the following are particularly high in the polyamine:
- Wheat and Whole Grains - wheat and whole grains have some of the highest amounts of polyamines in the food pyramid. It’s estimated that somewhere near 30% of all spermidine intake comes from wheat and whole grains.
- Soybeans and Soy Products - Soybeans and other soy products are also high in spermidine content.
- Aged Cheese - It used to be commonly accepted that eating cheese was bad for your health. However, recent research has shown that aged cheese such as cheddar, brie, and parmesan can help increase overall health due to their spermidine content as well as being an excellent source of calcium.
- Mushrooms - Certain types of mushrooms such as maitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and snow mushrooms are high in spermidine content. These mushrooms can help boost your brain health and improve cognition by helping spur the growth of new nerves.
- Green Peas - It’s no secret, peas are incredibly nutritious, including many different nutrients, minerals, and vitamins including spermidine. One cup of these green peas includes eight grams of protein and a good amount of fiber.
- Rice and Rice Bran - Did you know that rice is a plant? The outer layer of the grain (bran) and the oil made from the bran are used for medicine. Rice bran oil is popular as a “healthy oil” in Japan, Asia, and particularly India. It’s important to not confuse rice bran with other forms of bran such as oat and wheat bran.
- Mangos - Mangoes are high in spermidine content but they also have many different health benefits. In fact, many experts lump mangoes into the ‘superfood’ category. It is a low-calorie fruit that is high in fiber and is a good source of vitamins A and vitamins C. Remember, foods high in fiber can help suppress hunger, making it easier to maintain your weight.
- Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) - Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are not only staples in vegetarian and vegan diets; they are also staples in many of the healthiest diets practiced around the world. One of the main reasons why this food is so common in healthy diets is due to the high count of spermidine and other nutrients.
- Cauliflower and Broccoli - Cauliflower and broccoli are also some of the best sources of spermidine. Broccoli is a good source of fiber and protein and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, and magnesium as well as the vitamins A, C, E, K, and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid.
Spermidine Rich Diets
There are areas around the world where life expectancy is higher than other parts of the world. One of the main reasons this is the case is because of the dietary practices in these areas. Most of these diets include foods that are rich in spermidine content.
With a higher percentage of centenarians than other parts of the world, these 'blue zones' were coined by author and National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner. In 2000, he went on a quest to find the secrets these zones possessed to longevity. Interestingly enough, these zones are scattered throughout the world and share little to no geographical similarities. The five zones are:
- Ikaria, Greece
- Okinawa, Japan
- Ogliastra Region, Sardinia
- Loma Linda, California
- The Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
These blue zones all share similarities in their diet and eating practices. They believe you should stop eating when your stomach is 80% full, you should eat the smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon or evening, you should eat mostly plants, and you should drink alcohol moderately and regularly.